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 Wake Forest Demon Deacons forward Jaylen Hoard.
- Height: 6’9”
- Weight: 212
- Wingspan: 7’0.75”
- Shooting Hand: Right
- Position: PF
- Age: 20
- Projected draft range: 44-53
- PTS: 13.1 | Per 40: 17.4
- REB: 7.6 | Per 40: 10.1
- BLK: 0.6 | Per 40: 0.9
- FG%: 45.8
- 3P%: 22.6 (53 attempts)
- FT%: 71.7
Hoard is a fluid athlete that is capable of handling several roles on both ends of the court. Offensively, he is a natural runner in the open court for a power forward. He can finish fast-break chances with dunks of his own and he possesses the court vision necessary to setup teammates with favorable shots. In half-court sets, Hoard can put the ball on the floor and exploit matchups against traditional big men. Against smaller opponents, he has shown early signs of a multi-faceted post game.
Outside of generating points, Hoard is an excellent rebounder. He routinely glides through traffic to secure rebounds with perfectly-timed jumps. Armed with a 7-foot wingspan, Hoard has delivered adequate support as a help defender in the paint.
After producing a paltry 22.6 three-point percentage last season, Hoard’s hopes of becoming a floor-spacing forward fell short. His serviceable free throw percentage does salvage some of his stock as a shooter, but his future on the perimeter is far from a guarantee. From a mechanics standpoint, his slower-than-average form could hinder his ability to blossom into a catch-and-shoot option. Shooting struggles aside, Hoard might not be as versatile as expected. Talented perimeter players successfully navigated around him and he lacks the bulk to stymie traditional post players at this time.
Hoard spent the majority of the season hidden on a struggling 11-20 Demon Deacons squad. Despite Wake Forest’s struggles, Hoard managed to produce six double-double performances. In a thrilling overtime victory over Pittsburgh, he produced a 19-point, 17-rebound outing. Hoard finished the season with the ninth-best rebounds per game average in the ultra-competitive ACC.
Things could turnaround quickly for Hoard in the NBA. Wake Forest suffered from poor spacing throughout the year, which often forced the 20-year-old forward to navigate his way through traffic. Even if his versatility never reaches its full potential, Hoard has the tools to hold his own in space on switches. For a player that is likely to be selected outside of the first round, Hoard has a surprisingly decent floor for a forward with two-way potential.
Hoard’s favorable athleticism and frame at the power forward position elicit comparisons to current Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu. If Aminu departs in free agency, he could present Portland with a long-term answer to the void left behind. In a future pairing alongside Zach Collins, Hoard’s above-average rebounding ability could come in handy for coach Terry Stotts. As of now, most projections place the former Wake Forest standout firmly outside of the first round.
In the lead up to the 2019 NBA Draft, Hoard was among the first six players to attend a pre-draft workout at the Trail Blazers facility.
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