Brooklyn Nets add point guard depth with Jaylen Hands of UCLA

Brooklyn Nets Jaylen Hands. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Jaylen Hands. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

With the pick acquired from the LA Clippers, the Brooklyn Nets took UCLA point guard Jaylen Hands with the No. 56 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft.

The Brooklyn Nets could be looking at a changing of the guard at the point guard spot come free agency and added some depth at the position with the 56th overall pick in the NBA Draft Thursday night, selecting Jaylen Hands of UCLA.

The pick came from the LA Clippers in a trade that sent the No. 27 pick to LA. Brooklyn also got a lottery-protected 2020 first-round pick that originally came from the Philadelphia 76ers in the deal.

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Hands entered the draft after his sophomore season at UCLA, where his assist numbers shot up in his second season … as did his turnovers.

He was a part-time starter as a freshman for the Bruins, averaging 9.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.0 steals in 25.2 minutes per game, shooting 40.5 percent overall and 37.4 percent on 3.7 attempts per game from 3-point range.

Last season, his numbers increased to 14.2 points, 6.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game, with his rebounding dipping to 3.7 a night, in 31.2 minutes per game.

Hands shot 41.3 percent overall last season and 37.3 percent on 5.4 3-point attempts per game.

Hands can pull up off the dribble and his quickness allows him to beat defenders off the bounce and get to the rim. His quickness also allows him to push the pace in transition.

Turnovers were a concern — Hands averaged 3.2 giveaways per game last season — and the ball can get away from him when he goes to the rack.

He’s quick enough to defend at the NBA level, but can drift in his concentration at times and had a tendency to let his man get away from him at that end of the floor.

But Hands made tremendous strides as a distributor as a sophomore, turning what had been considered a weakness into a strength.

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Expect Hands to spend a significant amount of time with Long Island in the G-League if he is signed and he could be an early candidate for a two-way deal, which would allow Brooklyn to preserve cap space while still maintaining Hands’ rights.