San Antonio Spurs Prospect Watch: James Bouknight

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JAMES BOUKNIGHT
Photo via UConn Men's Basketball.

The San Antonio Spurs are going to be in the lottery of the NBA Draft, which means they’ll have some good choices of players. If they decide a scoring guard is what they need, then UConn’s James Bouknight might be their answer. The 6-foot-5, 190-pound might have had some troubling numbers in his sophomore season, but that shouldn’t be too concerning.

Bouknight was also recovering from elbow surgery, which played a factor in his shooting the second half of the season. He had some bone chips removed so with some offseason gym time, he should be right as rain by the draft combine. Here are his stats from his truncated (15 games) season.

Stats

  • 18.7 PPG, 1.1 SPG, 1.8 APG, 5.7 RPG
  • 44.7 FG%, 29.3 3P%, 77.8 FT%
  • 23.2 PER, 108.7 ORtg, 98.4 DRtg

Bouknight is a phenomenal scorer and has a full arsenal of moves to get his buckets. He has a nice stepback as a go-to move with plenty of handles to get to his spots. He can get to the rim fairly well and has potential to be a three-level scoring if he can gain confidence back in his three-point shooting. His percentages dipped from there this season, but part of that was him being the clear go-to guy on his team and I would attribute some of that to his elbow surgery.

The former Huskie is not a great defender and that is something he will have to figure out at the next level. He could be a net neutral defender once he puts on more weight and once he realizes he won’t be a go-to guy on the team that drafts him. But he should have the size and quickness to guard either backcourt spot.

Passing was not Bouknight’s forte this past season as he also averaged almost three turnovers a game. However, he does have some instincts and he should be able to clean that up as someone who won’t be handling the ball as much as he did in college (31.6% usage rate).

Bouknight has the chance to be a microwave guy on the second unit. He’s an explosive athlete who can contribute right away if the circumstances are right with the Spurs. He’s a solid rebounder at the position like most of the Spurs guards and should fit in pretty well with them if the team goes that way in the draft.

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