Exceeding expectations: Trayce Jackson-Davis
NBA teams rarely expected rookie second-round draft picks to be in the rotation. Golden State took Jackson-Davis 57th overall, which was the next-to-last selection in 2023. The 23-year-old is an older prospect and slipped in part because of his unwillingness to start his NBA career on a two-way contract (subscription required).
The Dubs were high on him in the draft, but nobody expected this. TJD has played in each of the last 15 games and is averaging 11.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in 21.2 minutes per game over that stretch. The Warriors were without Draymond Green for part of that time, but Jackson-Davis has earned a rotation spot moving forward.
Golden State needs some youth and athleticism in their lineup. They have an incredible 133 offensive rating and 18 net rating in 433 minutes with Jackson-Davis on the floor. The rookie leads the team in win shares per 48 minutes and is unquestionably the steal of the 2023 draft.
Finding a role player at the end of the second round is difficult, and the best is still yet to come for Trayce Jackson-Davis. The 23-year-old is just finding his footing with the Dubs. His elite rebounding, shot-blocking, and scoring will continue to shine whenever his number is called.