6-7 SG/SF 220 Sophomore
With Rondae Hollis-Jefferson declaring for the draft, I thought I’d take a look at the Arizona swingman’s NBA prospects. First off, Hollis-Jefferson simply looks like a prototype NBA swingman. At 6-7 with a 7-1 wingspan, he has wide shoulders capable of putting on weight to go along with NBA athleticism and quickness to compensate. Hollis-Jefferson has role player potential with an outside shot at being an All-Star, all depending on his ability to learn how to shoot. He doesn’t need the ball to be successful; Hollis-Jefferson does a lot of moving without the ball, oftentimes leading to a lob or finish at the rim. He can really handle the basketball as well, which should help him attack the basket at the next level.
Defense will be his bread and butter early on. At the college level, he has guarded point guards through centers. In the NBA, he’ll be able to stick with point guards and some stretch 4, thanks to his quickness and length. He averaged 1.6 steals and 1.1 blocks per 40 minutes, pace adjusted, per DraftExpress. He’s also very unselfish and has a knack for finding teammates as he slashes his way into the lane.
The lefty is constantly moving on the floor. Hollis-Jefferson runs the floor in transition, leads the break following a defensive rebound and is constantly attacking the offensive glass, very similarly to a Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Ronnie Brewer type. This is how he’ll produce in the NBA immediately; as he’s extremely raw from the perimeter right now. Per Hoop-Math.com, Hollis-Jefferson shoots 72.3 percent on his shots near the rim. He’s explosive and his large wingspan helps him finish over length:
In the new space-oriented version of offensive basketball the NBA has seen in recent years, how will teams use him? How much of a liability will he be at the next level?
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist vs. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Chart
In the chart above, similarities are evident, but Hollis-Jefferson appears to be even more raw on the perimeter than Kidd-Gilchrist was after coming out of Kentucky after his freshman year. As a sophomore, he shot worse from mid-range and three-point range than Kidd-Gilchrist did as a freshman. But as we’ve seen with Kidd-Gilchrist, shooting is the most improvable skill when moving to the NBA level. How difficult will it be for Hollis-Jefferson to improve upon this? Time will tell.
Some added strength would help him immensely. He’s a slender 220 right now, but getting up to 230-235 would help him attack the rim and defend the bigger wings he’ll see consistently at the NBA level. His weaknesses are glaring, but improvable if he puts in the work. Look for Hollis-Jefferson to most likely be selected between 20-30 in the upcoming draft, as he already has role player potential as a defender/slasher right from the get-go.
NBA comparison: Ronnie Brewer