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NBA Draft 2017: Jawun Evans Should be a Solid Backup Point Guard for the Clippers

The Clippers traded for the 39th pick in the draft to select Jawun Evans, a sophomore point guard from Oklahoma State. Here’s a quick overview of his strengths, weaknesses, and fit with the Clippers.

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Oklahoma State Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 177

Wingspan: 6’5.5”

Shoots: Right

Position: PG

Age: 20

Sophomore Year Stats: 19.2 ppg, 6.4 apg, 3.4 rpg, 1.8 spg, and 2.8 TOPG in 29.3 minutes per game on 43.8/37.9/81.2 shooting (three 3PTA per game and six FTA per game).

Strengths: Jawun Evans is a good point guard, full stop. He had an assist to turnover ratio of well over 2:1, which looks even better considering how much of a scoring load he carried for Oklahoma State as well. Evans is a proficient practitioner of the pick and roll, especially as a passer, his small and quick frame enabling him to dart into the lane with ease. His speediness allows him to turn the corner on pick and rolls frequently, where he also utilizes a nice midrange jumper off the dribble as well as a floater for finishing over big men in the paint. Jawun is a willing defender, and his wingspan helps make up for his slight stature on that end. This especially boosts his steal rate, which is one of the leading signs for point guard success in the NBA. Evans is a fine three point shooter, albeit on limited attempts, and his terrific free throw shooting bodes well for his shooting translating to the NBA. His form is a bit wonky, but it’s effective, and can be tweaked in any case. While Evans is not a great finisher at the rim, he’s not horrible either, and he is great at drawing contact.

Weaknesses: Size, size, size. Evans is undersized even at the college level, and that disparity will only be more emphasized in the NBA. It can be tough for him to get his shot off, especially in the paint, and the length of opposition on the perimeter can also stifle his passing. His three point shooting looks good, but the sample size is tiny, and it might be more difficult for him to shoot in the NBA. On the defensive end, he is going to have trouble defending larger point guards such as John Wall or Kyrie Irving despite his wingspan, and there’s no chance he can match up against most shooting guards if switched onto them. This means Evans will be a point guard only in the NBA, a limiting factor considering how valuable positional versatility has proven itself over the past couple years. There’s very little chance he’s ever more than a bench player due to these weaknesses, unless his shot vastly improves in the NBA.

Fit on the Clippers: Evans is young-ish, but will have a shot at backup point guard minutes right away assuming Chris Paul is re-signed in free agency. The Clippers have nobody else at the position on their roster (this pickup really doesn’t bode well for last year’s second round pick, David Michineau), and Raymond Felton might be too expensive to bring back. The Clippers will almost assuredly bring in a veteran as well, as trusting full-time backup duties to a second round pick is pretty rare, but Evans will probably get a real shot in the rotation. While he doesn’t possess much in the way of upside due to his limited size, he is a very good point guard and I think he has a strong chance at being a rotation player in the NBA for a long time.