The San Antonio Spurs have guaranteed themselves a winning record to end this season and likely a playoff berth as well. That means a pick in the high teens or low 20s is coming their way in June’s NBA Draft. We’ve been taking a look at some forwards and centers who might be able to help the Spurs right away and Wake Forest forward Jaylen Hoard might fall under that category.
The 6-foot-8, 215-pound French freshman can do a little bit of everything and would likely be a great steal in the second round for San Antonio. He has a few things to work on, but has shown flashes of what he could be next season for the Spurs. Here are some of his numbers from this past season:
- 13.1 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.5 APG
- 45.8 FG%, 22.6 3P%, 71.7 FT%
- 18.1 PER, 102.3 ORtg, 109 DRtg
Hoard’s numbers might scare some people, but he also played on one of the worst teams in the ACC this past season and was asked to do a lot of things he probably shouldn’t have been asked to do. He used almost a quarter of his team’s possessions when on the floor and that number is way too high for a kid who is not the primary ball handler or a low post presence who needs touches.
So some of these bad numbers should be taken with a grain of salt. However, he does need to greatly improve his shooting. He has a solid foundation to work with, but will likely need to tweak his shooting mechanics a bit so he’s less robotic and more fluid.
Wake Forest did not put Hoard in many situations to succeed this season and so it’s going to be harder to extract exactly how good he might be. There are a few things he has going for him though as he will have the length and strength to guard multiple positions as well as a projectable shot.
He can hit set shot threes right now, but with some work he should be able to become a bit more consistent from beyond the arc. Hoard’s versatility on offense will be huge since he has a solid enough dribble to take bigger defenders off it and can post up smaller defenders. He has a decent variety of moves he uses in the post and is a decent finisher right now.
While Hoard is a project at this moment in time, the payoff could be huge as he has no real bad habits and is somewhat of a blank slate for this coaching staff. He could spend some time in Austin and fine tune parts of his game before eventually being ready for the big call up. He has quite a bit to work on, but if the Spurs have the patience then the payoff would absolutely be worth it.