2020 NBA Draft Profile: Jalen Smith
Position: Power Forward/Center
Stats: 15.5 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 2.4 BPG, 31.3 MPG, 53.8% FG, 36.8% 3PT, 75.0% FT
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
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*DISCLAIMER: The following is a summary of prospect analyses from various media outlets and does not reflect the views of the Washington Wizards.*
Strengths: Smith broke out in his sophomore season, averaging a double-double with 2.4 blocks per game and earning All-Big Ten 1st Team honors. He had solid shooting numbers for a big man (53.8% FG, 36.8% 3PT, 75.0% FT) last season, and projects to play both the ‘4’ and small-ball ‘5’ in the NBA. Smith could be a versatile screener at the next level, whether it be finishing at the rim or popping out for a jump shot. He has a high motor, rebounds well, and posted high shot blocking potential.
Weaknesses: Smith will need to get stronger to play a more likely ‘5’ position in the NBA. His rebound and block numbers are impressive, but he’ll need to gain more strength to do the same against NBA bigs. Like a lot of bigs, he’ll need to work on lateral movement and defending smaller players that he could be switched onto. Smith can also improve his passing and decision-making on offense.
Quotes (from his NBA Draft combine media interview)
On growing up in the DMV area: “Where I’m staying at right now is actually right down the street from Capital One Arena…If I get picked by the Wizards, it would be a great experience because I’ve always played close to home…Growing up watching John Wall and Bradley Beal, just seeing all of the highlights they do and all they bring to the court, it would be a fun and interesting thing to be drafted by the Wizards.”
On being an undersized big: “Being an undersized big, being able to go against big bodies every night, I feel as though I can withstand it and hold my own at the next level.”
On what he’s been doing in preparation for the draft: “I’ve been working out four days per week…The idea was to peak toward the combine. With this time, it’s just been focusing a lot more on my shooting, my dribbling, and make sure my body is right.”
Highlights courtesy of the University of Maryland.