Warriors

Jay Wright explains why Warriors' Eric Paschall is better fit for NBA

Jay Wright explains why Warriors' Eric Paschall is better fit for NBA

Warriors rookie Eric Paschall wasn’t selected until the No. 41 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, but his collegiate head coach, Villanova’s Jay Wright, always knew the forward's game was a better fit for the NBA.

In a recent Q&A with The Athletic’s Anthony Slater, Wright opened up about his former power forward and how integral he was to the Wildcats’ two NCAA championships in three years.

After transferring to Villanova from Fordham University after his freshman season, Paschall was forced to sit out the 2015-16 season per NCAA rules.

"Then in 2016, the season he sat out, ’15-’16, he was on the same (scout) team as Donte DiVincenzo (currently on the Milwaukee Bucks),” Wright told Slater. “They were both sitting out. So it was a funny year for us because we’d come out of practice sometimes — we couldn’t stop those two — and we would think, as a staff, ‘man, we must not be that good, we can’t even stop the second team.’ We just didn’t realize at the time those two would be pros.

“It really made our team successful that year in 2016. We had really competitive practices. Those two really made that 2016 team what it was.”

Wright also spoke about how Paschall’s overpowering strength forced Villanova to adjust its gameplan down the stretch of games.

“He was stronger than everyone,” Wright said. “He’d go to the rim and they’d hammer him and it wouldn’t knock him off his line. It wouldn’t knock off his balance, but he was getting crushed and they wouldn’t call it. I would just try to plead with the refs, like, ‘don’t penalize him for being stronger than everyone.’

"They would call offensive fouls on him because people would just go flying off of him, but they weren’t in legal guarding position, to the point where we couldn’t call isolations at the end of the game for him because we were afraid he wouldn’t get a foul called and they would call an offensive foul on him.”

The two-time champion coach also foresaw Paschall’s more comfortable fit in an NBA offense, where defenses are much more spread out.

“We always thought once he got to the NBA and there was more space and teams wouldn’t double and triple him, that he would be more effective,” Wright said. “We’re kind of seeing that right now. It’s nice to see it come to fruition.”

[RELATED: Ask Kerith: Paschall's sudden rise, Chase Center atmosphere]

The rookie certainly has made his mark in the NBA so far, as Paschall is the first Warriors rookie since Steph Curry to register back-to-back 25-point games.

Warriors execs scout top 2020 NBA draft prospect James Wiseman up close

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USATSI

Warriors execs scout top 2020 NBA draft prospect James Wiseman up close

The Warriors likely will pick much higher than they've gotten used to in June's NBA draft. 

Golden State is a league-worst 2-9 this season, appearing like a lock to keep the top-20 protected 2020 first-round pick the Warriors sent to the Brooklyn Nets as part of the Kevin Durant sign-and-trade. The Warriors would have no shortage of options if they picked at -- or around -- the top of the draft, and their front office got an in-person glimpse at Memphis center James Wiseman on Tuesday night, according to The Athletic's John Hollinger. 

Wiseman, plagued by foul trouble early, finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds as Memphis lost to Oregon on Tuesday night.

Wiseman will be one of, if not the best player available in the draft. The 7-foot freshman center averaged 22.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game entering Tuesday's game, and the 18-year-old has the upside to develop into something the Warriors have not had in the Steve Kerr era: A truly dominant big man.

[RELATED: Warriors' injury report still growing through trying season]

How much more Wiseman will play this season remains to be seen. The NCAA ruled Wiseman ineligible for taking $11,500 from current Memphis coach Penny Hardaway in order to help Wiseman's family move when he transferred to play for Memphis East, the high school Hardaway was coaching at the time. A Shelby County, Tenn. judge placed an immediate temporary restraining order on the college athletics governing body shortly after the NCAA's ruling. Plus, as SB Nation's Ricky O'Donnell noted, Memphis has not ruled Wiseman ineligible and the Tigers plan to continue playing him. 

Myers' presence at the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, as well as that of Harris and Dunleavy, suggests the Warriors are taking their new reality very seriously. Golden State will need the lottery balls to bounce its way, too, in order to select Wiseman, but the Warriors should have done their due diligence by then, at least. 

Warriors continue to ache from most detrimental injury list in NBA

Warriors continue to ache from most detrimental injury list in NBA

SAN FRANCISCO – The Warriors left for Los Angeles on Tuesday shortly after posting an injury report that is the longest and surely the most roster-altering in the NBA. It runs seven deep and includes three starters, two of them All-Stars in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

Asked if he’d ever seen anything like it, coach Steve Kerr replied with a single word.

“No,” he said. “I’m not going to expound it either.”

Six weeks removed from training camp, only four players – Ky Bowman, Marquese Chriss, Jordan Poole and Glenn Robinson III – have escaped the trainer’s room.

With five games over an eight-day span beginning Wednesday against the Lakers in LA, here is an alphabetical status update on each player:

Steph Curry

The two-time MVP and franchise focal point for the past seven seasons sustained a broken left hand on Oct. 30 and underwent hand surgery on Nov. 1, after which the Warriors announced he will be re-evaluated in three months. When Curry addressed the media on Monday, he was wearing a heavy protective sleeve that runs from his left hand to his forearm. He also disclosed that he will undergo a second operation in December to remove pins inserted in the original procedure.

Curry also was firm in announcing his intention to return sometime this season.

Timeline for clearance: Undetermined. Obviously not before February.

Jacob Evans III 

The 6-foot-4 guard in his second season, who was expected to be in the team’s rotation, has missed the last eight games with a left adductor strain.

“Jacob, from what I heard (Monday) talking with him directly and our training staff, is still at least a couple weeks away,” Kerr said.

Timeline for clearance: Undetermined. It likely will be at least a month before he returns, so around mid-December.

Kevon Looney

The 6-foot-9 center-forward, scheduled to be at least a part-time starter, has not played since opening night, after which he was diagnosed with neuropathy, a condition related to the nervous system. It’s treatable but not necessarily curable. The effects of his condition might be permanent.

“He’s working out every day, getting some good work in,” Kerr said.

Timeline for clearance: Undetermined. The Warriors would be delighted if he returns next month. Looney might always have some level of restriction.

Damion Lee

The two-way guard, in his second season in that role with the Warriors, was diagnosed Tuesday with a non-displaced fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his right hand. He is one of four players that played in each of the team's first 10 games.

“We’re hoping it’s just a few weeks,” Kerr said Tuesday.

Timeline for clearance: Undetermined. Barring complications, the second week of December is a reasonable expectation.

Alen Smailagic 

The 19-year-old forward, drafted in the second round, sustained a right ankle sprain on the first day of training camp. He wore a boot for several weeks, but now is rehabbing.

“Smailagic told me he dunked today, which is a good sign,” Kerr said. “He was excited about that, so his ankle is improving.”

Timeline for clearance: He could be cleared for contact over the next 10 days and conceivably be available late during the Nov. 17-22 road trip.

Omari Spellman 

The versatile forward/center was playing well, particularly on offense, before spraining his left ankle last Saturday at Oklahoma City. He did not play Monday night and did not practice Tuesday. So, according to Kerr, Spellman is doubtful to play on Wednesday.

Timeline for clearance: Probably Friday against the Celtics. If not, he’ll go on the four-game road trip that begins Sunday at New Orleans.

[RELATED: Kerr explains Draymond's 'really bizarre' reality on Dubs]

Klay Thompson 

The five-time All-Star sustained a torn left ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals and underwent surgery on July 1. He is rehabilitating and occasionally engaging in light one-on-one shooting sessions.

Timeline for clearance: He’s expected to miss at least another four months. There is optimism he could return in March. It’s typical for a player to sit out at least eight months – or as much as a year – after such surgery.