JARRED VANDERBILT 2018 NBA Draft Scouting Report
WEIGHT: 215 POUNDS
POSITION: SMALL FORWARD
PROJECTED DRAFT POSITION: LOW TO MID 20’S OF THE FIRST ROUND (NEEDS TO SHOW NBA SCOUTS THAT HE HAS IMPROVED HIS SHOOTING DURING INDIVIDUAL WORKOUTS) MIGHT RETURN TO KENTUCKY NEXT YEAR
Jared Vanderbilt arrived at the University of Kentucky on something of a hot streak. Prior to his freshman season in Lexington, he went on a tear during the summer all-star basketball circuit, playing very well in the McDonald’s All-American Game, Jordan Brand Classic, and Nike Hoop Summit. There were whispers that, with a successful freshman season, Vanderbilt could work his way into becoming a lottery pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Standing 6’9, with a wingspan of over seven feet and a vertical leap of nearly 40 inches, he had much of what you’d look for in a big man at the next level.
The problem has been that Vanderbilt has never really gotten to show, or develop, all that potential that everyone saw in him. After suffering a left foot injury during a preseason practice in the month of September, Vanderbilt didn’t play a single minute of college basketball until halfway through the month of January, and didn’t play more than 20 minutes in a game until we were one-third of the way through the month of February. Through the month of February, he still hadn’t attempted more than 10 shots in any game, and had only taken one three-point attempt all season long.
That’s what puts Vanderbilt — and NBA scouts — in such a difficult situation, and also gives credence to those who believe that restricting high school players from going straight into the NBA is unfair to the players. Vanderbilt has lost an enormous amount of valuable time that could have been used to develop his considerable set of talents. Scouts have to now juxtapose that missed year with all the flashes of talent he previously demonstrated.
What we know about Vanderbilt is that, at the least, he’s a high-energy guy that’s relentless on the boards, and will put every ounce of his considerable energy in virtually every play. Because he’s not the most refined player on the offensive side as of yet, he does all the other little things that are so important to win.
To that end, Vanderbilt is someone who just seems like he fits on the basketball court, understanding what everyone else is doing and how he fits within the greater scheme of things. He knows to move with and without the ball, when to get his teammates involved versus when he needs to do something on his own, and when to initiate the offense in the half court. In other words, he’s a “glue guy” that every winning basketball team really needs to succeed.
The proverbial $64,000 question with Vanderbilt is whether he’s going to develop a jump shot that he’s previously struggled with. While Vanderbilt is a talented player, he’s not necessarily as gifted on the offensive end. It doesn’t seem like he’s a natural at finding ways to put the ball through the hoop on his own; that includes at the free throw line as well.
That’s why there’s a lot of credence to the idea that Vanderbilt could return to Lexington for one more year, to showcase what he’s really about. But if he does declare, he could fall later into the first round (if not a bit further than that), and potentially end up being a steal for some team that’s willing to wait for him to maximize the talent we saw from him early on.
BELOW ARE HIGHLIGHTS OF JARRED VANDERBILT
Should Jarred Vanderbilt return to Kentucky for his sophomore year?
Please leave all comments on Vanderbilt in the section below.
BELOW ARE SNIPPETS OF JARRED VANDERBILT’S 2017 HIGH SCHOOL SCOUTING REPORT
“The 6’8″ small forward has advanced ball-handling, passing, and rebounding skills for his age. He can play multiple positions on the floor and it wouldn’t surprise us if he actually played point-forward in spurts at Kentucky. He has great court vision and a real good understanding of how to play.
Vanderbilt is an athletic, bouncy SF at this point in time. We can see him possibly playing the “stretch-4″ at Kentucky, where he will be a mis-match against slower defenders. His versatility on the floor is what we like the most about him. Calipari will put him in multiple positions on the floor to take advantage of his advanced skills for a 6’8” player.”