Rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis is presenting as one of the more intriguing storylines heading into Golden State Warriors’ training camp, which in itself is unusual for someone taken with the penultimate pick of the NBA Draft.
The Warriors acquired the rights to Jackson-Davis on draft night in June, sending Patrick Baldwin Jr. to the Washington Wizards for the 57th overall pick. The move was the final piece to one of the biggest trades in recent franchise history, with Jordan Poole moved as part of a package for 12-time All-Star Chris Paul.
Golden State Warriors’ rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis is excited for the potential of a dangerous pick-and-roll combination with Chris Paul.
The connection between Paul and Jackson-Davis may not just be limited to the blockbuster trade though, with the very real possibility of the pair combining for on-court impact as soon as next season.
At 23-years-old and with four years of college experience with the Indiana Hoosiers, Jackson-Davis isn’t your standard rookie. That, combined with Golden State’s lack of center options, means the 6’10” big man could see opportunity in his rookie year.
Much of the fascination with Jackson-Davis stems from his ability in the pick-and-roll, coinciding with Paul’s main strength as one of the best offensive facilitators in NBA history. The presence of ‘TJD’ as a vertical spacer is an element the Warriors don’t particularly have, unless you want to throw third-year forward Jonathan Kuminga into that sphere.
In a recent interview with Damon Bruce on YouTube, Jackson-Davis spoke about the situation he’s in with Golden State, specifically mentioning Paul before any of the other Warrior veterans.
"“I’m blessed to be in the position I’m in. Having CP3 especially, just kind of going under his wing and showing him the art of the pick-and-roll because he’s mastered that…It’s all going to be perfect for me honestly, just to learn from these guys because they’ve done it for a long time.”"
After a slight hamstring injury impeded the start of his Summer League campaign, Jackson-Davis returned in strong fashion over the Warriors’ final two games. He averaged 16 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks, shooting 66.7% from the field as he showcased his threat in the pick-and-roll and excellent finishing around the rim.
Jackson-Davis will be a major watch for the franchise during training camp, particularly if the front office fail to find another genuine center option beyond he and starting big man Kevon Looney.