JaKarr sampson - 11/17
By Derek Murray
Setting - Live Game Reno Bighorns at Oklahoma City Blue (11/5/17) Box Score
I evaluated JS based on his receiving a 2-way contract from Sacramento.
At 6’8 220lbs, and a wingspan of 6’11, JS seems comfortable playing multiple positions on the offensive end. Tonight he showed versatility by receiving the ball in the low post, as well as at the 3pt line, and converting in both spots. At times I feel that JS is overconfident from 3, seeing that on the season he is shooting only 20%.
What I like most about JS is his athleticism. He showed explosiveness in transition and on drives to the basket, with speed in the open floor and ability to get to the rim. He can be dangerous, most specifically in transition, due to his quickness and length. His athleticism and length also allow him to gather rebounds, with his wingspan helping him pull in balls that may initially seem out of reach. JS is able to get his arms/hands into passing lanes on defense, and use his length to contest shots as well, when we wants to. There are lapses in which he seems disinterested in playing defense, showing the most in lackadaisical closeouts.
Sampson has some glaring weakness, especially on the offensive end. This season he is shooting only 16% on all jumpshots, 59% in the restricted area, and 20% from 3 (gleague.nba.com). It’s interesting to me, for his size and raw athleticism that he has issues finishing around the rim. Tonight there were instances where he used his body and size really well in order to get to the paint, yet laid it up either very timidly or out of control.
For JS to become an NBA player, he is going to need to correct his shooting. He still has potential upside, but it will require developing range and refined skills on the offensive side of the ball. Due to Sacramento’s young roster, I do expect Sampson to play a handful of games with the team.
Futures Bucket: Fringe
Questions: Can he correct his jump shot? 3-point shot? Is he strong enough to defend 4’s/5’s in the paint?