ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Eric Paschall landed with Timberwolves after nearly stepping away from basketball

The 6-foot-6 forward played significant roles in all three of his NBA seasons, starting games for Utah and Golden State.

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves-Media Day
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Eric Paschall poses for a photograph Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, for Minnesota's 2022-23 NBA Media Day.
Bruce Kluckhohn / USA Today Sports
We are part of The Trust Project.

MINNEAPOLIS -- Eric Paschall did not enjoy his free agency process this offseason. In fact, it nearly ended the 25-year-old’s playing career.

“It was a hell of a journey, I’ll say that,” Paschall said.

The 6-foot-6 forward had played significant roles in all three of his NBA seasons, starting games for Utah and Golden State. He made 37% of his 3-point shot attempts last season. He felt like he showed he could even defend on the perimeter. Yet when he hit the open market over the summer, abundant interest wasn’t there.

“Honestly, it was a whirlwind of emotions,” Paschall said. “Like, I’m home, just working out, everybody is gettin’ calls. I’m not. I’ve shown it. . … So it was like what was happening?”

There were times when Paschall considered going to play overseas, but at other points, he thought about giving up the sport entirely. Maybe, he thought, a break was necessary.

ADVERTISEMENT

Instead, he decided he may as well extend his career for at least one more season. Frankly, the Villanova product doesn’t know what he’d do if he wasn’t playing basketball. At 25, he is just now entering his prime. Calling it a wrap didn’t make sense now.

But that was some insight into the state of Paschall’s mind this offseason.

MORE MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES COVERAGE:
Pro
There were a combined 8 technical fouls called
Pro
With injured Karl-Anthony Towns now out for several weeks, the timing is perfect
Pro
The rookie learned he would be making his 1st NBA start just before tipoff against Memphis
Pro
Edwards finished with 29 points, including 17 in the final frame, to go with five rebounds, five steals and three blocked shots.
Pro
All-Star center suffered a calf strain in Monday’s loss to Washington.
Pro
He left the game after suffering an apparent non-contact injury while running back on defense.
Pro
The Timberwolves have been booed at more home games than not thus far this season
Pro
Minnesota was outscored 39-21 in the 3rd quarter
Pro
One game after tallying zero shot attempts, Rudy Gobert finished with 21 points and 16 rebounds.
Pro
That’s the hope, the idea, the promise. Edwards is still so young, skilled and talented. He expresses his will to get better in all areas of the game, consistency included.

“I feel like mentally I wasn’t in the greatest place. Just tired. I was like, ‘Ah, I might just stop playing basketball,’ ” he said. “That just proves mental health is real. Some days were good, some days were bad. Even during the season last year, some days I felt good, some days I just wasn’t. But you gotta fight to see another day. That was pretty much it.”

He got through it with the help of conversations with his peers, including Cavaliers star guard Donovan Mitchell, who played with Paschall in Utah last season. Mitchell was in Paschall’s ear “(darn) near everyday,” telling the forward he could not give his career up.

“So we had a lot of tough conversations. But he was a big help. Taj Bell, who plays overseas, he was a big help,” Paschall said. “(Retired Villanova) coach Jay Wright was huge during that process. Obviously my family, agent, my friends from home … was a big help with that, too. I had a lot of good people in my corner. And had to have a lot of tough conversations, but I’m glad I had ’em.”

Because it led Paschall to Minnesota. Well, those conversations and his previous relationship with Timberwolves assistant general manager Dell Demps, who coached Paschall in Utah. Demps informed Paschall that the Wolves had a two-way spot available, and Paschall took him up on the offer.

“It wasn’t really the easiest decision. Had to have a lot of tough conversations about it,” Paschall said. “But I feel like I’m in a pretty good place now. Pretty happy that I’m here.”

And he’s ready to help the Timberwolves in any way possible.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Just continue to play how I am. Just try to be a dog,” he said. “Bring that toughness, bring that grittiness. And always play the game of basketball the right way. I feel like I can do that anywhere. They’re just giving me an opportunity.”

______________________________________________________

This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
What to read next
Pro
With the Wild trailing, Kaprizov scored with 2 minutes, 35 seconds left to force overtime
Pro
Late goal by Wright not enough as the United States' tournament ends
Pro
Vikings will receive reinforcements Sunday with Tomlinson, Evans set to play
Pro
A plus-6 turnover margin, including some game-saving plays by the defense have helped the cause