Jeremy Sochan: 2022 NBA Draft Scouting Report
Positional ambiguity meets defensive impact for this Baylor prospect. Can he harness his offensive game enough to justify a lottery selection?
Some guys are just better suited for the pro game.
Jeremy Sochan strikes us as one of them. At 6’9” with long arms, fluid lateral quickness and a strong but mobile frame, Sochan looks like he was born to be the next version of a defensive-stopper in the NBA. He has the build to match up with the NBA’s best and brightest stars and seemingly hold his own: guys like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum, Luka Doncic, Devin Booker and Anthony Edwards.
That’s the idealized version of Sochan, switching among different defensive positions and responsibilities based on what his team needs. The current version of Sochan we are all seeing is far, far away from that. To a certain extent, many draft pundits who are anointing Sochan as a top-ten talent are getting carried away in assuming he will make that leap. A lot of proof exists that he can, but can and will are two very different things.
Sochan is much rawer than he gets labeled as. On both ends of the floor, Sochan is still feeling his way through the game. There are moments of intrigue, upside, high-IQ and rare understanding. But they are, for now, just flashes, tantalizing glimpses into one of the most valuable role players out there with the combination of all the little things he’s shown.
Let’s make sure we’re clear on one thing with Sochan. He’s listed as an athlete because he plays so many different positions, not because he’s extremely athletic. For his size, he’s incredibly mobile, but he isn’t explosive, not a highlight-reel dunker and not the most nimble in tight spaces. As an athlete, who Sochan is doesn’t really seem to be all that rare.
Offensively, there’s a long way to go. The jump shot has some flaws and is low-volume; we trust the form and fluidity in general more than with some other similarly-positioned prospects (hey, Tari Eason) but there’s work to be done. On-ball, his reps are likely to be limited. He’s got a solid handle, but it isn’t good enough for a major role. He’s an okay finisher, but without that extra gear of burst at the hoop he can too easily get stranded. He’s alright as a catch-and-finish guy, but is too small and narrow to be a screen-and-roll or permanent dunker spot guy.
There’s a lot of ambiguity surrounding Sochan and how he finds his way in the NBA. That really means two things:
It leverages the importance of him being an elite defender so that he does something positive to force his way onto an NBA floor
What comes next for him and his offensive development is heavily dependent on what happens over the next 24 months, the team that drafts him and what they prioritize or envision
Our belief is that Sochan is a really big ball of clay, and from the glimpses of what we’ve seen with Baylor, we feel like we have a pathway forward for how to turn that clay into a masterpiece. With this development plan in mind, we would feel comfortable selecting Sochan with a lottery pick and being patient enough to let it come to fruition.