Golden State Warriors’ rookie Eric Paschall was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie first team.
And on Tuesday, Paschall was finally rewarded for his stellar rookie season as he was officially named first-team All-NBA.
In what came as a surprise to some, Paschall earned the nod alongside the likes of Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke of the Memphis Grizzlies, Kendrick Nunn of the Miami Heat, and Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Paschall barely edged Miami’s Tyler Herro by one vote for the final spot on the first team — a spot many expected to go to Herro. But, just like with all NBA season awards, it’s important to remember that these awards are based on performances during the regular season.
So for a guy like Herro who’s still playing in the Eastern Conference Finals and who has had some signature since the NAB’s restart, only his regular-season stats will count.
That’s likely why Paschall gets the nod here.
The Warriors were certainly impressed by Eric Paschall’s standout rookie campaign.
The 23-year-old ranked fourth among all rookies in scoring with 14.0 points per game and fifth in rebounds per game (4.6) and field-goal percentage (49.7 percent). He was the only rookie in his class to finish top-five in all three of those categories.
The members of the NBA’s second-team include the aforementioned Herro, Terence Davis of the Toronto Raptors, Coby White of the Chicago Bulls, Rui Hachimura of the Washington Wizards, and P.J. Washington of the Charlotte Hornets.
Selected with the 41st overall pick, Paschall was never supposed to be a first-team All-Rookie selection. Sure he drew some pre-draft comparisons to future teammate Draymond Green and many dubbed him a sleeper at the time, but few saw anything like this coming.
Paschall was one of the lone bright spots on an otherwise dreadful Warriors team and his energy and excellent play kept the team watchable for a significant portion of the season.
He’s clearly worked his way into the future plans and will likely play a key role as a role player on next year’s team.
While it may not have been the most expected outcome for Paschall’s award season, it’s a fitting way to conclude the season of perhaps the NBA’s most unlikely budding star.