Warriors Draft-and-Stasher Drawing Interest Around the NBA

Justinian Jessup Warriors

Getty Justinian Jessup of the Illawarra Hawks drives to the hoop during a bout with the Sydney Kings.

While the Golden State Warriors are currently knee-deep in their effort to capture another NBA championship, the team also has a vested interest in another title chase that’s happening on the other side of the world.

On Friday, the Illawarra Hawks (19-9) tipped off their best-of-three semifinal series against the Sydney Kings (also 19-9) in the Australian NBL. And Justinian Jessup, a second-round pick of the Dubs in 2020, started on the wing for the club.

The 23-year-old didn’t have his best outing, scoring nine points on 4-of-9 shooting and adding six boards as Illawarra lost Game 1 by 10 points, but Jessup has nonetheless made waves with other recent efforts.

During the Hawks’ regular-season finale against the same team on April 23, the baller scored 24 points and nailed five three-point shots. He had a 21-point night against Sydney 10 days earlier, too.

Those efforts, and others like them throughout the campaign, have apparently raised eyebrows around the Association.

NBA Teams Have Taken Note of Jessup

Justinian Jessup: Hawks' 'Spark of the Game' vs SydneyAfter hitting five triples on his way to a game-high 24 points, our Wollongong City Motors ‘Spark of the Game’ against the Sydney Kings is Justinian Jessup.2022-04-26T23:27:01Z

Although Jessup has definitely hit some bumps on the road between show-out efforts, one scout told Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney that other players around the NBL have encountered similar struggles.

“[Jessup] has been up-and-down this year but it has been a tough year there for COVID and so no one has been consistent,” the scout said.

On the whole, the Boise State product has had a solid campaign, averaging 13.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.2 steals per contest while posting shooting splits of 45-36-87. Consequently, NBA decision-makers are still taken with Jessup as a prospect. So much so, in fact, that “there has been interest in him from other teams,” per Deveney.

“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,” the scout added. “There are a lot of teams that need that.”

Whether the Dubs make a play to bring Jessup to the USA remains to be seen. As the scout sees it, his future may lie elsewhere.

“He could be in the NBA next season, but just maybe not with the Warriors.”

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T-Mac Is the Latest to Weigh in on Poole Snub

Warriors big man Draymond Green has been outspoken with his displeasure in NBA award voters for overlooking Jordan Poole as a Most Improved Player candidate. However, he’s far from the only one who has been put off by the snub.

For his part, legendary hooper turned ESPN personality Tracy McGrady believes that Poole had an award-worthy campaign for Golden State and, at the least, should have been given more consideration for the honor.

“He’s improved so much,” T-Mac said of Poole, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “I mean, the guy was in the G League, wasn’t he? The guy was in the G League last year, and he’s one of the guys that’s carrying the Warriors right now in the playoffs.

“I love his mindset. He’s aggressive. He’s a smart basketball player, and one of the most important things that you have to have is he’s not scared. He’s not scared of the moment. And he should have been a finalist for that.”


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