Golden State Warriors forward Eric Paschall (7) shoots between Portland Trail Blazers forward Skal Labissiere, left, and forward Rodney Hood during the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) [Nov-04-2019]
SALT LAKE CITY — In the summer of 2019, it was easy for Eric Paschall to see himself on the Utah Jazz.
And he wasn’t just saying that for a good draft workout soundbite. The longtime friend of Donovan Mitchell had already spent time around the team.
“I have been out here with Donovan, and I have been around the guys, and I just like the culture,” Paschall said after a workout with the Jazz before the 2019 draft. “Everybody is cool. Everybody accepted me.”
Two years later, he’s now on the team.
The Jazz have traded a future protected second-round pick to Golden State for Paschall, according to ESPN.
“Can’t wait to start my new journey with the (Utah Jazz)!” Paschall said on Twitter.
Crazy full circle moment!! Let’s get to it💯💯 https://t.co/IZSC6Zrp5p
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) August 4, 2021
While the trade reunited two old friends, the move has much more to do with Paschall’s ability on the court than who he hung out with as a kid.
The 24-year-old forward made the All-Rookie team in 2019-20 after averaging 14.0 points and 4.6 rebounds. With the Warriors getting a bit more healthy last season, his playing time dropped off but he still averaged 9.5 points and 3.2 rebounds in just 17 minutes.
Paschall is a bit of an old-school forward who uses a good mid-range game and his ability to finish around the hoop to score points. He’s strong, skilled and plays with loads of energy.
Paschall and Mitchell grew up together in Dobbs Ferry, New York, and played on the same New York Metropolitan AAU Sports Association teams — Riverside and The City in their youth. The two even faced off in a prep national championship game.
Now, they’ll be trying to win an NBA title together.