How does the Mountain West’s top sharpshooter stack up in the pro ranks?
Jordan Schakel NBA Draft profile
The NBA Draft is only 60 selections, which in comparison to the other two “big league” counterparts in the NFL and MLB, the NBA is significantly less selections. That doesn’t mean there aren’t players that’ll go unpicked to carve out valuable NBA careers. In-fact, due to the NBA “two-way” contract implemented in 2017 allows NBA teams to have a two-way player go between the G-League & NBA team throughout the season. For a guy like San Diego State’s Jordan Schakel, a player that could emerge to be a valuable two-way candidate, or be highly-coveted on a straight G-League deal if he goes undrafted. Here’s why:
In today’s NBA landscape, led by endless amounts of isolation basketball having a player that allows for the maximum amount of floor spacing is a premier asset. Former Aztec Jordan Schakel is the quintessential fit for that style. Torrence, CA native shot a dazzling 154-343 from deep (44.8%) when combining the past two seasons statistics, which made him the X-Factor for two San Diego State teams that had tremendous seasons. What has to have NBA teams salivating when breaking down Schakel’s tape is his pure ability score from anywhere on the perimeter, whether it’s coming off a screen, using his underrated ball-handling skills to create space against a defender, or even a pull-up three all work for the skilled shooting wing.
I labeled this section as “Shooting Ability”, instead of three-point shooting for a reason. That’s because a good indicator in evaluating how legitimate or translatable a player’s perimeter shooting ability is looking at their free throws, Schakel shot 89.7 percent from the charity stripe in his four years. However, if you ignore his freshman season, Schakel shot above 90 percent on free throws in two of his final three years.
Furthering the point I touched on earlier, Schakel’s shooting is massive, but that also allows him to be a complete winner. He’s a solid, not great defender, but could play a Duncan Robinson-type role in the NBA, who had to fight through the G-League to make the NBA, and now is eyeing down a 60+ million dollar contract in free agency. Why is Robinson, a player who isn’t a good athlete, nor even an average defender going to make that much?
Shooting is the name of the game in today’s NBA, oftentimes leading to victories. Statistics can also back up this theory, sports-reference lists Schakel atop its “win shares” metric at 5.0 leading the Aztecs, one whole share over conference player of the year, Matt Mitchell, who clocked in at 3.9.
Schakel’s college measurement listed him at 6’6, which stacks up right next to elite NBA marksmen the likes of Joe Harris, and right in the range of Duncan Robinson from the Miami Heat, and rookie phenom Desmond Bane from the Grizzlies. There’s a noticeable difference between being a 6’3 sharpshooter, compared to a 6’6 sharpshooter, perfect NBA size for a shooting wing.
Just a three point shooter?
Schakel only attempted 3.4 two-pointers last season in comparison to 6.4 shots from deep, which was his role in the offense. He was there to shoot the ball from deep, create space, and draw attention from defenders, but is there more in his offensive arsenal? That’s a question NBA teams have to be wondering when looking at the 6’6 sharpshooter’s game. There were moments last year where Schakel drove and finished against contact, but it was only a number of times.
I don’t agree with the idea that players above 21 aren’t super draftable unless you’re a Chris Duarte caliber of player, but there’s no question that it matters to NBA Teams. Entering the draft, Schakel is 23 years old, which certainly plays into why he’s projected to go undrafted in Thursday’s draft — if he were 20 does he become a potential draftee? You’d have to think so.
NBA Projection: Exhibit 10 contract with a summer league invitation. Schakel could turn his ‘Exhibit 10’ contract into a two-way contract with a strong summer league performance in Vegas. I envision at some point during his career, he’ll carve out a role in the league — there’s ALWAYS a need for shooting.