Fraschilla believes Jessup has 'bright future' with Warriors

Justinian Jessup

As things currently stand, the Warriors don't have a second-round pick in the upcoming 2021 NBA Draft. However, that doesn't mean they don't have second-rounders to be increasingly excited about.

Nico Mannion, selected with the No. 48 overall pick in 2020, experienced his fair share of growing pains during his rookie season, but recently impressed in helping lead Team Italy to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. The Warriors' other second-round pick last year has yet to make his NBA debut, but ESPN basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla believes Golden State might have found yet another second-round diamond in the rough in Justinian Jessup.

Jessup, the No. 51 overall pick in 2020 out of Boise State, was drafted-and-stashed by the Warriors, spending the past year playing for the Illawarra Hawks in the Australian NBL. And Fraschilla believes that was a smart move by Golden State.

"I think he's got a bright future," Fraschilla said of Jessup on the "Dubs Talk" podcast. "I think a role-playing shooter, wing shooter, no doubt about it. I think the great thing about what the Warriors did in drafting him was, they basically, like the Oakland A's or the San Francisco Giants, they took a guy and they put him in Triple-A. 

"So, instead of giving him an opportunity to play in Santa Cruz, maybe not play much with the Warriors, maybe need some seasoning, they sent him to a league where they've produced NBA players and he had to play a lot and play a key role on a team. And in some ways, I think it was even better than the G League, because you're talking about real men -- 25, 30 years old, the team system is a good one -- so I think Justinian really helped himself."

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Jessup, 23, averaged 13.3 points in just under 31 minutes per game with the Hawks last season on 42.0 percent shooting from the field and 34.1 percent from beyond the arc. His 73 total 3-pointers ranked as the eighth-most in the NBL. The 6-foot-6 wing will have a chance this summer to prove that he's worthy of a roster spot with the Warriors, but whenever Jessup arrives in Golden State, Fraschilla is confident it will have been worth the wait.

"I don't know what the roster situation is with the Warriors this year," Fraschilla continued, "but I think long-term, brilliant move by the coaching staff to put him in what I would consider the Australian version of Triple-A baseball."

If Jessup turns out to be what Fraschilla believes he can become, the Warriors will have hit a home run.

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