We have now entered that time of year when NBA draft prospects attempt to bump up their draft stock in the dying minutes by working out with different NBA franchises. On Monday, it was Trayce Jackson-Davis’ turn to show Pacer scouts just what he has in his bag and how much his tools can help the Pacers
Trayce Jackson-Davis was the unequivocal leader for the Hoosiers last year. He was loved by his teammates and the IU faithful. When I asked an IU diehard close to me what she loved about Trayce Jackson-Davis she simply responded “OH WHERE TO BEGIN”.
No player ingratiates themselves to a fanbase like that without being a great leader and player. In his final season with the Hoosiers, Jackson-Davis averaged 34.6 minutes in the 32 games he played. He would also put up just shy of 21 points per game and maintain an impressive field goal percentage of 58.1. His 10.8 rebounds per game would see that he averaged a double-double on the season.
Anyone who sat down and watched an IU game for five minutes could easily tell just how integral Jackson-Davis was to the success of the team. The IU offense would go out of their way to get the ball to him and he seemed as though he was the one to come up with a big defensive stop when IU needed it most.
What Can He Do for the Pacers?
Trayce’s size and athleticism help him stand out in what specific area that the Pacers need a lot of help with. Defense. I’ve mentioned it before, but the Pacers need defense like crops need the rain. So many times last year it seemed the opposition could score at will.
What Trayce is good at defensively is that he is comfortable guarding anywhere on the court. Out on the perimeter, top of the key, high post, low post, all of it, it does not matter. Trayce looks right at home defending there. He also has good instincts when it comes to protecting the rim.
Many times last season, he would leave his man at the exact right time to swat the ball away from a driving guard. Offensively, I don’t think he is quite at that NBA level, yet. I would like to be able to draw a definitive conclusion on Trayce’s outside shooting abilities, but in a rather astounding stat, Trayce Jackson-Davis never even attempted a three-point shot all last season. I couldn’t believe it. I had to check multiple stat pages, but they all said the same thing.
In the “Average Three Point Attempt Per Game” column a big fat “0.0” was staring me in the face. This man doesn’t even attempt three-pointers…at all. That simply does not fly in today’s NBA. Once TJD meets better on-the-ball defenders, he’s going to find it very difficult to get to the basket when they don’t have to respect his three-point shot.
The good news, however, is that Trayce Jackson-Davis seems very aware of this weakness and made sure the scouts knew he could shoot threes during his workout. He hit a couple of contested threes in the workout scrimmage game.
Is Trayce Jackson-Davis a day-one starter for the Pacers if they were to go get him? Absolutely not. Does he even make the roster his rookie year? I don’t think so. If the Pacers get him he may be looking at a season or two in Noblesville with the Mad Ants before he is truly NBA-ready.