After nearly nine months without playing organized basketball, the Warriors finally are back in the business with the start of training camp underway. Many of the players had not seen each other for an extended period of time, and most had not had a chance to play with one another.
During the long layoff, many of the young Warriors have had time to really develop and enhance their game. According to Warriors guard Damion Lee, one young player in particular has caught his eye with his on-court growth.
"Everyone has had their own development, but I'd say one guy is Eric Paschall," Lee said on the "Dubs Talk" podcast.
"Besides driving and getting fouls, just his development in taking that next step and finding guys and being a playmaker, similar to Draymond [Green]."
Coming out of Villanova, Paschall was not widely considered a prospect with a high ceiling. He was an older rookie and a player that had a refined overall game, but nothing that particular popped off the page. Because of that, the Warriors were able to select him with the No. 41 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
But once he took the court as a Warrior, Paschall very quickly showed the naysayers that he was a formidable offensive force, eventually earning an NBA All-Rookie First Team nod.
While he was a beast on the block and attacking off the dribble, the coaching staff has high hopes that he can not only refine his 3-point stroke, but also become an all-around offensive playmaker. Lee thinks that the signs of that development are already starting to show.
"Just his ability to catch it, off a rebound, push in transition, find guys," Lee explained. "I know some people saw that clip of his, catching it in transition, drawing two and then finding Steph on the left wing for a 3. Just his ability to draw so much attention and put so much pressure on the defense, it has definitely been something that has been huge for his development, and that is something he did more so towards the end of last year."
At the end of last season, before the year was cut short due to the pandemic, Paschall increasingly became a facilitator on offense. Over the last five games of the season, Paschall averaged an impressive 6.4 assists per game. Before that stretch, he had only averaged 1.7 assists per contest on the season. If he can continue the trend from the end of last season, the Warriors might have struck gold in the second round.
Paschall is not the only player that Lee has been impressed by in camp so far though. The new additions, and one that joined late last season to the team, have really made their presence felt so far. Lee shared his quick thoughts on each of them, saying, "[Kent Bazemore] sees the game, high IQ. Kelly [Oubre] is a freak athlete, knows the game, slasher. [Andrew Wiggins] has even gotten better as well."
As for a lesser-known addition to the team, Lee has been equally impressed when seeing him play in person.
"[Brad Wanamaker] really knows the game," Lee said, "Studied point guard, he's a pro's pro, he doesn't get sped up and really gets guys involved, and is very, very solid on defense."
If Paschall and the new Warriors continue their development and become the players they are showing in training camp thus far, the Warriors will definitely become a force in the Western Conference.