Warriors

Draft prospect gives update on Jessup after Warriors workout

Warriors
Justinian Jessup

As the remaining eight teams battle for the Larry O'Brien Trophy, the Warriors have turned their attention to the 2021 NBA Draft. 

As it stands, Golden State doesn't have a second-round pick, and will have their own first-round pick at No.14 and likely will get the Minnesota Timberwolves' first-round pick. The Timberwolves' pick is top-three protected, but Minnesota finished the season with the sixth-worst record, meaning the Warriors have a 72.4 percent chance of landing the selection.

However, adding new budding talent might not be of interest for the Warriors, whose roster is young and in dire need of some veteran presence. 

And even if they decided to add more youth, they already have a draft pick from last year's class they could call on in Justinian Jessup.

Jessup, who was selected with the 51st pick in last year's draft and spent the last year playing in Australia's National Basketball League, scored a team-high 17 points for the Illawarra Hawks, helping them secure a 74-72 win in Game 1 of the best-of-three playoff series against the Perth Wildcats. 

Jessup has been an intriguing prospect for the Warriors, and on Thursday, they hosted one of his former college teammates, Derrick Alston Jr., for a pre-draft workout.

Alston, who was a top-10 finalist for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year award, played three seasons at Boise State alongside Jessup. 

"He's a little shy, but he's a great dude," Alston said of Jessup. "He's excited to get here for summer league and see what happens next."

 

Jessup's appearance in summer league, which will be held in Las Vegas from August 8 - 17, was promised by Warriors general manager Bob Myers earlier in the season. 

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Originally, the plan wasn't to have Jessup stateside until 2022, but after averaging 13.3 points on 34.2 percent three-point shooting during the regular season and being named one of the NBL's Rookie of the Year finalists, Jessup earned his shot at the NBA. 

"The NBL is a really great league and is pretty close to the NBA game with the pace of play and things like that," Alston said. "He's had a great year over there."

No two Boise State players have ever been drafted in back-to-back years. While it's unlikely, Alston knows it "would be crazy" if that streak were snapped by the same team drafting both players.

"Me and Justinian were there from freshman year to his senior year, so it would definitely be crazy. I would love to come play for the Warriors -- a great organization with a lot of history. It would be an honor, for sure."

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