The SLC Dunk team is profiling all the prospects who could be in the neighborhood of where the Utah Jazz are drafting at pick #24. The four categories that we’re making our evaluations are Strengths, Weaknesses, Jazz DNA, and Fit.
Evans is a playmaker. He helped Oklahoma State make a huge turnaround this season and is primarily a pick-and-roll ballhandler. He has great handles and can attack the pick and roll in tons of different ways which contributes to another of his strengths; scoring. Evans is a crafty scorer, a must for someone his size at the next level. He can get to the rim fairly well but finishing is a concern.
Evans made 37.6% of his 3-point field goals last season which is serviceable but leaves room for improvement. He is capable of being a pass-first point guard as he averaged 6.5 AST in just over 29 minutes per game. Beyond all else, the bottom line is that Evans is quick and plays bigger than he is.
Jawun Evans is undersized. In today’s NBA point guards are commonly in the 6’3”-6’4” range. Evans is just under 6’0” in shoes. No matter how tough Evans plays defense he will almost always be giving up size to the man he’s guarding. Opposing players will be able to shoot over him whether he’s guarding his man or switched onto an ever bigger player.
Another weakness as touched on before is that Evans has had trouble finishing at the rim especially vs. length (the NBA is longer than NCAA too). Factoring that into his shooting 45.3% inside that arc it’s clear Evans will need to work on his shot mechanics and shot selection to make an impact in the NBA.
Evans is made for a small market. He went to high school in both South Carolina and Texas and played college ball in Oklahoma. He isn’t one of the biggest names in the draft nor is he a very big player. Because of his size he plays with a chip on his shoulder game in and game out. He gives his all on defense. He is comfortable in a pick and roll. He works hard and is teachable. He has Jazz DNA running through his veins and he doesn’t even know it yet.
Point guard is the largest area of emphasis for the Jazz this summer. Evans won’t be a plug and play starter, at least not as a rookie. Utah only has two point guards on the books at the moment but they’d be happy to re-sign George Hill and Quin Snyder’s love for Shelvin Mack can’t be expunged by something as trivial as unrestricted free agency. PLUS the Jazz are rumored to be looking at PG Miloš Teodosić from overseas. All things considered it doesn’t seem that there would be space available for Evans in the upcoming roster if Dennis Lindsey has his way.
The Utah Jazz should ...
Not draft Jawun Evans because our point guard concerns can’t be addressed late in the first round of the draft.