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2020 NBA Draft Profiles: Jahmi’us Ramsey

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Will the Mavericks take a chance on one of the draft’s best shooters?

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Regarded as one of the best shooters in the draft, Texas Tech’s Jahmi’us Ramsey is an intriguing prospect. With an incredibly fluid jumper, great catch-and-shoot ability, and flashes of freak athleticism, Ramsey will be a name to watch in the first round. But is his streakiness something that will scare away the Mavericks as they try to build a championship-caliber roster?

The Specs

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 195

Wingspan: 6’6” (2018)

Key Notes

Offense

  • Great range behind the arc
  • Catch-and-shoot ability is lethal
  • Inconsistent as a pick and roll ball handler
  • Upside to become a more dangerous isolation threat
  • Shooting form is perfect in terms of mechanics
  • Has a lot of bounce, but not a good finisher at the rim

Defense

  • Appears to be a good defender in a vacuum
  • Shows flashes of being a decent rim protector at the guard position
  • Ball-watches a lot, leading to a lot of lapses
  • Isn’t always aggressive on help defense or rotations, will usually just stick to his man
  • Defends like a 19-year-old (meaning that he makes lapses, but also has plenty of time to fix these)

Active Player Comparisons

If everything goes wrong: Mychal Mulder

If everything goes right: Tim Hardaway Jr.

Most Realistic Outcome: Dion Waiters

Stats and Accomplishments

2019-20 Big 12 Freshman of the Year, All-Big 12 Second Team, All-Big 12 Newcomer Team, and All-Big 12 Freshman Team

Best Games Last Season

at Kansas: 26 points, 5-for-8 on threes

at Iowa State: 25 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds

3 Key Things

  1. The Shooting

Ramsey is one of this class’s top-five shooters in my eyes. He is one of my favorite catch-and-shoot players (a perfect trait for future Mavericks) and even placed in the 91st percentile of that shot type last season according to Synergy Sports. His 42.6 percent from three-point range appears incredibly efficient, but he was actually a rather streaky shooter throughout the season. He once had a five-game stretch of shooting below his average, which he responded to with a six-game stretch of shooting above it, and then another five-game stretch below. Here’s his stats from every game last season, with yellow rows indicating a game where he shot below his three-point average:

2. The Defense

There were a lot of times I held my head in my hand watching Ramsey play defense last season. He’s a bit greedy on shot fakes, struggles to stay in front quicker ball handlers, and doesn’t show a lot of promise guarding any position other than shooting guards. But for goodness sakes — he’s only 19! That’s what makes this so hard. He hasn’t shown that he’s a reliable defender, but he also hasn’t closed the case that he one day could be. Does the Mavericks front office gamble and risk it for his offensive upside, or do they act conservative and take someone more reliable with less upside? That’s the decision they’re gonna have to make.

3. The Finishing

I saw a few good flashes of Ramsey finishing at the rim last season, but it wasn’t always pretty. He only made 44 percent of his shots in the paint last season. He has a good layup package when it comes to runners, but when he goes straight up he can tend to force really bad looks. If this was apart of Ramsey’s game before the draft I would be more than happy with him being taken at 18. But now, questions need to be raised if they can afford to have a guy who’s limited in the paint.

The Checklist

Role with the Mavericks

I would love for Ramsey to absorb all of Justin Jackson’s minutes from day one. If you’re going to have a guy out there for about 15 minutes per game, it might as well be someone who is going to get you a bucket. Trey Burke was awesome in the bubble because he came into the game and just started scoring. That’s what the Mavericks need, and that’s what Ramsey does. Dallas is in for a particularly sweet treat if he improves his defense.

Summary

As much offense as Ramsey offers, the idea of him as a Maverick makes me a tad nervous. Projected to land anywhere from 15-25, Dallas would likely have to take him at 18 if they want him. That feels a bit ambitious for a guy who is likely at least two years away from really hitting his stride. If there’s any way they could snag him at 31, I would much prefer that. Even if he’s taken at 18, I wouldn’t consider it a bad pick. The Mavericks (and their fans) will just need to be patient as a teenager develops on a championship-caliber roster, which is rare. How many young players do the Bucks, Clippers, or Lakers have getting quality minutes? It’d be a risky pick for the Mavericks, but one that could pay off greatly down the road.