The Minnesota Timberwolves announced on July 30 that they signed forward Eric Paschall to a one-year, two-way contract. Paschall was drafted 41st overall in the 2019 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors.
On a Warriors team plagued by injuries, Paschall averaged 14 points on 49.7 percent shooting, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in his rookie season. Considering that Paschall was a second-round pick, he dramatically exceeded expectations and even made an NBA All-Rookie Team.
When several of the injured players returned to the Warriors’ roster in the following season, Paschall’s playing time decreased quickly. At the end of the season, the Warrior’s traded him to the Utah Jazz.
In Utah, Paschall reunited with his childhood best friend Donovan Mitchell, but his minutes on the court declined even further. Last season, he only averaged 5.8 points on 48.5 percent shooting and 1.8 rebounds in 58 games.
At the end of the season, Paschall was eligible for restricted free agency but did not receive a qualifying offer from Utah. Rumors emerged that Paschall would be leaving the NBA and taking his talents to Europe. Paschall denied these rumors before signing with the Timberwolves.
Eric Paschall could have major opportunity with Minnesota Timberwolves
Since Paschall is on a two-way contract, he will only be able to appear in 50 of the regular-season games and cannot play in postseason games unless his contract is upgraded. This means Paschall will not see much NBA playing time unless someone is injured.
He is the third option at every position he can play. The Timberwolves already have a roster loaded with skill and talent that will step on the court before Paschall gets a chance.
Nevertheless, this deal seems like a good opportunity for Paschall. He is athletic and already has great offensive skills, including good shooting. Last season, he shot 37% from behind the arc. What stunted his growth in the league was a struggle with a long-term adaption to the NBA level and lacking defensive skills.
Now, with a two-way contract, Paschall will be given the opportunity to show off and further improve his offensive skills on the NBA level while working on his defensive deficits in the G League.
For the Timberwolves, signing Paschall is a low-risk move, but from the player’s side, it is rather interesting. If Paschall wants a successful future in the NBA, he needs to get back to the level he showed during his rookie season.
In Minnesota, he will be in a though competition for minutes with an incredibly skilled roster though and might not see many chances to prove what he can do in the NBA. On the other hand, Paschall will have great forwards to learn from and will be pushed to work harder.
With his experience and raw skill, Paschall should do well in the g-league. His role with the Timberwolves, however, is still unclear. Paschall could definitely turn out to be a steal, but it all depends on how many opportunities he will get and how well he will use them to improve.
Signing this deal with the Timberwolves offers Paschall a fresh start in the league. One upside, however, is that he is already familiar with Rudy Gobert and his style of play. If given the chance, he could give Minnesota all they need off the bench.
Despite declining numbers, Paschall continuously improved his shot during his time in the league. Since he is a threat from the three-point line, Paschall spaces the floor well. He is not particularly great at creating for himself or others yet, but this is only a minor concern since the Timberwolves already have skilled creators in D’Angelo Russel and Anthony Edwards.
Due to his shooting ability, Minnesota could run Paschall at the four when Karl-Anthony Towns needs a break and the team’s focus is on scoring rather than defense. During his three years in the league, Paschall already proved that he is a capable scorer. He should also be able to nicely replace players like Taurean Prince when they need a break or have to miss games for any reason.
For now, expectations are that Paschall will continue to work on his game in the G League and come into NBA games whenever the team needs him. Hopefully, he will do well and maybe even show the skills he displayed in his rookie season.
Eric Paschall is capable of taking his game to a higher level, and if he succeeds in doing so, he might be re-signed and relied on in the future. Minnesota gave up several draft picks for Gobert, after all, which means that they will need depth in the coming seasons.
While it remains to be seen whether Eric Paschall will turn out to be a steal for Minnesota, it is good to see him still playing in the NBA and get a chance to prove that he belongs there.