OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Golden State Warriors hope Jordan Poole might provide a much-needed scoring punch as a rookie. Ideally, Eric Paschall, too.
“I hope so,” general manager Bob Myers said. “You just don’t know. We’ve learned that me sitting up here pontificating is just guessing.”
Golden state selected the 20-year-old Michigan shooting guard with the 28th pick of the NBA draft Thursday night, seeking a player who potentially could make an immediate impact given the team’s injury-plagued roster coming off an NBA Finals loss to the Toronto Raptors.
The Warriors gave up a pair of future second-round picks and cash to New Orleans to acquire the Pelicans’ choice at No. 39, Serbian forward Alen Smailagic, who played for the G-League Warriors last season. Golden State then selected power forward Paschall out of Villanova with the 41st pick. At No. 58, Golden State selected Yale shooting guard Miye Oni and traded him to Utah for cash.
Myers expects all three to play for the Warriors in the Las Vegas summer league, with the team being coached by Aaron Miles after he guided the G-League Warriors the past two seasons then joined Golden State’s staff for the second consecutive postseason.
“I hope they help us win some basketball games,” Myers said. “When it happens, does it happen next season? I know that they’re lucky to be around Steve Kerr and the coaching staff. They’re lucky to be playing in a brand new facility. They’re lucky to be playing for an ownership group like this, so I hopefully take advantage of it.”
Poole averaged 12.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game during his sophomore season for the Wolverines. Myers sought a scorer and reliable shooter. The 6-foot-5 Poole made five or more 3-pointers in five games and shot 37% from deep.
“We liked his playmaking, we liked his shot-making, versatility, plays multiple positions,” Myers said. “Worked him out here. He’s a confident player. Some upside there, too, just two years in college, pretty young, just turned 20. Draymond (Green) said he likes him.”
Paschall, who hit 70 3-pointers as a senior, averaged 16.5 points and 5.1 rebounds in his final college season. The 6-foot-9 Paschall spent his first year at Fordham before transferring to Villanova.
Golden State’s roster is far from set after the Warriors lost Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson to serious injuries in the last two finals games, and Durant is set to become a free agent with it unclear if he will re-sign with Golden State. In Game 5, Durant ruptured his right Achilles tendon and underwent surgery last Wednesday, then Thompson suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during Game 6. He will have surgery and endure a long rehab.
The Warriors, who picked 28th for the second straight year, chose a Michigan player for the first time since drafting Rickey Green with the 16th overall pick in 1977.
Golden State has recently seen a second-round pick go very right: three-time All-Star forward Green was selected 35th overall out of Michigan State in 2012. Green asked Myers for Poole’s number as has been customary for Green to text the new picks — even those like Poole who went to the rival university.
“These are guys we liked. We’re happy with it,” Myers said. “They seem like good kids, all kind of different kind of kids coming from different places. One four-year guy, one European guy, one younger player. And they’re all different positions.”
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