Jalen Wilson withdrew from the NBA Draft last year as two of his teammates (Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun) got their names called in the first round. Now, he’s taking the leap and sticking in the draft and he should be rewarded by getting drafted by a team who can use his skills immediately.
The 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward does just about everything well, but nothing at an elite level. He might have one of the higher floors in this draft, but he also is likely to have one of the lower ceilings. If you’re a general manager willing to take that trade-off, then Wilson could be an amazing steal late in the first round or early in the second. Here are the Big 12 Player of the Year’s stats from the season.
- 20.1 PPG, 2.2 APG, 8.3 RPG, 0.9 SPG
- 43 FG%, 33.7 3P%, 79.9 FT%
- 21.0 PER, 108.7 ORtg, 97.4 DRtg
Jalen Wilson had a GAME 🔥
His 22 points and 8 boards helped lift @KUHoops past Kentucky in Lexington 👏 pic.twitter.com/vKRbRqIo1I
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) January 29, 2023
Jalen Wilson Breakdown
Even after being a major player during the 2022 championship run for Kansas, Jalen Wilson found a way to take his game to another level. He became the indisputable leader of this Jayhawks team and led them to yet another Big 12 regular season title. He possesses all the intangibles you’d like for a guy who’s going to be one of the older players in this draft, with his leadership being the big one.
As far as tangibles go, Wilson has that locked up too. While his three-point shooting seems average, much of that can be chalked up to being the main shot-creator on his team. Given that he would take a bit of a smaller role for an NBA team, the shooting can be relied on more heavily at the next level. He can create for himself and for others when needed. He’s not super explosive but still finds ways to get into the paint and to the rim. When the Kansas offense stalled, he was usually the guy to take the shot at the end of the shot clock and he usually got a decent look. Wilson uses his size well on smaller defenders as he can post them up and is successful more often than not. He also has a solid midrange game and isn’t afraid to take those shots.
Jalen Wilson is feeling it 🔥#MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/wCoDKMNBSj
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 18, 2023
While all of this sounds great, Wilson still has a few things he can work on. His foot speed could stand to quicken a bit and he may need to get slightly stronger to contend with the bigger forwards. Ball handling is an aspect of his game that could tighten up a bit, but he does well enough to get a step on bigger forwards who guard him out on the perimeter.
Mostly due to his age, Wilson will end up getting selected in the latter part of the first round and possibly early second. But this could also work as an advantage for him as he shouldn’t have as big a learning curve as many other rookies who only played one year of collegiate or truly competitive basketball.