The Brooklyn Nets acquired the rights to 56th overall pick Jaylen Hands from the LA Clippers as part of a draft night deal, What does he bring to the Nets?
The Brooklyn Nets traded out of the first round of last week’s NBA draft, picking up a second pick in Round 2 from the LA Clippers along with a lottery-protected first-round pick in 2020 that the Clippers had gotten from the Philadelphia 76ers.
With that pick at No. 56 overall, the Clippers selected Jaylen Hands for Brooklyn. In a draft full of surprises, Hands, a 6-foot-3 guard from UCLA, is a pleasant one.
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It’s already being stated that like many of our young players over the years, he’ll be spending time going back and forth between the Brooklyn Nets and their G-League affiliate, the Long Island Nets. That’ll give him experience and plenty of chances at developing.
In Jaylen Hands, the Nets have a player that brings two much-needed intangibles to the game. First is athleticism. Although the Nets improved a lot over these years and have gotten younger, the team isn’t really athletic. As a whole the team isn’t overly big.
They aren’t all that quick nor can they just jump out the gym. Jaylen Hands is an electric and dynamic athlete. It’s almost Ja Morant-like. Not saying he’ll be Ja, but with their similar builds, the comparisons is understandable.
Jaylen uses his explosive first step and speed to help break down perimeter defenders and put pressure on opposing defenses. He has a quick pull-up that allows his to hit 3-point and mid-range shots.
If he decides to commit fully downhill, his hang time and high vertical leave him with an opportunity to bust out a wide array of finishes. Imagine the Nets bench reaction during a Jaylen fast break dunk or a sneaky yet disgusting Hands poster.
The Nets could use this kind of excitement for the fans and the team itself.
Jaylen Hands is also a tough kid. He’s gritty with a cool guy-aura around him. He’s not one to just start something, but you can best believe he has no problem finishing them. He refuses to be punked and that toughness is needed in the team.
I appreciate Jared Dudley and Rodions Kurucs getting a little physical when the Philadelphia 76ers tried to bully the Nets. I’m sure had Ed Davis been on the floor, he would’ve been one of the enforcers. But outside of that, the team seemed too passive and willing to accept the bullying.
Hands’ real personality won’t allow for him getting bullied without him having something to say about it.
Hands isn’t just tough and athletic. He has decent range, shooting 37 percent from beyond the arc both years in college. We know how important that is in coach Kenny Atkinson’s system.
He’s a solid defender, although he’ll have to put on some weight to continue defending efficiently at the next level. He is a very capable and willing passer. He has the vision you’d want from your point guard, but there are some concerns with his being turnover prone.
Learning from the vets and Brooklyn’s developmental staff should help him take care of that. Not immediately of course, as point guards — especially rookies — will turn it over in general.
But Hands should mesh well with the team and organization. He kind of reminds me, as I said earlier, of a Ja Morant. A few flashes of Isaiah Whitehead. He’s a talented prospect and embodies Brooklyn grit.