Jay Wright believes Warriors' Eric Paschall might be even better in NBA

Jay Wright believes Warriors' Eric Paschall might be even better in NBA

As a freshman at Fordham University in 2014-15, Eric Paschall averaged 15.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

He sat out the 2015-16 season after transferring to Villanova, yet played an integral role in helping the Wildcats win the national championship because as his college coach Jay Wright told Mark Medina of the Bay Area News Group: “Our practices were sometimes harder than games.”

Paschall -- whom the Warriors selected with the No. 41 overall pick in last month's NBA Draft -- got better each year in college:

  • 2016-17 = 21.7 minutes, 7.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 27.9 percent from deep
  • 2017-18 = 29.8 minutes, 10.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 35.6 percent from deep
  • 2018-19 = 36.1 minutes, 16.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 34.8 percent from deep

The 6-foot-7 forward is extremely mature for a rookie (he will turn 23 years old on Nov. 4), and Wright has high hopes for the New York native.

“He might be a better NBA player than he was a college player," the two-time Naismith College Coach of the Year told Medina. "He’s done everything. That’s why I feel like he has the ability to have an outstanding pro career because he has the talent to do anything a coach needs.

"He also got the character and intelligence to do what is needed to win. He doesn’t have the ego that it’s got to be his way. He is the ultimate team player.”

[RELATEDThe one thing Dubs pick Paschall wants to work on most]

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr certainly will get a detailed scouting report on Paschall in the coming months, as he and Wright are serving as assistants with the USA Basketball Men’s National Team this summer.

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Watch footage of young Klay Thompson meeting Michael Jordan in 1998

Watch footage of young Klay Thompson meeting Michael Jordan in 1998

Klay Thompson has been around the NBA his entire life, both during his father Mychal Thompson’s career and now as an All-Star guard for the Golden State Warriors.

In May, Thompson spoke to the media about the first time he met Michael Jordan, when he was at a Portland Trail Blazers game in 1998. Klay and his family were living in Lake Oswego, Ore. at the time, and his dad was able to get the boys a chance to meet MJ and Scottie Pippen after the game.

Footage has now surfaced of that encounter, featuring the trio of Thompson boys meeting the NBA Hall of Famers for the first time.

Despite the lack of sound, it’s clear that the boys were blown away -- as just about any basketball fan at the time would be -- by the chance to meet NBA royalty.

[RELATED: Warriors' Klay Thompson will return 'late next season,' father Mychal says]

Klay, of course, had the least star-struck reaction as he just got his autograph and walked away, while his brothers stuck around.

I'm sure Jordan had no idea that he was signing an autograph for a kid who would grow up to win three NBA championships and receive two All-NBA accolades, all before his 30th birthday.

NBA rumors: Lakers to sign Dwight Howard as DeMarcus Cousins replacement

NBA rumors: Lakers to sign Dwight Howard as DeMarcus Cousins replacement

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is just a movie, but this is for real: Dwight Howard is expected to be back in Los Angeles and sign with the Lakers, six years after his first run in purple and gold. 

Howard's agent told The Athletic's Shams Charania the center has completed a buyout with the Grizzlies and will sign with the Lakers once he clears waivers. 

This comes after the news that former Warriors and Kings center DeMarcus Cousins tore his ACL nearly two weeks ago. Cousins, who signed a one-year contract with the Lakers this offseason, was expected to be L.A.'s starting center this season, but that now could fall to Howard. 

Though ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Howard's contract with the Lakers is non-guaranteed, it's likely he makes the team. L.A. currently has just one natural center on their roster, former Warrior JaVale McGee, and he's better suited as a lob threat off the bench. 

That's the problem. McGee and Howard essentially fill the same roles for the Lakers. They both can swat shots and finish dunks. Besides that, they don't offer much. 

Howard also has dealt with multiple injuries in the past and only played in nine games last season with the Washington Wizards due to a gluteal injury. In his last healthy season, the 33-year-old averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds for the Charlotte Hornets during the 2017-18 campaign. 

Replacing Cousins with McGee is a downgrade for the Lakers, but an upgrade for the Warriors and Kings when it comes to playoff seeding. Golden State is viewed as having a similar regular-season record as L.A. next season while the Kings are looking to end a 13-year playoff drought. 

[RELATED: Six Warriors storylines you should watch for next season]

The last time Howard was a Laker, things went haywire on and off the court in Hollywood. Will the script be flipped this time? 

Howard could have quite the redemption story, but it would be a bold bet by an outsider.