At 6’6”, 210lbs, Jared Rhoden stands as a long, stocky, and athletic wing projected to be selected near the back end of the second round of the NBA Draft. In his senior year at Seton Hall, Rhoden helped take his team to the NCAA Tournament and earned All-Big East 1st Team honors. Rhoden stands as one of six players the Utah Jazz brought in for their first draft workout on Thursday and, if he falls out of the draft, could be a fantastic candidate for a Summer League contract.
Per Game: 15.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.6 blocks, 1.8 turnovers, 39.0/33.6/80.3 percent shooting splits
Advanced: 48.9% true shooting, 4.6 box plus-minus (2.5 offensive, 2.0 defensive), 3.5 win shares, .138 WS/40
Physical: 22 years old, 6’6”, 6’10’ wingspan
Rhoden fills the cliché “jack of all trades, master of none” role. He’s a solid driver; his long legs and arms get him past defenders on the first step and he attacks the basket hard. While his finishing isn’t spectacular, his aggressiveness helps him get to the free-throw line frequently. In his senior year, he attempted about 4.5 free-throws a game and connected on them at an 80% clip. When not attacking the basket off of isolation situations, Rhoden moves without the ball well, putting himself in great situations for cuts, dives, or open threes. Seton Hall often had him screening below the basket and then flashing to the perimeter for a catch on the move, and he excelled at immediately attacking his defenders off those actions. Decisiveness, both with and without the ball, is important in the NBA.
As a facilitator, Rhoden is better than his average of 1.2 assists per game show. He’s not much of a creator in the pick-and-roll, but he’s adequate at finding open players off the drive. He often looks to kick to the corner or dump it off to the dunkers spot when the defense collapses. I doubt he’d do much facilitating in the NBA, but that skill is always welcome.
On the other side of the ball, Rhoden is a net positive. He’s athletic; with a strong frame, long arms, and solid leaping ability, Rhodes can stay in front of most players on-ball. He has the footspeed to stay in front of smaller guards and is bulky enough to hold his own against larger forwards. He’s no Mikal Bridges, but his effort helps him punch above his weight on that end. Another added bonus is his rebounding; he uses his frame and off-ball movement to situate himself well, averaging over 6 per game during his senior year.
Although Rhoden has competency in a variety of skills, he doesn’t excel in any one department. He’s good at attacking the basket, but tends to get out of control at the rim. He’s good at defending on-ball, but fails to make a significant impact as a team defender. He’s an above average athlete, but his physical tools aren’t extraordinary. You can apply this concept to most of his game.
But above all else, for him to have a chance in the league, he has to improve as a shooter. Rhoden shot an abysmal 39.0% from the field in his senior year and simply can’t afford to shoot that poorly to make an NBA roster. Interestingly enough, Rhoden shot a solid 80.3% from the free-throw line, a good indicator that his mechanics aren’t broken. His body motion is fluid, his shoulders are squared, and he releases nice and high. Still, his feet, especially on his free-throws, are too wide, his off-hand tends to dance around, and he doesn’t get low enough on catch-and-shoot opportunities. I think he can improve, but by the time the NBA season starts, he’ll already be 23 years old. Age doesn’t tend to scare me as much as others, but given that he isn’t as polished as other upperclassmen, it’s something to note.
With the draft workout group the Utah Jazz brought in Thursday, it’s obvious that long and athletic wings are what they’re targeting in the draft. Off that alone, Jared Rhoden fits the bill. But when looking at players that are projected to go this late in the draft, there are always significant downsides to their game. Rhoden’s lack of shooting and age will likely scare teams away and the Jazz will have the opportunity to snag him as either a free agent or buy-in pick. Given his defensive upside and sleeper potential, I think he’s worth the shot.
A young and inefficient Gary Harris