Justinian Jessup Rumors
The move from the Warriors isn’t completely unprecedented for an NBA team. The New Orleans Pelicans have an Australian-based scout who liaises with Didi Louzada, whom the franchise drafted in 2019 with the 35th overall pick.
The pattern is clear. Shooters with lesser athleticism are initially dismissed for not being well-rounded players, only to dramatically exceed expectations. Elite shooting, especially off-ball shooting, just might be an undervalued tool. Which brings us to Justinian Jessup, the 6-foot-6 lefty sharp-shooting wing who was taken as the 51st pick in the 2020 NBA Draft by the Warriors. If you’re a Warriors fan, but have never heard of the Boise State product, that’s because he’s a “draft and stash” guy who’s currently playing for the Illawarra Hawks in Australia’s NBL.
The idea was that Jessup would slowly develop under the guidance of the Hawks’ well-regarded coach, Brian Goorjian. Instead, Jessup has stepped into the Australian scene and immediately started lighting it up. From the first preseason game through the early regular season, the American rookie has been a force from the perimeter. In four regular-season games so far (all victories), Jessup’s sunk 10 of his first 17 3-point attempts, and played an average of 29.7 out of 40 possible minutes. Basically, he’s arrived on the scene as one of a winning team’s most important players.
Former Warriors center (and NBL MVP) Andrew Bogut was impressed. On his most recent “Rogue Bogues” podcast, he gave the following assessment of Jessup: “He battles. He’s got a high basketball IQ, and he’s got a wet ball. Teams here are basically topping him off on everything. They’re making him go to the basket on everything. They’re not giving him any space and he’s still finding space to hit step-back 3s, creating space for his 3s.”