The NBA draft is careening into view as today marks two weeks until the offseason frenzy begins. The coming days will be filled with hype, rumors, and cycling draft boards as last minute information floods in and the NBA world makes sense of it all.
One player that has picked up serious steam over the past couple months is Florida Gator sophomore point guard Tre Mann. While labeled as a likely first round pick during his 5-star, high school recruitment, the Florida native has been steadily climbing draft boards.
A consensus 25th pick at the moment, some mocks project him as high as 20th and as low as 31st. His pick variance, however, is fairly tight compared to those in his range like Jared Butler, JT Thor, or Joel Ayayi.
Let’s get into what kind of player is Mann and why the Jazz should/should not target him.
Despite spending two years at Florida, Tre Mann turned 20 years old on February 3rd, giving him a unique mix of experience and youth.
With the NBA Combine in the rear view mirror, we have extra info on participating draft picks. Sadly, Tre Mann participated in only the height and wingspan portions of the Combine.
Standing at 6’ 4.25” tall and a 6’ 4.00” wingspan, many were disappointed with his frame. Florida listed the guard at 6’ 5.00” and to have a negative length score left many disappointed.
He weighed in at 190 lbs, keeping Mann a trim player. We have no draft combine data on athleticism or quickness.
In terms of body build, Tre Mann has the following NBA comparisons:
Ty Jerome (OKC) - 6’ 5.00” tall, 6’ 2.50” wingspan, 184 lbs
JJ Redick (DAL) - 6’ 5.00” tall, 6’ 3.00” wingspan, 190 lbs
Luke Kennard (LAC) - 6’ 6.00” tall, 6’ 5.00” wingspan, 195 lbs
Desmond Bane (MEM) - 6’ 6.00” tall, 6’ 4.00” wingspan, 215 lbs
A quick glance at the body comps indicates Mann might have a tough road to being a positive defender. However, there are indications he could be a contributing offensive player.
While length, athleticism, etc., are wonderful tools, they’re only has helpful as the player uses them. Tre’s collegiate film will give us more insight into how Mann uses his physical tools.
Tre Mann’s time as a Gator is both fascinating and encouraging.
During his Freshman year, Mann played primarily as a backup (just 4 games started) and could have been viewed as a big disappointment. In 18 minutes per game, Mann amassed just 5.3 points, 1.9 rebounds, 0.7 assists, and 1.1 turnovers with an abysmal 0.446 TS%.
He barely went to the free throw line (0.181 rate) and when he did only converted 65.5% of his attempts. He did take the 3 very often (0.500 rate) but couldn’t buy a bucket making just 27.5%.
But hold the phone.
As a starting Sophomore in 33 minutes per game, Tre exploded for 16.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.8 turnovers with a 0.579 TS%. His free throw rate skyrocketed to 0.307 (83.1%) while keeping his 3PA rate above 0.350 and hitting 40.0% of his tries.
What an explosion!
Now were left wondering, what was the difference? Dealing with COVID interruptions, being just 18.5 years old, having a backup role, etc.
Take your pick, but the real takeaway is the latter season is more indicative of the player he truly is.
For further evidence, let’s harken back to his HS recruitment analysis: “A good shooter from distance, and has range that extends well past the college 3-point stripe. Mann’s shooting numbers will go up further when he sures up his shot selection.”
Mann’s impact numbers from year 1 to 2 also validate his progression as a player and leader.
Basketball Reference’s Box Plus-Minus for Tre’s Freshman year was a -0.8 but raised to +7.0 as a Sophomore. For reference, here are some of the other PG numbers from this year’s draft prospects:
Cade Cunningham: +8.3
Jalen Suggs: +9.4
Davion Mitchell: +10.1
Jaden Springer: +6.9
For a late 1st round pick, Tre Mann had a pretty awesome impact on the Gators and progressed in almost every area from his Freshman year.
But more than numbers and context, it’s film that really tells the story of a prospect.
Best scoring game | vs TEN, 3/12 (#17 defensive team)
We can see that Tre has the ability to score at multiple levels (3, floater, mid, rim). He also gets to the FT line, shooting 9-10. Definitely has some wiggle, but prefers to use them out of the pick-and-roll. It’s clear that he REALLY loves the pick-and-roll. He can hit the pull-up 3 very well. Can be a little narrow focused on his own scoring. Not a great athlete but has some craftiness to him.
Best passing game | vs FSU, 12/12
Mann is pretty good about keeping his eyes out in transition. For a PG, he really crashes boards from the perimeter. Passes out of double teams nicely, hitting the roll man with consistency. Not a perfect handle, particularly under duress. He does have some good touch at the rim.
Worst scoring game | vs UK, 1/9
Despite his worst scoring game, he managed an impactful stat line: 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steals, and 3 turnovers. He seed aware on defense in basic rotations. Didn’t just sell out and look foolish. Can get lost in multiple defensive rotations. Hits the roll man after a hedge (totally different coverage). Eyes out in transition again. Clearly had NBA 3 range above the arc. He’s the out of bounds passer; always bringing the ball up the court. He’s definitely the guy the trust with the ball.
Worst passing game | vs LSU, 1/2
LSU was definitely aware of Tre and what he wanted to do. Tre can get a bit little narrow focused in his own game trying to score. Despite his worst passing game from an assist perspective, he only 2 TOVs so he wasn’t forcing things. In 1-on-1 coverages, he’s a bit out of his depth. A lot of abandoned catch & shoot jumpers limited Tre’s assists.
Based on the High School recruitment analysis, the 2nd year explosion, and the confirming game film, Tre Mann is a capable scorer at multiple levels, and has leadership and game managing qualities that make him a great fit for the modern NBA game.
He’s got a 3P shot, off the C&S and off the dribble. He’s very comfortable scoring and passing out of the pick and roll, the main action league-wide. Despite not having elite athleticism, he has enough wiggle and craftiness to get to the line and the rim.
The lack of length, and the track record of NBA comps in that respect, indicate he’ll have some troubles on the defensive end. However, he showed enough awareness and activity that the “desire” may be there, which is half the battle.
He’s a good steals source and a very strong rebounding PG in the double-digit TRB%. These are two of several indicators that he can impact the game positively despite his shot not falling.
Optimistically, Tre Mann has some upside similar to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: a versatile, above average starting guard. In college, they had similar all around averages and impact. Shai was much better generating blocks and was a tad stronger passer. He also has the measurables and athleticism edge over Mann. However, Tre is a more polished shooter and scorer.
In an average scenario, Mann could fit the NBA mold of a Derrick White: a solid starter who can do a bit of everything. Again, similar averages and body makeup. White had a higher impact on winning during his college stint and was more well-rounded. However, again, Mann was a more polished scorer.
Pessimistically, Tre Mann is another Shake Milton: a strong off the bench scorer who has a hard time contributing elsewhere. In college, they had similar averages and impact in college. Tre is younger and more well-rounded, while Milton was a more polished scorer in his final season.
Other comps from draft experts: D’Angelo Russell, Darius Garland, Devin Harris,
Given the average scenario of a Derrick White type player, that sounds like an excellent backup to starting level player depending on his eventual experience and is good for 2 contracts minimum in the NBA.
Why Utah SHOULD Draft Mann
During the playoffs, it became apparent the Jazz have no PG depth. Joe Ingles generally takes over when Conley or Mitchell need a break. Which extremely effective, the Jazz need a different look.
Furthermore, with Mike Conley’s free agency, Joe Ingles’ advancing age, and an unimpressive Trent Forrest experiment, the Jazz need a more long-term, inexpensive option at the PG spot.
Donovan Mitchell can play PG and will for stretches. Having a 6’4” guard to play off of and to play off of him is an attractive option given the balanced skills of Tre Mann.
The Jazz should absolutely look to trade Jordan Clarkson this offseason, in which case Mann fills the combo roll of Clarkson. Yes, he cannot replacement all of Jordan’s strengths, but Tre naturally avoids Clarkson’s weaknesses.
Ultimately, Tre Mann has an awesome mix of potential for instant production and long-term upside.
Plus, after what Terrance Mann did to Utah, we should definitely look to profit off the name (players are NOT related as far as the author is aware).
Why Utah SHOULD NOT Draft Mann
Tre is trending up, much like Donovan Mitchell rose up boards ahead of draft night. He isn’t likely to be there at #30 which would require the Jazz giving up extra capital to grab him (Jazz aren’t exactly flush with filler assets to facilitate a deal).
In addition, the Jazz cap situation is working against them. Frankly, it makes more sense to trade OUT of the first round in order to avoid guaranteed deals.
Practically speaking, Tre projects to have defensive weaknesses that the front office should be trying to fix this year having suffered from poor defense at the point of attack.
Given Conley, Clarkson, and Mitchell, Tre’s skillset could be viewed as a bit redundant.
What it’ll take
Assume the Jazz want to draft Mann, what would it take to trade up? Here are some possibilities to explore:
- Would Houston give up #24 (they already have #23) for #30 + Udoka or Oni? They may prefer to have their picks a bit more spread out and may like the timeline of a Udoka project or the upside of Oni getting a bigger role.
- Would Atlanta give up #20 + Dunn + Reddish for Clarkson + #30? Lou Williams is a free agent and they might like a younger version in Clarkson while still having a 1st round pick. Jazz would be gambling on the Reddish experiment.
- Would New York give up #21 and a future protected 1st for Clarkson + #30? They may prefer to use some of their cap space to absorb a player while giving the Jazz some cap relief and an extra asset.
Ultimately, the Jazz should get some idea of which teams in the low 20’s would be open to moving back to #30 and what it’ll take. If they make a deal, it should take place mid-draft as information is circulating about how far (if at all) he might fall.
That ensures the Jazz flexibility to still trade out of the 1st round if Mann is picked higher than expected or selected by a team who’s not interested in a deal.