Vaught’s note: Jessica Jones doesn’t pretend to be a basketball expert, but she is a die-hard Kentucky fan who certainly knows her basketball. She’s a vaughtsviews.com contributor and done her homework to provide her insights on the upcoming NBA Draft. This is part four of a four-part series on UK players hoping to be drafted June 23.
By JESSICA JONES
Outlook: Jamal is projected to go anywhere from 3rd to 8th. It has been rumored that the Sixers are also considering Jamal with their first pick. This seems unlikely to me but stranger things have happened. John Calipari went on a podcast with Andy Katz and explained why Jamal should be number 1 and that he believes the Sixers are interested in taking him.
Jamal has worked out in front of many NBA teams including the Sixers. He also worked out for the Celtics who hold the third pick. During an individual workout with the Celtics he made 79 out of 100 three pointers, a Celtics workout record. This has to look impressive to Boston and may sway them to use their pick on him as he displays Klay Thompson type shooting.
Jamal also said he viewed himself as a point guard even though he played 2 at Kentucky. He has been a point guard his whole life. I think he can play either at the next level and will be drafted as a combo guard. The Celtics are in need of scoring and 3-point shooting and, in my opinion, Jamal is easily the third best player in the draft. However, Bender and Chriss also fill needs for the Celtics.
I’m not confident Jamal lands in Boston but he certainly has top 3 pick talent and potential. Chad Ford has Jamal going to Sacramento with the 8th pick. Though it would be great to see Jamal team up with Willie Cauley-Stein, Rajon Rondo, and Demarcus Cousins, I think it’s highly unlikely Jamal gets past Minnesota (5) AND New Orleans (6).
This year I look for there to be a lot of draft day trades so it’s also possible that someone trades up to get him also. There have been questions about Jamal’s defense and athleticism. I think these are crazy notions from people who need something to talk about and definitely didn’t watch him at Kentucky. Remember that dunk over South Carolina? Athletic.
Best Fit: I think Jamal would fit best with the New Orleans Pelicans at the 6 spot. He fills a huge scoring need and would pair nicely with Anthony Davis. This is where I would definitely like to see him but I’m not sure he’ll be there for the Pelicans at 6. He was seen having dinner at a New Orleans restaurant with Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry. Maybe he knows something we don’t.
Prediction: 5 Minnesota Timberwolves