Paschall, 25, was set to begin his fourth NBA season and first as a member of the Timberwolves. The 2019-20 NBA All-Rookie Team selection signed with his third team in as many seasons back in July on a two-way contract. Paschall was an impressive get for Minnesota considering his resume as a member of two very good Western Conference Playoff teams over the last few years — the Golden State Warriors and Utah Jazz.
The Wolves on Tuesday afternoon ruled out the versatile swingman for tonight’s contest due to left ankle/achilles tendinosis. Minnesota head coach Chris Finch during his pregame press conference pointed to that injury as the reasoning behind the team waiving Paschall.
“He had a little bit of soreness in and around his achilles. He wasn’t really able to kinda show us what he could do in camp, which is unfortunate because we were very excited about the opportunity to bring him in in the summertime,” Finch explained.
It’s a tough break for Paschall, who spoke at length during team’s Media Day about how free agency affected him this past summer.
“I feel like mentally I wasn’t in the greatest place. Just tired. I was like, ‘I might just stop playing basketball,’” Paschall said.
The young forward got emotional when describing the impact his close friend Donovan Mitchell, former college head coach at Villanova Jay Wright, and friends from home had on him during his decision-making process over the offseason.
“Donovan was actually in my ear damn near everyday. ... He was like, ‘you’re not giving this shit up. You’re not doing that.’ And I was just like, ‘I dunno, bro. I dunno,’” Paschall added. “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.”
His openness was a unique, courageous moment at a media day centered around the excitement in the city about a team that could be the best in franchise history.
“I mean, one thing is if I stopped playing, what the hell was I gonna do?” Paschall said with a laugh.
“That was the real question, like I didn’t know what I was gonna do. I was like, ‘damn, I don’t even got no plan.’ ... But 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.”
Finch did not specify whether or not the team would be interested in bringing Paschall back upon his recovery. But one would think that if the team didn’t have a rather immediate plan to fill the spot, they would keep Paschall on the roster so he could recover under the watch of the team medical staff.
For now, the team hasn’t yet announced a corresponding signing, and the team’s roster sits at 16 players with an open two-way slot available as the Wolves enter the 2022-23 regular season.