Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports
As of Wednesday morning, Arizona State sophomore guard Jahii Carson has declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft.
After two fantastic seasons as a member of the Sun Devils, Carson looks to take his game to the next level. On his shoulders, Arizona State made their first tournament appearance since James Harden was running the hardwood.
Last season, Carson averaged 18.6 points per game, along with 4 rebounds and 4.6 assists per contest. Between his two seasons, there was not much fluctuation in his statistics, so with Carson, prospective NBA clubs know what they’ll be receiving.
Currently pinned as anywhere from a late first-round selection to an early second rounder, Carson made the right move to leave when he did. The NBA is in a stage of finding and developing point guards in hope that they can become the next elite game manager that can bring their squads to the promise land. With his tremendous speed and ability to make tough shots, Carson may not immediately step into a starting role, but his ceiling is limitless.
Where some teams may shy away is when analyzing his jumpshot. Not blessed with the tallest frame (5 foot, 10 inches), Carson fades away and has an inordinate amount of arch on his shot. He did improve from 32% up to 39% from behind the three-point line in between his freshman and sophomore years, but that uptick is due to his reluctance to fire away at will. He may not be a deadeye shooter, but Carson has other facets to his game that makes him appealing to pro scouts.
His projected slot in the draft is a complicated one. First rounders are given a guaranteed contract, whereas second rounders have to fight for their job in the NBA Summer League and other such ventures.
Unfortunately for Carson, any squad picking from 25th on will more than likely not be looking for a starting point guard. He may get himself a guaranteed contract with a stable club, but if it’s playing time he’s seeking, a team selecting at the beginning of the second round would be ideal. With the rampant trading that occurs on draft day, anything is definitely possible, but Jahii finds himself in an interesting predicament.
In his wake, he leaves the Sun Devils worse for wear. Both he and center Jordan Bachynski will members of pro rosters in addition to losing Jermaine Marshall and potentially Shaquielle McKissic. Coach Herb Sendek was praised for doing a masterful job leading the Sun Devils back to the NCAA Tournament, but with a roster full of veterans, his job won’t be nearly as difficult as it will be this year.
We wish the best of luck to the Mesa, Arizona native who will continue the long-standing tradition of Sun Devils in the pros. Stay tuned here for all updates concerning Carson and his draft stock.