Jalen Pickett Scouting Report

Scouting Reports

After gaining traction as a mid-major guard at Siena, Jalen Pickett eventually transferred up to Penn State and thrived. As a fifth year senior, Pickett was a consensus All-American, averaging 17.7 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 6.6 APG, 1 SPG, 0.5 BPG, and 2.3 TOPG on splits of 51/38/76. Below is his full scouting report:

Name: Jalen Pickett

Height/Weight: 6’2/198

Wingspan/ standing reach: 6’7 ¼/8’2 ½  

Hand size: 8 ½ 

Position: PG

College/ country: Penn State

Tools: Rebounding, P&R ability, playing bigger than his size


  • Quick release on jump shot
  • Quick footwork when shooting off the dribble
  • Strong post skill
  • Outstanding rebounder, especially for a guard
  • Excellent P&R ability
  • Good pause/hesi/stutter-step out of screens, often freezing defenders
  • Good off the dribble scorer, especially off of screens
  • Masterful at putting defenders in jail in getting them on his back and exploiting the next line of defense
  • Long arms with strength to bully other guards and bump bigger defenders out of position on drives
  • Has a lethal spin & half-spin move
  • Good motor and strong feel for the game
  • Strong general intelligence on the defensive end
  • Good runner/floater


  • Small hands; smallest measured hands at the Combine
  • Strictly a below the rim finisher
  • A bit slow for NBA standards
  • Can rely a bit too much on having his back to the basket and playing bully-ball
  • Undersized at 6’2
  • Leaves his feet on the perimeter too much; plays catch up too much defensively

Swing Skills:

  • How much of defensive shortcomings were system related
  • Adaptation to NBA style away from post/bully-ball style
  • The level to which his jump shooting translates
  • Speed limitations


Jalen Pickett is an intriguing guard that plays bigger than his size, which helps him fill the stat sheet. 

Defensively, he leaves his feet often, and seems to be playing a metaphorical step behind too often, especially as an off-ball defender. It’s hard to say if this was because of Penn State’s defensive scheme by design, or if this is a true habit and tendency that Pickett will have to improve on as he grinds to make an NBA rotation. With long arms and quick feet, he has good defensive tools and upside, but will need to actualize it with more practical tendencies and more successful shot contests to last as a defender in the NBA. While there are issues, his intelligence is clear, knowing where to be when playing more traditional off-ball defense in not losing and locking up his assignment away from the ball. At a minimum, if he can slow down the ball-handler to bring in a second layer of defense, he will have a, at a minimum, neutral defensive outcome.

Offensively, Pickett will have to find an avenue to specifically scale down into. While he does project well as a backup guard, how his game translates across the board will be key. His jump shooting is a key swing skill with slightly above average shooting numbers, and having only taken 60 spot-up 3s with about average efficiency this makes his translation hard to judge. For his career, he never took a lot of spot-up 3s, so how he opts into becoming more off-ball as a scale down from his do-it-all role at Penn State will be important for Pickett as a pro. Open workouts in the pre-draft process will also be telling by where he gets drafted on June 22. 

In addition to his shooting, Pickett plays a bully-ball style as a more ball-dominant guard. How Pickett in general finds ways to score the ball while maintaining efficient productivity will determine how his offense translates. 

Teams will be betting on his high-volume productivity finding a way to scale down into a more minimal role to find one area to excel in, with multiple above average areas as well while maintaining a positive defensive rating. The other way teams can utilize him is to allow him to have the keys to the offense as a primary backup point guard, but this will take time, and how he adapts before this era for him will determine how likely he is to reach this outcome of a do-it-all backup guard.

Similar to: Kyle Lowry lite, Monte Morris

Projected draft range: 35-45

Expected role: Do-it-all backup guard

Unplayable if: Jump shooting and bully-ball play style don’t translate to the NBA

Exceeds expectations if: Jump shooting/ability to play off-ball translates with volume, and his play style can adapt to modern NBA point guard traits.

Miscellaneous Synergy Stats:

Catch & shoot 3s: 23-60 (38.3%)

Halfcourt at the rim: 87-138 (63%)

P&R Ball-handler: 1.049 PPP (90th percentile)


Shot chart: