Warriors Draft-and-Stash Sharpshooter Makes Major Career Move

Justinian Jessup

Getty Justinian Jessup enters the court before Game 1 of an NBL Semi Final series between the Illawarra Hawks and the Sydney Kings.

Following a ho-hum showing with the Golden State Warriors‘ summer league outfit earlier this month, one of the team’s recent draftees looks to be taking his talents overseas (once again).

Per an announcement from the Aragonese club, wing sharpshooter Justinian Jessup has signed a contract with Basket Zaragoza and will spend the 2022-23 campaign in Spain’s Liga ACB.

“He is a player that we have been following for a long time and whose game we believe can fit well in our league,” said Zaragoza’s Sports Director, Toni Muedra, via translation. “A 3-2 offensive cut, with a good shot from long and medium distance and who is beginning to do more and more things with the ball.”

After being selected 51st overall by the Dubs in 2020, Jessup went on to spend the next two years in Australia with the Illawarra Hawks on an NBL Next Stars deal.

Jessup Was a Summer League Flop

VideoVideo related to warriors draft-and-stash sharpshooter makes major career move2022-07-27T19:50:42-04:00

In the wake of the California Classic, Warriors summer league coach Seth Cooper gave a positive assessment of Jessup’s prowess as a perimeter threat.

“He showed his ability to make shots. I think that’s something that he’ll continue to do over the next two weeks but even in Australia — and dating back to Boise State — he’s been a guy that can really shoot the ball,” Cooper said.

Alas, he seemed to struggle with the speed of the game during his latest summer league stint, and no one left Las Vegas — site of the NBA 2K23 Summer League — feeling as though he had made strides defensively, either. On top of that, his offensive numbers left something to be desired, too.

In five total games (including three starts) with the Warriors between Cali and Vegas, Jessup averaged 6.4 points and 1.8 rebounds in 18.1 minutes per contest. Meanwhile, he connected on just 23.5% of his attempts from three-point range.

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Does He Still Have an NBA Future?

In discussing Jessup’s NBA prospects, a league scout told Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney the following last April:

When his confidence is going, he is a really good, NBA-level shooter. He is not an All-Star but he has handled adversity and he is a good team player, you can imagine him having a good, solid career as a shooter off the bench. There are a lot of teams that need that.

Before his underwhelming summer, there was clearly a level of belief in the 24-year-old. Jessup also played well in the Aussie league this past season, averaging better than 13 PPG, shooting 36% from deep and helping Illawarra advance to a semifinal bout with the eventual-champion Sydney Kings.

So, while some are ready to close the book on him as a potential NBA player, Jessup may just have what it takes to warrant another look sometime down the road.


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