Jaime Jaquez: 2023 NBA Draft
Tailor-made for college basketball success, can Jaime's game translate to the NBA?
He may not be your favorite hooper, but he’s your favorite hooper’s favorite hooper.
Jaime Jaquez has a lot of respect amongst other high-caliber NBA players for the multitude of ways he can make a positive impact on a basketball game. Incredibly fundamentally sound, Jaquez put together an exceptional four-year career at UCLA that featured a Final Four run and countless individual honors.
With the Bruins, Jaquez functioned as their top offensive option, a role he is unlikely to carry moving forward into his professional career. The individual traits that make up his ascent to leading man in Pauley Pavilion, however, translate to a multitude of avenues for role player success.
The runs at Rico Hines have long been hallowed ground for UCLA basketball players to test their mettle against the best NBA veterans. Over the summers and in the Fall, Jaquez has immersed himself in those pickup runs to serve as a battleground for proving his worth. The free-flowing games are far different than the confines of an NBA court.
Luckily for Jaquez, his tremendous basketball IQ and overall well-rounded game allow him to pop within structure. He is so good in complex actions and doing different things based on the matchups. If he can continue to buy into doing whatever is needed for his team to win, Jaquez will make it as a long-time NBA veteran.
There are skill tweaks to make, though. Jaquez is a career 32% 3-point shooter, a low mark for a guy whose pro career doesn’t figure to be built around his on-ball prowess. He’s a below-average athlete in many regards; while a strong-bodied 6’7”, lateral quickness and explosiveness near the rim are both in short supply for him.
Still, Jaquez continues to find ways to overcome the eye test and make positive impacts on a basketball floor. Those intangibles and fundamentals matter a great deal in projecting forward how his NBA career will go and where Jaquez should be selected in relation to younger, higher-upside prospects.