NBA Prospect Preview: Jacob Evans of Cincinnati

Defense and Basketball IQ:

Thankfully, despite these questions, Jacob Evans also displays impressive acumen on the defensive end of the floor. Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin runs one of the most similar defenses in the NCAA to the switch-heavy schemes becoming in vogue in the NBA. Such switch-heavy schemes require a ton of defensive discipline, energy, and on-point communication and Evans often shined in all of those regards. Evans had one of the best senses in this prospect class on when to jump passing lanes or to anticipate a beat assignment and when to not freelance off his own assignment.

The IQ he shows reading the floor on passes often repeats in how he reads offenses and reacts accordingly. Evans will not likely be a lock down defensive stopper as a wing as his quickness mirrors the effectiveness of his meh first step and his 6’9.25″ wingspan rates as solid for a shooting guard but non-elite and a bit lacking to bother the majority of NBA small forwards. However, Evans does possess good strength in his wiry 200 lb. frame and has an admirable motor when engaging on-ball. Opposing perimeter players will not be able to plow straight through Evans and, with his instincts guarding off-ball plays, that makes Evans a definite plus projection on the defensive end.

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Awards:

2017-18 Wooden Award Preseason Watch, 2017-18 First Team All-AAC

Current Draft Big Board Rankings: 15th via The Stepien, 22nd via ESPN/DraftExpress, 20th via The Ringer, 19th via The 94 Feet Report, 38th via Sports Illustrated, 33rd via CBS Sports

Pro Comparison:

Doug Christie

Brooklyn Nets Fit:

Does Evans fit Brooklyn in terms of need and value?: Yes, Evans would be a great value and fit at 29 if Marks chose him there. Evans could instantly become the best off-ball defender on the Brooklyn roster while offering some shooting insurance in case Joe Harris and Nik Stauskas do not return in free agency. Every team can use smart wings with shooting and, while Evans almost certainly will not become the star Brooklyn yearns for, the Nets are not an exception to that rule.

BROOK-LIN