Jonah Mathews finished his senior year at USC with a statline of 13.4 PPG, 1.9 APG, 2.5 RPG, 1.4 SPG, and 1.6 TOPG on shooting splits of 39/38/74. As a defensive specialist, if Mathews can improve his jump shot consistency, he can become a 3&D combo guard that can defend both guards and wings. Full breakdown below:
Name: Jonah Mathews
Height/Weight: (N/A until official measurements are released)
Wingspan/ standing reach: N/A
Hand size: N/A
Position: Combo guard
College/ country: USC
- Elite effort defender
- Good jump shot upside
- Good vision in P&R and on the drive
- Rarely makes rushed decisions
- Undersized for combo guard
- Needs to improve finishing at the rim against contact
- Limited athlete
Overall: Jonah Mathews is a defensive minded combo guard with an elite motor and improved jump shot. Mathews consistently hounded opponents both off-ball and on-ball defensively at USC, earning him a spot on the first team All-Defense in the PAC-12 this season. He consistently plays with high effort and might be one of the peskiest defenders to enter the draft since Jevon Carter in 2018. He has active hands, quick reaction time, a high motor, and excellent instincts to shut down drives and force defenders into bad plays. His defensive traits are easily projectable, and are a big part of why some people see him as a Patrick Beverley type.
Offensively, Mathews’ best NBA tool is going to be his spot up shooting. He has to continue refining his form and gain consistency from both the 3 point line and free throw line. Despite a subpar assist-to-turnover ratio, Mathews has good vision and is able to run a successful pick & roll with ease. With NBA spacing, his playmaking would be viewed in a significantly higher manner. Instead, as a senior he was surrounded by two interior dominant bigs and two inconsistent shooters in the starting 5. While Mathews is not strong in terms of athleticism, he still is intelligent enough to beat his defenders both off-ball and with the ball in his hands.
NBA Comparison: Floor: Rookie De’Anthony Melton; ceiling: current Avery Bradley
Projected draft range: Undrafted
Fit with Mavericks:
Mathews would fit well with the Mavericks, should he hit at least a median outcome, which is likely a 10th/11th man off the bench that can guard multiple positions. While his NBA career likely will not start immediately after the draft, he still can make a difference in the NBA down the road. Think of Patrick Beverley as a comparison, again, in how he made the league: drafted in the 2nd round in 2008, but didn’t make his NBA debut until the middle of the 2013 NBA season. Once Mathews develops his offensive skillset, whether it’s overseas, in the G-League, or in the NBA, he should has a place in the league. There’s always a spot in the NBA for high character, high motor, versatile defenders that can shoot. Mathews would be a great fit in Dallas given the fact that the Mavs could have greatly benefitted from Patrick Beverley this last summer. Why not add a similar player stylistically to the roster as a role player to a likely perennial playoff team in the future?