Eric Paschall

Eric Paschall Clears COVID-19 Protocols

JANUARY 13: Paschall has cleared the NBA’s health and safety protocols and will join the Warriors on their upcoming road trip, tweets Slater. Golden State will begin that trip on Thursday in Denver.


JANUARY 12: Second-year Warriors reserve power forward Eric Paschall will be unavailable for tonight’s game against the Pacers as a result of the league’s coronavirus protocols, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Slater adds that the timeline for Paschall’s anticipated absence from the Warriors has yet to be determined. He may have returned a positive or inconclusive COVID-19 test result, or he may have come into contact with someone who later tested positive and is being isolated as a result of subsequent contact tracing.

Golden State drafted the 6’6″ forward, now 24, with the No. 41 pick out of Villanova in 2019. After injuries thrust him into a major role during his first NBA season, 2019/20, Paschall was named to the season’s All-Rookie First Team.

This year, Paschall is averaging 12.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 1.3 APG in 19.3 MPG for the 6-4 Warriors. Across 10 games, he holds a shooting slash line of .542/.389/.828.

Warriors Notes: Paschall, Curry, Wiseman, Lin

Eric Paschall has moved to a reserve role after starting the first two games of the season and seems more comfortable coming off the bench, writes Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area. The Warriors‘ second-year power forward posted 15 points in 19 minutes Sunday in Chicago, then 10 points in 13 minutes Tuesday at Detroit.

“I liked the rotation better because the way we played tonight allowed Eric to get going offensively and be more aggressive with the ball,” coach Steve Kerr said after Sunday’s game. “Playing with the second unit — we can run some things through him. We need Eric with the ball in his hands, and with that first group, it’s tough to get the ball to him.”

Because the Warriors were short-handed last season, Paschall got plenty of opportunity to showcase his skills, averaging 14.0 points and 4.6 rebounds in 60 games. He was an All-Rookie First Team selection after being taken with the 41st pick in the draft.

“I’m allowed to just play the game,” Paschall said in explaining why he likes being a reserve. “Having the ball in my hands and trying to make plays for everybody and myself. More aggressive, more opportunity with the second unit.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Stephen Curry‘s new teammates are starting to figure out how to get him the ball in the flow of the offense, observes Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. Because an injury forced Curry to miss almost all of last season, most of Golden State’s roster is still learning how to play alongside him.
  • James Wiseman‘s early numbers may not be what some fans expected, but he’s showing his value on offense by attacking the rim, notes Ethan Strauss of The Athletic. Strauss believes Wiseman’s inside presence and Curry’s outside shooting can be the foundation of Golden State’s offense for years to come.
  • A proposed “NBA Vet Selection” rule for the G League could be a path toward getting Jeremy Lin to the Warriors, but that plan could be complicated if the league elects to play in a bubble setting, according to Shayna Rubin of The San Jose Mercury News. The rule would allow NBA teams to fill one G League roster spot with a player who has at least five years of NBA service. However, the bubble atmosphere may cause teams to keep their NBA and G League players separate, which defeats the purpose of adding Lin. Golden State was close to a deal with Lin before opening day rosters had to be finalized, but couldn’t get authorization in time from the Beijing Ducks, his last team in China.

Pacific Notes: Baynes, Lecque, Clippers, Warriors

Suns free agent Aron Baynes is non-committal on a potential return with the team, but the 33-year-old admits he enjoyed his time in Phoenix, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic writes.

Baynes, who averaged a career-high 11.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 22.2 minutes in 42 games this season, is set to reach the open market once the NBA finalizes a date for free agency to begin.

“I loved my time in Phoenix,” Baynes said. “I knew what it was coming in here and I was able to go out there and take advantage of the role that was given to me throughout a number of different situations. I enjoyed it. I loved playing with the guys here.”

Baynes is an eight-year NBA veteran and was part of the 2014 championship Spurs team. Before discussing his future any further, he understands the importance of the league coming to terms on a new salary cap for next season, one that could drastically impact what he receives in free agency.

“Trying to find out those numbers before anything can be thought of for the next season. It’s a waiting game,” Baynes said. “Our two biggest players in the sport right now, what are they going to come to an agreement with. Until that salary cap number is put out there for everyone to understand and work with, there’s really nothing that can be done. There’s no conversations that will be had.”

Here are some other notes from the Pacific Division:

  • Suns guard Jalen Lecque has signed with agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports for representation, the agency announced on social media. Klutch also recently welcomed Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball and Raptors forward OG Anunoby to a mix that already includes players such as LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Ben Simmons.
  • Jovan Buha of The Athletic examines three critical questions the Clippers must address this offseason. Los Angeles was eliminated from the playoffs after a seven-game duel with the Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals last month, a disappointing ending for a team with championship aspirations. The club is likely to shuffle its 10-man rotation ahead of next season as a result, Buha reports.
  • Monte Poole of NBC Sports examines a series of notes related to the Warriors, including Klay Thompson‘s rehab, Eric Paschall‘s conditioning, and more. Golden State coped with an injury-riddled 2019/20 season, accruing the worst record in the league at 15-50. “It helps to get a really good look at everybody,” coach Steve Kerr said of the team’s mini-camp, which did not include Stephen Curry or Draymond Green. “Seeing them play, seeing them on the court, you start to get a sense of who might fit where and who could play what role and what your strengths and weaknesses are. We know Steph and Draymond so well that it’s easy to envision the group with them. This week has given us a better idea of what we need to look for.”

Western Notes: Lakers, Looney, Ball, Nuggets

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel told reporters on Wednesday that Alex Caruso and Danny Green are listed as probable for Thursday’s Western Conference Finals Game 4 against the Nuggets, per Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).

According to Vogel, Caruso is dealing with soreness in his right wrist and is getting a precautionary MRI. Green has an injured left ring finger. The 26-year-old Caruso only scored two points in 25 minutes off the bench in the Lakers’ Game 3 loss, while Green had four points in 20 minutes.

If Caruso or Green cannot play on Thursday, the Lakers may need to increase point guard Rajon Rondo‘s minutes.

Here’s more from across the Western Conference:

  • According to John Dickinson of 95.7 The Game (Twitter link), Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said Wednesday that center Kevon Looney is healthy and was a full participant at the team’s practice. Kerr added that Klay Thompson and Eric Paschall didn’t practice, as they were going through the NBA’s COVID testing protocol.
  • William Guillory of The Athletic takes a look at the pros and cons of the Pelicans keeping Lonzo Ball. Earlier this week, Ball announced that he signed with Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. The 22-year-old point guard had a solid first season with New Orleans, averaging 11.8 PPG, 7.0 APG, and 6.1 RPG. Furthermore, Guillory explores what a potential extension could like for Ball after next season.
  • Ethan Strauss of The Athletic writes about the similarities between the 2013 Warriors and this season’s Nuggets team. For starters, Strauss points out how current Denver head coach Mike Malone was under then-head coach Mark Jackson in Golden State. He also explores how both teams built their rosters in the age of free agency and feature an unlikely superstar player.

Ja Morant, Kendrick Nunn Headline All-Rookie Team

Grizzlies guard Ja Morant, who previously won the Rookie of the Year award, was the only player unanimously selected to this year’s All-Rookie First Team, the league announced in a press release.  A panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters selected the team.

Heat guard Kendrick Nunn collected the second-most First Team votes (98) and total points (197). Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke, Pelicans forward and top overall draft pick Zion Williamson, and Warriors forward Eric Paschall rounded out the First Team.

Morant and Clarke became the first Grizzlies duo named to the All-Rookie First Team since the 2001/02 season, when Pau Gasol and Shane Battier earned the honor. Nunn is the first Heat player named to the First Team since Michael Beasley in 2008/09.

Heat guard Tyler Herro, Raptors guard Terence Davis II, Bulls guard Coby White, Hornets forward P.J. Washington, and Wizards forward Rui Hachimura gained All-Rookie Second Team honors.

Knicks wing and third overall pick RJ Barrett finished 13 points behind Hachimura for the final spot on the Second Team, with Sixers forward Matisse Thybulle narrowly missing a spot as well.

The voting was conducted based on regular-season games played prior to the restart.

Pacific Notes: Wiseman, Warriors, Sarver, Clippers

The Warriors have already met with some prominent draft prospects via Zoom, including center James Wiseman and guard LaMelo Ball, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. Wiseman is currently rated at No. 3 by ESPN with Ball at No. 2, just behind Georgia guard Anthony Edwards. With the draft rescheduled to October 15th, the Warriors anticipate they’ll get to evaluate prospects in person at some point.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • With the Warriors left out of the 22-team restart of the season, Draymond Green stands to benefit the most among the franchise’s players, Slater opines in a separate story. Green had been nursing a variety of injuries prior to the suspension of play and now he’ll get plenty of time to heal up prior to next season. Young players such as Eric Paschall, Jordan Poole, Alen Smailagic and Mychal Mulder will be hurt the most by the long gap between seasons, Slater adds.
  • Suns owner Robert Sarver says there are many hurdles to clear before play can resume in Orlando on July 31, according to Matt Layman of ArizonaSports.com. Sarver made his comments in a radio interview with 98.7 FM. “The logistics with Disney — you know a number of these hotels have had layoffs, have been partially closed or fully closed, and so there’s a re-startup there,” he said. “And then there’s the whole health concern with COVID-19 and how that plays out and making sure that we go back to what our first priority was, which was the health and safety of the players and the staff.”
  • If the Clippers are able to re-sign free agents Marcus Morris and Montrezl Harrell, they’re likely to bring back virtually the same team next season, John Hollinger of The Athletic predicted in a conversation with fellow Athletic writer Jovan Buha. Hollinger believes in that scenario the only additions will be a second-round draft pick and a minimum-contract point guard to replace Reggie Jackson.

Doncic, Young, Zion Headline Rising Stars Rosters

The NBA has officially announced the 20 rookies and sophomores who have been named to the league’s Rising Stars game for All-Star weekend. Those 20 players, selected by assistant coaches from around the league, will be divided into a U.S. Team and a World Team, as follows:

U.S. Team:

World Team:

Williamson’s inclusion is notable since he has appeared in just four games due to injuries. It’s not surprising that the NBA found a way to get him into the game, since he’s one of the most exciting prospects to enter the league in years, but it’s a tough break for youngsters who have been on the court since the fall for contenders, such as Sixers wing Matisse Thybulle. or Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr.

Snubbed players like Thybulle, Porter, and others could eventually make their way into the Rising Stars game if players have to pull out due to injuries, or if All-Stars like Doncic and Young opt not to play in both events.

The Rising Stars game will take place in Chicago on Friday, February 14.

Pacific Notes: LeBron, Kuzma, Paschall, Suns

LeBron James may miss his first game of the season tomorrow because of a muscle strain near his rib cage, writes Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. The Lakers star wasn’t able to practice today and is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s showdown with the Nuggets.

James suffered the injury Tuesday night in Indiana, but played through it in a loss to the Pacers. He posted a triple-double in Thursday’s loss in Milwaukee, which marked L.A.’s first two-game losing streak of the season. Sources tell Brian Windhorst of ESPN that James has been dealing with a nagging groin issue as well. A torn groin on Christmas Day last season caused him to miss 18 games.

Goon and Windhorst both emphasize that it’s not a case of load management for James, who has been an outspoken critic of that practice.

“I don’t know how many games I got left in my career,” he said last weekend. “I don’t know how many kids that may show up to a game and they’re there to come see me play and if I sit out, then what? That’s my obligation. My obligation is to play, play for my teammates and if I’m healthy, then I’m going to play. If Coach sits me out, then I’m not healthy. And it’s just that simple.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • If LeBron is sidelined, his starting spot may go to Kyle Kuzma, who has missed the past five games with an injured ankle, Goon adds in the same piece. Kuzma, who is listed as probable for tomorrow, went through a full practice today and doctors will see how he responds before determining if he can play.
  • There are more injury concerns for the Warriors as standout rookie Eric Paschall is having his right knee evaluated, tweets Nick Friedell of ESPN. Paschall left Friday’s game after Pelicans guard J.J. Redick fell on his knee in the first quarter.
  • The injury-depleted Suns are suffering through their worst stretch of the season with five straight losses, notes Gina Mizell of The Athletic. Their injuries include Deandre Ayton, who sprained his ankle right after returning from a 25-game suspension. “We’re a new program, and we’ve dealt with a lot, and I think that’s a sign of good things to come,” coach Monty Williams said. “So I’m good. I really am. I hate losing. I hate the emotional losses. But we’re learning a lot, our guys are getting a ton of experience, and we’ve got 50-plus games left. Perspective is something we all need.”

Warriors Notes: Looney, Smailagic, Paschall

It was viewed as a coup for the Warriors when they were able to re-sign Kevon Looney to a three-year, $15MM contract this past summer, but the big man hasn’t been himself yet this season and received a DNP-CD on Wednesday night.

Looney, who spent much of the offseason recovering from the effects of a collarbone injury suffered in the NBA Finals, has also dealt with a neuropathic condition. His health issues have limited him to just eight games so far this season, and Kerr cited those problems when he explained his decision not to play the 23-year-old on Wednesday, as Anthony Slater of The Athletic details.

“It’s hard to play 12 guys,” Kerr said. “And Looney is struggling to get his game back right now. … We’ve tried to help him play back into condition, but it’s not really fair to him or the team until he’s really in a better place physically.”

Kerr said that the Warriors still view Looney as “one of our foundational players” and that he’s counting on the young center to eventually get healthy and get his conditioning back up to speed. According to Kerr, this season is more about developing young prospects and evaluating players whose place in the club’s long-term future may not be assured, which is why he’s comfortable being patient with Looney.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Despite Kerr’s insistence that he’s not concerned about Looney, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area believes it may be time to sound the alarm, since there’s no guarantee the effects of neuropathy won’t continue to limit the big man.
  • Warriors rookie Alen Smailagic will “100 percent” make his NBA debut at some point this season, Kerr told reporters on Wednesday, per Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area. However, it remains to be seen when that will happen, since the club wants Smailagic to continue playing big minutes for the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G League rather than seeing sporadic playing time at the NBA level.
  • While getting Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson back will be the key to the Warriors’ bounce-back hopes in 2020/21, continued improvements from Eric Paschall will also be an important factor if the club wants to return to contending status, Anthony Slater of The Athletic writes in an in-depth look at the rookie forward.

Pacific Notes: Kings, Paschall, Kuzma, Clippers

The Kings have started the 2019/20 season with a 1-5 record, making them one of the most underwhelming teams in the campaign’s first two weeks.

Sacramento opened the year losing by 29 in Phoenix, going home two days later to lose to Portland 122-112. The team then fell by a 113-81 margin to Utah the following day, lost 101-94 to Denver two days later, and lost 118-111 to Charlotte this past Wednesday.

“We know we signed up to be on this journey and grow this team and get this team back into the playoffs and all of that, and that’s what we’re going to do,” coach Luke Walton said, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic. “It’s not the start we wanted, but the work that’s being done, I think, is the foundation for what’s going to get us there when we’re ready. And maybe…”

The Kings certainly have time to figure this out and correct their poor start, though they’ll have to do so without star forward Marvin Bagley III. Bagley is expected to miss at least three-to-five more weeks with a fractured right thumb.

“We’ll find out when we’re ready,” Walton admitted. “You know, there’s no way to know. But we’re going to keep pushing these guys, and growing these guys, making sure that we’re playing and continuing to understand what it takes to win at a consistent level in this league. It’s gonna happen.”

Sacramento could start the process by defeating the Knicks on Sunday, one of three other teams that own a 1-5 record on the season (Golden State, New Orleans).

Here are some other notes from the Pacific Division tonight:

  • Warriors rookie Eric Paschall is beginning to look like a second-round steal, Anthony Slater writes for The Athletic. Paschall, who was drafted by Golden State with the No. 41 overall pick in June, has received more playing time in the wake of several injuries to key players. Paschall has made the most of his opportunity, scoring 13.8 points per game on 61% shooting in six contests.
  • The Lakers are considering a sixth-man role for Kyle Kuzma, who remains on a minutes restriction as he returns from injury, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register writes. However, head coach Frank Vogel refused to commit to anything just yet. “Sometimes it makes sense to have a guy coming off the bench filling that role, and sometimes it doesn’t,” Vogel said. “Sometimes it makes more sense to put him in the starting lineup. I don’t know the answer to that. It depends on each group. I have to see everybody play with each other, but there’s definitely value to that.”
  • The Federal Aviation Adminstration has approved the Clippers’ plans for a new billion-dollar arena in Inglewood, Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times writes. In their approval, it was confirmed that the 37 applications covering the majority of the proposed idea pose no hazards to aviation, Fenno notes. The Clippers are hoping to move into their new arena in 2024, the same year their lease at Staples Center expires.