Eric Paschell is one such rogue, and that’s why he was among the five players named All-Rookie First Team announced on Tuesday.
This is also because Warriors coach Steve Kerr is expecting a 6-foot-6, 250-pound forward.
“That was a great cheating season, really did a lot of good things,” Kerr said in a phone interview. “And I think a player’s biggest improvement usually comes between one and two years, because now he feels what he can and can’t do, and what to do to take the next step. Will happen.
“Eric showed us a lot of his offensive skills work,” Kerr said. He said, ‘But now we need him to be a defensive force. It is a physical league. You have been able to protect many people, and they have got the ability to do so. There is no reason why he cannot become a PJ Tucker defensively. He has got the same body, has got the strength to avoid big people and has got the speed to be in front of the guards.
“But it takes a commitment to become one.”
If it is about commitment, Paschal’s history suggests that he is dependent on the task. He put Fordham into the work necessary to earn a scholarship, and then transferred to the powerhouse Villanova for his final three seasons. And when he was not picked up until the 41st pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, he proved that he should have gone first.
Paschall scored 14.0 points per game, finishing fourth among all the rogues. He was sixth in rebounds (4.6 per game), 49th in field-goal percentage (49.7), eighth in the minute (27.6) and 10th in free-throw percentage (77.4).
With the Warriors devastated by injuries to Kell Thompson and then Stephen Curry, he posted one of the worst seasons in franchise history, a league-worst 15–50 record. Kevin Durant departed for Brooklyn. Another, Drummond Green, was suffering from a variety of horrific injuries. Play time was available.
Paschal exploited it. He was one of three baddies to post several 30-point games, and one of three with as many as 20–10 games. From the season of a warrior who reached the pile of rubble, he was somehow able to build a gold mine.
And they did it without 3 balls.
“It’s part of the next phase, especially from corners,” Kerr said. “If he can become a more consistent 3-point shooter, he will be higher on the floor.”
The corner 3-ball, especially from the right, where Tucker, listed at 6-5, 245, gets his money. Pascal shot 28.7 percent from deep as a rogue, but made at least two trios in 11 matches. Tucker played 83 minutes as a cheater, with zero attempts from beyond the arc. His shot developed over the course of six vaginal years, playing in various locations in the D-League and abroad.
Paschell is ahead of Tucker in at least one other measurable asset: athleticism. The Tucker can run in the sting, but the Paschal can grow flat-footed in a double-pump jam.
“Oh, he’s explosive, more explosive than PJ,” Kerr said. “But PJ has all the tricks. He knows every trick of the book and this is what Eric needs to learn. He needs to learn NBA defense, learn tricks and then become a better shooter, like PJ has. ”
Related: Kerr not clear whether Warriors star players will participate in minicamp
The coach has prepared its blueprint. The league emphasizes wings and versatility, and Paschell has that ability. Like Tucker, who took 35th overall in 2006, Pascal entered the league as a player with an unexpected impact. Like Tucker, Paschall is built to rumble. Like Tucker, Scrapp brings along his muscle.
Tucker did not become an NBA difference-maker until he was in his 30s. Paschal is 23 years old. He is being recognized for being a crook, which is good but hardly so much for anyone who likes to disobey him against them.