The Warriors have been patching together lineups ever since James Wiseman went out with his season-ending knee injury on April 10.
Forward Eric Paschall could help give the team some much needed frontcourt depth as early as Friday’s contest against the New Orleans Pelicans, according to Warriors coach Steve Kerr.
“Eric just finished up a 3-on-3 game,” Kerr told reporters Tuesday evening, a couple hours before the Warriors hosted the Phoenix Suns. “I haven’t talked to him yet. The hope is that maybe would play Friday or Sunday.”
Paschall has missed the past 20 contests with a strained left hip flexor in what’s been an injury-riddled second season for the forward. Paschall has played in only 39 of the team’s 69 games this season after sustaining injuries to his right knee and left wrist, while also dealing with the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
Even though he’s listed at 6-foot-6, Paschall occupies a crucial big man role for the Warriors. Kevon Looney has been the team’s lone true big man since Wiseman went down and the return of Paschall’s physicality and energy will be a welcome addition for the Warriors.
As rumors have swirled about a possible Warriors-Jordan Bell reunion, Kerr also acknowledged that the team “clearly” needs to add a big man.
Juan Toscano-Anderson has stepped up in the frontcourt to take on demanding defensive assignments against bigger opponents and Draymond Green has continued to be a key facilitator for the Warriors. Paschall will be able to body up players on the post and stretch out defenses on the other side of the floor with his jump shot. He fits in well with the Warriors’ small-ball approach.
Until Golden State signs another player, Paschall’s addition will be the biggest roster remedy for the squad heading into next week’s play-in tournament. If he doesn’t return Friday, the Warriors are hopeful he can play in Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Memphis Grizzlies, in a game that could decide which team is the Western Conference’s No. 8 seed and No. 9 seed.