19. Jazz Forward Eric Paschall
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz open their season on October 20, just 19 days from today. With the clock ticking, we look at 50 things for Jazz fans to be excited about leading up to the 2021-22 NBA season. Coming in at number 19, Jazz forward Eric Paschall.
Jazz Forward Eric Paschall
Eric Paschall was the final major addition to the Jazz roster in the offseason after signing both Rudy Gay and Hassan Whiteside in free agency, and trading for rookie Jared Butler on draft night.
The Jazz acquired Paschall from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for a future second-round pick, taking on the final year of the young forward’s three-year contract.
After a brilliant rookie season that saw him earn All-Rookie honors, Paschall fell out of the rotation in Golden State last season due to injuries and the emergence of Juan Toscano-Anderson.
Now in Utah, Paschall has a chance to redirect his carer on a Jazz roster that may rely heavily on him on the wing.
Coming into training camp, it was difficult to see where Paschall might find minutes on the floor, showing up as the 10th man in the Jazz nine-man rotation.
“I don’t know what my role is just yet,” Paschall admitted. “When we start practice I’ll start to see, but I’m just trying to bring energy, bring a different mentality here.”
After the announcement that Gay would miss the entire preseason as he recovers from surgery to remove bone spurs in his left heel, the opportunity for Paschall to prove his value emerged with sudden urgency.
While the Jazz worked to secure better depth throughout the roster in the offseason, the majority of that depth lies in the backcourt with six guards who could be worthy of playing time throughout the season.
The frontcourt on the other hand remains slightly thinner with five proven NBA rotation players, and Paschall serving as a versatile sixth big man.
How coach Quin Snyder uses Paschall during the preseason should serve as a road map for the avenues in which the forward can find the floor.
With Gay out over the four preseason contests, Paschall could assume his role, a strong indicator that his role is dependent on Gay’s availability throughout the season. Considering Gay is entering his 15th year in the NBA, is coming off offseason surgery, and has played fewer than 70 games in eight of his last 11 seasons, there should still be ample opportunity for the forward to see the floor if he’s used primarily as emergency depth at the forward position
However, Snyder could also use Paschall alongside the Jazz’s bigger forwards or at the center position, testing out the team’s ability to go very big, or very small for short stretches on the floor.
Paschall played more than half of his minutes at the five last season where he was more effective than his time spent at power forward. The key to the former Villanova’s versatility is his unique athleticism for his size, standing
During his rookie season, Paschall played the majority of his minutes at the power forward position but was more effective while playing at the three. Due to the Warriors roster make up last season, the newest Jazzman saw almost no minutes at the three which may have been partially to blame for his drop in production.
Jazz fans will get their first look at Paschall during the team’s Zoom practice on Saturday, and again on Monday when the team makes their preseason debut against the San Antonio Spurs.
Though he will likely open the season on the outside of the rotation looking in, the injury to Rudy Gay may provide Paschall with an opportunity to see the floor earlier than expected. His role with the team is one of the top 50 storylines heading into opening night for the Jazz.
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