A consensus All-American, NCAA champion, two-time All-Big 12, and the 2023 Big 12 Player of the Year, Jalen Wilson had a decorated career at Kansas. As a senior, Wilson averaged 20 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1 SPG, 0.5 BPG, and 2.3 TOPG on splits of 43/34/80. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Jalen Wilson
Wingspan/ standing reach: 6’8/8’3.5
Hand size: 9
College/ country: Kansas
Tools: Frame, rebounding, athleticism
- Good shooting touch with high release
- Ideal size for a wing
- Good rebounder
- Gets to the line well
- Strong, NBA ready frame
- Able to be a stalwart on drives against smaller guards
- Capable ball handling ability
- Needs to speed up shot
- Must tighten an improve ball handle
- Character concerns
- Needs to improve going left; slower with the ball driving left than right
- Poor finisher at the rim
- Can force bad shots in traffic instead of passing the ball; black hole tendencies
- Doesn’t get very high off the ground on shot contests
Jalen Wilson has intriguing tools as an ideally sized wing with shooting touch, athleticism, rebounding, and foul-drawing ability, but needs to get better at using his tools in a more practical manner.
Defensively, while he has good defensive tools with quick feet, capable off-ball abilities, strength, and versatility up and down the lineup. However, one weakness he has is not using his body and athleticism well enough on contests against jump shots. He lacks lift, which negates his size on the perimeter, and makes him easy to shoot over. This could be fixed in the NBA, but will be a growing pain teams will have to deal with. If whichever team takes him on is able to maximize his defensive tools and turning them from theoretical to consistently functional, he can become a positive defender.
Offensively, Wilson has good shooting touch, but has lacked consistent jump shooting efficiency with poor shot selection. Wilson has never shot 34% from 3 or better, but his free throw percentage at 79.9%, a rather high mark for a wing, can give teams hope that there is easily unlockable shooting upside. With a low dip and slow shot, Wilson will have to rework his form to hit his upside as a shooter in the league, which will help his shooting turn from theoretical to functional.
As a slasher, Wilson can often do more damage than good. While he is big and capable of getting to the rim, two weaknesses severely hold him back from being a consistent slasher and finisher within 10 feet: shot selection and going left as easily and quickly as he does going right. Jalen puts his head down too often, and can be too certain of himself to be able to make tough finishes, which led to 14 games of him shooting under 40%, and 9 games under 36% shooting. Wilson also is right-hand dominant, and lacks equal speed in both directions, which can limit his slashing. Whichever team drafts Wilson or scoops him in potential undrafted free agency will have to be patient with Wilson, trusting his work ethic to develop his indicators into direct productivity.
Overall, Wilson has risk as a wing, but could overcome his perils by working hard to improve his in-game shooting, slashing tendencies, and to become a consistent defender. Wilson will be 23 3 weeks into the 2023-24 season, which gives him a short leash to improve these weaknesses, making him more raw than the average senior. If the work ethic, character traits, and overall intangibles check out, he will certainly get drafted and given a benefit of the doubt as a national champion.
Similar to: Kevin Knox, Andrew Wiggins, Saddiq Bey
Projected draft range: 38-50
Expected role: Two-way versatile wing on both ends, being able to play off-ball or on-ball and able to guard multiple positions.
Unplayable if: Jump shooting doesn’t become successful, or finishing ability doesn’t develop with NBA spacing with a combination of a mediocre jump shot.
Exceeds expectations if: Theoretical indicators (FT%, athletic tools) come together to make him a mismatch option on the wings.
Miscellaneous Synergy Stats:
Catch & shoot 3s: 53/164 (32.3%)
Off the dribble 3s: 16/37 (43.2%)
Off the dribble 2 point jumpers: 28/69 (40.6%)
Runner: 9/23 (39%, 60th percentile)
At the rim half-court: 62/130 (47.7%)