After drafting Eric Paschall 41st overall, the Golden State Warriors double-dipped on Villanova Wildcats by trading Damian Jones for Omari Spellman.
And for a team looking to rebuild on the fly following a slew of injuries, trades and free agency departures, adding a pair of team-first National Champions seems like a more than solid idea.
First it was Paschall, Nova’s 6-foot-8 Fordham transfer who played his final three seasons of college ball on the Mainline – starting 74-74 games from 2017-19.
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Though projections of where exactly he would go on draft night varied everywhere from squeaking into the late first round to being a fringe draftable player, the Warriors identified their man and selected him 41st overall, using a pick they purchased from Atlanta (more on that here).
With experience playing both on the wings and in the paint for Jay Wright‘s squad, the decision to draft Paschall paid almost immediate dividends after the team decided to trade their top-two small forwards, Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala, to the Brooklyn Nets and the Memphis Grizzlies respectively.
But apparently, the team wasn’t done.
No, after news broke that the Oklahoma City Thunder would allow their two veteran free agent acquisitions, Mike Muscala, and Alec Burks, to reevaluate their commitments following the team’s blow-it-up trade to flip Paul George to the Clippers for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Warriors saw an opportunity to add a plus-shooting winger to their roster on the cheap and traded backup center Damian Jones and his $2.3 million cap hit to the Atlanta Hawks (and a second round pick) for the $1.9 million a year contract of 2018 first round pick Omari Spellman.
Now said trade doesn’t seem too exciting to the casual basketball fan, as none of the players involved will be more than a mid-level reserve for their new club moving forward, but for fans in the 215 who fondly recall Villanova’s 2017-18 National Championship, it spells a unique opportunity to see the team’s starting forward tandem share the court again at the NBA-level.
That should be fun to watch.
What should also be fun to watch is Spellman playing both with, and in reserve of Draymond Green, the player many compared the 6-foot-6 forward to coming out of college.
While Spellman has yet to unlock his game and become the 3 point shooting, five-position defending force Green has developed into as a pro, having his prototypical player as a teammate for at least the next season (Draymond is a free agent in 2020) could unlock his potential moving forward and give the Warriors a direct replacement at the four for the foreseeable future.
Ultimately, whether the reunited tandem of Eric Paschall and Omari Spellman will team up in a starting five remains to be seen, but it’s nice to know that even after leaving Villanova, these two former Wildcat forwards will continue to compete for championships for the foreseeable future with the Warriors.