Eric Paschall

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.

Warriors Notes: Russell, Paschall, Iguodala, Heat

The Warriors‘ incredible misfortune with injuries provides the organization with an opportunity to work out some important issues before next season, writes Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle. At the top of the list is determining whether D’Angelo Russell is a long-term fit in the Golden State backcourt.

Russell was the Warriors’ top acquisition of the summer and the player they reached out to when they learned that Kevin Durant was headed to the Nets. He came at a high price, as a complicated sign-and-trade with Brooklyn imposed a hard cap and left the team with little maneuverability once injuries started to hit.

Russell was an All-Star last season, but didn’t get off to a strong start with his new team, Letourneau adds. He wasn’t comfortable in the Warriors’ motion offense and had the worst offensive rating through the first four games among 11 players who saw regular minutes. However, now that Curry is out for at least three months with a broken hand, Russell can run the high pick-and-rolls that he is more familiar with.

Russell’s greatest long-term value to the organization may be as a trade chip. If the front office decides he won’t fit in with Curry and Klay Thompson, Russell could be moved either at the deadline or next summer. He would likely bring back a collection of talent that could help a healthier Warriors team return to title contention in 2020/21.

 There’s more Warriors news to pass along:
  • Eric Paschall has been one of the few bright spots in a dismal start, Letourneau states in the same piece. The rookie big man out of Villanova has shown an ability to contribute on both ends of the court and may have an expanded role while Draymond Green is sidelined with a torn ligament in his finger. Letourneau notes that the Warriors have so much money invested in four players that they need to find second-round steals like Paschall to fill out the roster.
  • The Russell trade was doubly costly because the Warriors were forced to part with Andre Iguodala to open enough cap room to make the deal work, points out Douglas Farmer of Basketball Insiders. Iguodala could have helped stabilize a defense that has been among the league’s worst.
  • The Warriors could take a lesson in how to survive their decline from the Heat, suggests Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Miami had a four-year run of dominance, but fell on similar hard times after LeBron James left in 2014. “You’ve got to have the right veterans to kind of fill in the gaps and patch up the holes and keep guys together,” Udonis Haslem said. “It’s not necessarily always going to be on the court. Sometimes, you’ve got to control the locker room.”

Warriors Notes: Green, Durant, Thompson, Iguodala

Draymond Green addressed last year’s altercation with Kevin Durant on a podcast by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that also includes Warriors GM Bob Myers. Green, who was suspended for one game after the November incident, said he began to question his future with the franchise and his standing with Myers.

“I started to tell myself in my mind, ‘Wow, [Myers is] flipping on me,'” Green said. “And it just felt like, ‘Wow, OK, is this not the guy I’ve known for all these years? Is he turning on me?’ And I started to tell myself all of these things, and then everybody’s like, ‘Oh my God, the Warriors sided with Kevin Durant.’ That was the hardest thing for me, because a lot of people don’t understand me. Bob does.”

Green added that he had to get over his “stubbornness” and accept that he mishandled the situation. He refused to apologize to Durant after being told to do so by Myers and coach Steve Kerr, and didn’t offer an apology “until I came to grips with myself.”

“What people don’t know — which is so hard to know, which requires time and energy — is Kevin and Draymond probably will be the closest guys,” Myers said. “They’re going to be friends for their whole life like this. … In the aftermath when they spoke, they laid it out for each other and they’re like, OK, I got ya. Like, now I know where you’re coming from, from both sides. But that could have happened earlier and that would’ve prevented it.”

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • Green is preparing to play the entire season without Klay Thompson, tweets Nick Friedell of ESPN. Kerr said yesterday that Thompson seems “unlikely” to return from an ACL injury, although the team hasn’t made any official announcement. Green said that it will be an “added bonus” if the All-Star guard can get back on the court by the end of the season.
  • Marc Stein of The New York Times believes Andre Iguodala will sign with the Warriors next summer and finish his career with Golden State. Iguodala remains in limbo with the Grizzlies, where the Warriors traded him to open cap space. Memphis is hoping to get something in return for the former Finals MVP and has been reluctant to discuss a buyout.
  • Rookie Eric Paschall has a chance to get consistent minutes, writes Monte Poole of NBC Bay Area. Paschall was used at center and power forward during the preseason, but his best opportunity may come at small forward. “Most guys when they come in, they’re just not ready for this level of strength and force that exists in the game,” Kerr said. “Eric’s ready for all that. He’s gonna play a lot this year. We’re really excited about him.”

Warriors Notes: Bowman, Thompson, Dunleavy Jr., Rookies

Rookie Ky Bowman is thrilled to have an opportunity with the Warriors after being passed over on draft night, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Bowman signed a two-way deal in July and is hoping to work his way into a standard contract.

“It all starts with being undrafted, knowing I got a lot more to prove to the teams that didn’t draft me and to show the kids back home that you can make it if you put your faith and your work into it,” he said. “I’ve just been praying and working every day and every night, being in the gym on nights that people (hang out). It was a commitment to myself to be successful.”

Bowman had a rough introduction to the league as part of the Warriors’ Summer League team, averaging 2.3 PPG and shooting just 22% from the floor in four games. He said he has learned a lot more during offseason workouts with his new teammates.

“A lot of people don’t get here, it still doesn’t feel real, but it’s an honor to get here,” Bowman said. “I’m trying to embrace every moment, trying to pick up things from the guys who are here. Even when I am guarding Stephen Curry), learning different moves that he’s doing, things I’m trying to work on to become as good as a player.”

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • Two knee specialists believe Klay Thompson is taking a significant risk by planning to play this season, relays Sean Deveney of Heavy.com. Dr. Tim Hewett, who has studied the biomechanics of the knee for the Mayo Clinic and served as director of Ohio State’s Sports Health and Performance Institute, and Dr. Christopher Nagelli of the Mayo Clinic presented a paper recently suggesting that athletes with ACL tears should rest for two full years. “Please do share that with Klay,” Hewett said. “… People don’t like to hear it but it does not change the facts, and that facts are that you’re at risk for re-injury before two years and you won’t be the same player in the first year.”
  • Former Warriors player Mike Dunleavy Jr. is rising in influence as the team’s assistant GM, notes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Dunleavy had served as Golden State’s Eastern scout since 2017 and watched D’Angelo Russell in person more than anyone else in the organization. He played a key role in finalizing a sign-and-trade once GM Bob Myers learned that Kevin Durant was joining the Nets.
  • NBA.com takes a look at the Warriors’ three draft picks, Jordan Poole, Eric Paschall and Alen Smailagić, and what they might be able to contribute this season.

Western Notes: McKinnie, Cauley-Stein, Silva, Grant

Willie Cauley-Stein will likely start at center for the Warriors but Kevon Looney will probably play more crunch-time minutes, Anthony Slater of The Athletic opines. Alfonzo McKinnie may get the nod at small forward with Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III in reserve, since McKinnie is a high energy player who should mesh well with the backcourt of Stephen Curry and D’Angelo Russell, Slater continues. However, rookie Eric Paschall is a darkhorse candidate to play down the stretch due to his versatility, Slater adds.

We have from the Western Conference:

  • The Warriors preferred Cauley-Stein to DeMarcus Cousins even before Cousins committed to the Lakers, Slater writes in the same mailbag story. Cauley-Stein provided a younger option who better fit their new priorities, according to Slater. However, they never really had a decision to make because they were hard-capped after the sign-and-trade for Russell with the Nets was agreed upon. The hard cap meant the Warriors couldn’t give Cousins a max raise up to $6.4MM, Slater notes. Cauley-Stein agreed to join the Warriors on a two-year contract on July 2 and officially signed on July 8.
  • Pelicans draft-and-stash prospect Marcos Louzada Silva – aka Didi Louzada — has developed a solid perimeter jumper that should translate well to the NBA game, according to a Heavy.com story. The 6’5” guard can also attack the rim and has shown good strides in his development in recent months. Louzada, the 35th overall pick in June who was acquired in a draft-day deal, will play in Australia with the Sydney Kings during the upcoming season.
  • Jerami Grant should be an ideal frontcourt complement to Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, Nick Kosmider of The Athletic opines. Grant, projected as the top big off the bench, is a nimble perimeter defender who can guard ball-handlers. Grant, acquired from the Thunder for a protected first-round pick, is also a solid help defender who can block shots.
  • Jared Cunningham will work out for the Warriors on Tuesday, Marc Spears of ESPN tweets. Cunningham, a shooting guard who recently worked out for the Rockets, hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since the 2015/16 season.

Warriors Waive Shaun Livingston

JULY 10: The Warriors have issued a press release to announce that Livingston has officially been waived and thanking him for “immense contributions” to the franchise. Assuming he goes unclaimed, as expected, he’ll clear waivers on Friday.

JULY 9: The Warriors have waived veteran guard Shaun Livingston, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). The move was a necessary one for the hard-capped Dubs, who needed to remove Livingston’s $7.7MM salary from their books before it became fully guaranteed.

Livingston had a $2MM partial guarantee, which the Warriors will stretch across three seasons at a rate of $666K per year. Golden State likely explored moving the 33-year-old in a trade to avoid eating that dead money, but would have had to attach an asset to him to find a taker.

According to Wojnarowski, Livingston is determined to continue his playing career after being cut by Golden State. He’ll clear waivers later this week and will likely be prioritizing contending teams as he seeks a new NBA home.

A member of the Warriors teams that have reached the NBA Finals in each of the last five years, Livingston played a regular rotation role in Golden State, averaging between 15.1 and 19.5 minutes per game in each season since 2014/15. He recorded 4.0 PPG, 1.8 APG, and 1.8 RPG in 64 games in 2018/19.

Here are a few more notes on the Warriors’ contracts and cap situation:

  • Second-round pick Eric Paschall received a three-year, guaranteed minimum-salary contract, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). The Warriors used the mid-level exception to give him that third year.
  • The Warriors also used their mid-level exception to sign Willie Cauley-Stein, who got a two-year, $4.4MM deal with a second-year player option, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. That contract is worth a little more than the minimum.
  • While the Warriors still have some MLE money leftover, they’re unlikely to be able to use it this year. According to Marks (Twitter link), after waiving and stretching Livingston, the team projects to be just $219K below the $138.9MM hard cap once all its moves are complete.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Warriors Sign Eric Paschall

The Warriors have officially signed second-round pick Eric Paschall to his first NBA contract, as the rookie forward himself announced today (via Twitter). NBA.com’s transactions log confirms the signing is complete.

Golden State used the 41st overall pick in the draft to select Paschall after acquiring the selection from the Hawks in exchange for cash a future second-round pick. The 22-year-old, who won a title with Villanova in 2018, followed it up with a solid senior year in which he averaged 16.5 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and 2.1 APG in 36 games.

Terms of Paschall’s contract weren’t released, but he’ll almost certainly receive the rookie minimum of $898K, given the Warriors’ cap constraints. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks observes (via Twitter), the Warriors will only be about $219K below their hard cap once they complete a series of moves that includes waiving and stretching Shaun Livingston‘s contract, as well as Paschall’s signing.

If they used their mid-level exception to complete the deal, the Warriors could go up to four years for Paschall.