The 2023 NBA Draft is over and done, and for the Golden State Warriors, it turned out to be an intriguing one because they might have just gotten the steal of the draft. Of course, it will take time before such a selection will manifest as a steal or a waste of a pick, but Indiana Hoosiers star Trayce Jackson-Davis should not have dropped so far back at the 2023 NBA Draft. Now, the Warriors got him after trading for the Washington Wizards’ No. 57 pick overall for cash considerations.
Jackson-Davis had never been touted as a potential high pick in most other mock drafts, but he was an absolute stud in Bloomington. He was undeniably the best Hoosiers player in the last college basketball season, and that’s notwithstanding the fact that his Indiana teammate Jalen Hood-Schifino was selected several picks ahead of him. (The Los Angeles Lakers had Hood-Schifino 17th overall in the first round.) In his final year with the Hoosiers, he paced his team in points, rebounds, assists, and blocks
The Warriors are not too far removed from the last time they won the NBA title and they might have just been gifted by the rest of the league the biggest steal of the draft. With Chris Paul coming to the Bay Area and Stephen Curry still a lethal offensive weapon, Jackson-Davis can fill the gaps for the team defensively and around the rim on offense. During his senior year at Indiana, TJD shot 65.5 percent on attempts at the rim with over 50 percent of those shots unassisted.
In four years with the Hoosiers, Jackson-Davis averaged 20.9 points and 9.1 rebounds, while shooting 58.1 percent from the field. His lack of range (just three total 3-point attempts in college) and size as a big man held back his NBA stock, but as Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer pointed out, TJD shouldn’t have waited so long to hear his name get called by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
But don’t take it from O’Connor or from anyone else. Take it from Jackson-Davis himself.