The Warriors have greatly benefited from having Pachall, a second-year big man from Villanova, in the mix. Although Stephen Curry is still playing at a fantastic level, Paschall should have Warriors fans excited about the future.
At least one NBA superstar wasn’t surprised about Paschall’s rise to success. Count Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, a childhood friend of Paschall’s, as someone who knew that the second-round pick become an imposing player in the league.
Eric Paschall is in his second year with the Warriors
The Golden State Warriors used the 41st overall selection in the 2019 NBA draft on Eric Paschall, an All-Big East power forward from Villanova.
Much like what happened with Draymond Green in 2012, it appears the Golden State Warriors found a rising star in Paschall. As a rookie last season, Paschall averaged 14 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 60 games and 26 starts before the league went on break in March.
Paschall made 49.7% of his shots from the field and hit 77.4% of his free-throw tries.
The Warriors have a rising star in Paschall
There have been no signs of a second-year slump for Eric Paschall.
Through his first 10 games this season, Paschall averaged 12.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.3 assists across 10 games and two starts. Although Paschall is playing eight fewer minutes a night, his shooting percentage is up from 49.7% to 54.2%.
Paschall is also drilling 38.9% of his three-point attempts and a much-improved 82.8% at the charity stripe.
Golden State won six of its first 10 games to open the 2020-21 season. For reference, the injury-plagued Warriors went 15-50 in last year’s pandemic-shortened regular season.
Donovan Mitchell knew Eric Paschall would be great
Utah Jazz star guard Donovan Mitchell had to feel like Nostradamus while watching Eric Paschall as a rookie.
Mitchell and Paschall grew up together in suburban New York. When Paschall arrived in the NBA nearly two years ago, Mitchell had already solidified himself as one of the league’s rising stars.
Mitchell never forgot about where he came from and who he grew up with, though. In a July 2019 interview with USA Today, Mitchell predicted that Paschall would win Rookie of the Year and become a highly-productive player.
“Also a sleeper because he brings so much to a team that’s ready to play now. [Paschall] is a defender, he is athletic, he can shoot and he’s strong. He wasn’t like that when we were younger. He was always like the lanky so I always give him a lot of slack for that.”
Mitchell and Paschall will have to wait a bit before they take on one another this year. Utah hosts Golden State on Saturday, January 23.
The league has not announced any games beyond March 3. It is reasonable to expect, however, that Golden State and Utah will play more than once in the regular season if all goes to plan.