The Warriors have taken a close look at two of their draft picks from the 2020 NBA Draft in James Wiseman and Nico Mannion. But their other, lesser-known second-round pick, Justinian Jessup, is making a name for himself overseas in Australia.
Former Warrior and NBA champion Andrew Bogut, an Aussie currently residing in Gold Coast, has been able to keep an eye on the 22-year-old Jessup.
The reviews are in, and they are glowing.
"He's got a wet ball, and he's happy to shoot it," Bogut said on the latest episode of the Dubs Talk podcast.
Jessup has been playing for the Illawarra Hawks in the NBL, and in 25 games, the 6-foot-7 wing has averaged 14.7 points while making 40 percent of his 3-pointers. To go with his solid statistics and early success in the NBL, Bogut has been impressed by Jessup's advanced skills outside of spot-up shooting.
"I thought he'd be adjusting to a professional league, and he'd hit 3s and find his way in a professional league, getting through all that stuff, but what surprised me is that he can handle the ball better than I thought," Bogut said. "He's not just a stand-still shooter. There were a couple of plays about a month ago, in transition, went behind his back twice up for a layup.
"So, he can handle a little bit, but the degree of difficulty of his shots has been what has impressed me. Everyone does a step-back, he does it as well, he can knock some of those down. He's happy to go in for a pull up if they run him off the 3."
According to Bogut, Jessup's offensive game is ahead of his defense.
"Defensively, he still needs to work on that game a little bit, Bogut said. "Anyone his age will have to figure out the game defensively, like I ended up being only a defender, but I was labeled a defensive bust out of college. So, he will have to learn that."
One thing that could propel Jessup in adjusting to the rigors of NBA defenses will be his physical stature.
"He's bigger than I thought," Bogut said. "He's taller, and kind of stronger. So, I think that will help him."
So how long will it take Jessup to develop enough to be able to get on an NBA court? Bogut believes it could happen immediately.
"Honestly, I think he would have a chance to play a small bit role for the Warriors right now, with their injuries and ups and downs," Bogut said. "Where you put him in the corner, I think it would help Steph with the ball, because you are not going to leave a Jessup."
It is highly unlikely at this point that the Warriors will bring Jessup to the U.S. for the final couple weeks of the regular season. But that does not mean Jessup's future in the league is uncertain, according to Bogut.
"I think he will be an NBA player," Bogut said. "Just a matter of what system he goes in, who he's playing with, and that is what it comes down to. But he shoots the ball that well, and he is confident shooting step- backs, and tough, in-your-face 3s. He will eventually carve out a role in NBA."