The 2017 NBA Draft is under two weeks away and the Portland Trail Blazers possess three first round picks (15, 20, 26), as you know if you’ve been following our draft profiles. Today we take a look at another prospect and how he could benefit the Blazers, continuing the series by analyzing Oklahoma State point guard Jawun Evans.
- Height: 6’1”
- Weight: 177
- Wingspan: 6’5.5”
- Shoots: Right
- Position: PG
- Age: 20
- Projected draft range: 26-36
- PPG: 19.2 | Per 40: 26.2
- RPG: 3.4 | Per 40: 4.7
- APG: 6.4 | Per 40: 8.7
- BLK: 0.1 | Per 40: 0.2
- STL: 1.8 | Per 40: 2.4
Evans was a solid producer in his two seasons at Oklahoma State, and his ability to operate inside the pick-and-roll should translate nicely to the NBA. The sophomore point guard has a serviceable 3-point shot and is capable of finishing in a variety of ways inside the arc, which regularly puts opposing defenders in less-than-ideal situations when trying to slow him down. Evans’ size disadvantage is obvious, but he is able to remain a threat inside the paint by utilizing a well-crafted floater when driving to the basket. Along with his effectiveness on offense, Evans is a relentless defender. He smothers opponents as soon as they cross halfcourt, and he isn’t afraid to tussle with larger players when pursuing rebounds.
Size will become an even bigger problem for Evans at the next level, as he already struggled against taller opposition in college. His ability to score wasn’t the only thing that suffered while he was defended by larger players; he had a tough time finding open teammates when passing lanes constricted. Due to Evans’ short stature, he could become a target on defense, making him a liability against teams that have multiple perimeter threats.
After claiming the Big 12 Freshman of the Year award in 2015-16, Evans was able to produce at an even higher level in his sophomore campaign, earning him first-team all-conference honors this past season. The savvy point guard was a consistent producer all season for the Cowboys, but he was only able to lead his team to victory over one ranked opponent (West Virginia). Oklahoma State’s season eventually came to an end against Michigan in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
Evans is at the top of the second-tier of point guards in this year’s draft, making him a hot commodity in the later stages of the first round. Due to his ability to run a halfcourt offense, he could see minutes as a reserve point guard as early as his first year in the NBA. Much like Houston’s Patrick Beverley, Evans gets under his opponents skin on defense. If he can focus his intensity, he has a chance to be a threat on both ends of the court.
The Blazers already have a plethora of capable facilitators on their roster, but adding a player of Evans’ caliber to the end of the bench isn’t out of the question. Tim Quarterman occupied that spot for Portland last season, showing that President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey values point guard development, despite already having a roster loaded with guards. Quarterman’s contract is non-guaranteed next year and Shabazz Napier only has one season remaining on his current contract, which could present Evans with an opportunity to see meaningful minutes as early as the 2018-19 season if he lands with Portland.
Do you want Evans in a Trail Blazers jersey next season? Which player would you like us to analyze next? Tell us in the comments below.