Warriors Rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis Draws Comparisons to Former No. 1 Pick

Trayce Jackson-Davis, Warriors

Getty Trayce Jackson-Davis #32 of the Golden State Warriors blocks a shot taken by Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics.

Steve Kerr had been stingy in doling out playing time to Golden State Warriors rookies. So when he gave Trayce Jackson-Davis above 20 minutes of playing time, that says a lot about how good the rookie is.

But Kerr extended further his generosity. His rookie big man, he said, reminds him of a former No.1 pick who played a pivotal role at the start of their dynasty.

“I think people forget we used to have five centers on our team for a few years. Everyone wondered why we had so many centers and now they all ask why we don’t have any. But my first couple of years, we had Andrew Bogut,” Kerr told reporters after the Warriors 129-118 win over the Washington Wizards on Friday, December 22.

Bogut was the top pick of the 2005 draft class, whom the Warriors snagged in the Monta Ellis trade with Milwaukee. The 7-foot Australian was a key member of the Warriors’ first title run and their 73-win season the following year.

“And we ran a lot of our offense through him at the top of the key,” Kerr said. “He was a master of dribble-handoffs and diving to the rim. That’s pretty high praise.”

“He’s got a long way to go, Trayce does, to become Andrew Bogut. But it’s a similar threat. Trayce is also a very good passer like Bogues was, but just being able to run those dribble-handoffs and dives. That’s the guy that I think of.”

Trayce Jackson-Davis’ Wrath

Kerr’s lofty praise came on the heels of Jackson-Davis’ second straight monster game. The 57th overall pick delivered 10 points and 15 rebounds with three assists and one block against the Wizards, the team that owned the selection which the Warriors used to grab him.

He was a mere accessory in the Jordan Poole-Chris Paul trade. But he’s turning out to be the steal of the draft.

His slide to the end of the draft prompted Jackson-Davis to tweet: “Y’all regret it… I promise you.”

The Wizards faced his wrath on Friday, December 22, overshadowing Poole’s return to the Bay area since the trade.

Jackson-Davis was a plus-10 in a career-high 25 minutes, giving more reasons for Kerr to keep him in the rotation.

Trayce Jackson-Davis’ Rise

Jackson-Davis’ rise is the blessing in disguise out of the Draymond Green‘s indefinite suspension.

The Warriors are 4-1 since Green was suspended. They have won four straight with Jackson-Davis’ role getting bigger.

Over his past three games, the 6-foot-9 rookie averaged 11.3 points, 12 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 blocks while shooting 70% from the field.

Another proof that the Warriors got a steal — Jackson-Davis is one of only three rookies with back-to-back double-doubles this season. The other two? It’s this year’s top pick Victor Wembanyama and 2022 second overall pick Chet Holmgren.

Jackson-Davis is feasting on pick-and-rolls, providing a lob threat for Curry and Paul. On the other end, he’s terrorizing opponents, unafraid to meet them at the rim, ask Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown. He gives the Warriors the much-needed size and muscle.

But his rise though came against teams with weaker frontlines. The Celtics were without Kristaps Porzingis. The Portland Trail Blazers and the Wizards are lottery-bound teams.

The true test for him will be on Christmas Day when the Warriors meet the defending champion Denver Nuggets with two-time MVP Nikola Jokic — the measuring stick of modern-day big man and the advanced product of the Bogut evolution.

Jackson-Davis will have the Trail Blazers again tonight as a warm-up before the big day.




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