The Trail Blazers’ memorable postseason run might be over, but the the 2019 NBA Draft is right around the corner. Portland’s President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey currently has the No. 25 pick in the draft at his disposal and he will look to supplement the Blazers’ roster with a talented prospect in the latter stages of the first round. Regardless of Portland’s lack of a pick in the second round, Olshey has shown a willingness to negotiate his way back into the selection process. Today we look at Brewster Academy guard Jalen Lecque.
- Height: 6’4.25”
- Weight: 185
- Wingspan: 6’8.5”
- Shooting Hand: Right
- Position: PG
- Age: 18
- Projected draft range: 44-57
*Stats from 16 games in EYBL competition (via D1 Circuit)
- PTS: 14.2
- AST: 3.8
- REB: 4.6
- FG%: 43.3
- 3P%: 10.5 (4-38)
- FT%: 68.0
Equipped with unbelievable leaping ability and quickness, Lecque has all the tools to create highlight-worthy plays in the NBA. The New York native has a penchant for slashing through the lane and rising above the rim to finish with authority. Utilizing a lightning-quick first step, Lecque gets to his favorite spots on the court with ease. Once in the paint, he routinely finishes through contact. Outside of half-court sets, Lecque shines when his athleticism goes unimpeded on fast-break opportunities.
Defensively, Lecque has an attractive wingspan for a point guard. In theory, he could easily switch between both backcourt spots and stymie forwards in short bursts on switches.
Lecque’s tremendous upside is overshadowed by his lack of polish. He has yet to display that he can consistently convert shots outside of the paint and there is little indication that he will develop that skill moving forward. Despite a frame and skill set that is favorable to the point guard position, Lecque is more of a combo guard. It is possible he remedies that listing once he gains experience inside a traditional NBA offense. For now, his lack of experience can lead to hurried and indecisive moves against top-level competition. Lecque’s defensive upside is largely tied to his favorable measurements and he will have to prove he can hold his own at the next level.
Before de-committing from NC State, Lecque was slated to boost the Wolfpack’s recruiting class with his No. 41 listing in ESPN’s Top 100. After generating buzz during his fifth-year prep stint at Brewster Academy, Lecque explored his professional options in the spring. His high-flying style earned him an invite to the NBA Draft Combine. Once there, Lecque dazzled with his unbelievable performance in the strength and agility portion of the event. He recorded the highest vertical leap at the event with an eye-popping 43-inch surge.
NBA evaluators will be at a slight disadvantage without college-level tape on Lecque. Even without that film, there is no denying his upside. He has all the physical attributes that are commonly found in lottery-bound prospects, but his weaknesses are obvious. In an era where point guards are expected to space the floor, Lecque’s lack of outside shooting is glaring. Organizations with strong track records of internal development and G League success should line up for Lecque’s services after the first round comes to a close. His ceiling is incredibly high, but his floor is an equal distance in the other direction. In regards to his upside, it is important to note that Lecque will turn 19 years old on June 13.
The Blazers explored a similar path with the selection of Anfernee Simons out of IMG Academy in the 2018 NBA Draft. While the respective journeys of Simons and Lecque mirror each other, their skill sets do not align as neatly. Simons was an efficient shooter and operated effectively at both guard spots. Lecque’s finishing ability and favorable length compare to Simons’ profile, but he lacks the same level of polish. Potential negatives aside, Lecque presents Olshey with a chance to select a lottery-level talent in the latter stages of the draft.
Lecque’s long-term fit next to Simons is enticing. Both players are above-average athletes with the size to switch freely on defense. Without a G League affiliate in place, the Blazers would be at the mercy of the NBA’s assignment process to get Lecque the minutes he needs to develop.
Do you want to see Lecque in a Blazers jersey next season? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.