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Jordan Hawkins 2023 NBA Draft Scouting Report

Jordan Hawkins
(Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

Jordan Hawkins 2023 NBA Draft Scouting Report

  • Height/Weight/Age: 6’5″/185 lbs/21 years old
  • Primary Position: Shooting Guard
  • Sophomore Season Stats: 16.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.3 APG, 40.9% FG, 38.8% 3PT, 88.7% FT, 0.7 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 1.4 TOPG

Strengths: Three-Point Shooting, Off-Ball Movement, Two-Way Feel

Jordan Hawkins is arguably the best shooter in the 2023 NBA Draft. He shot 38.8% from three for UConn this past season and was a major reason why the Huskies won the national championship. The release is lightning quick. Hawkins doesn’t need much space to get a shot off. He is efficient no matter how he gets the ball in his hands and ranked in the 97th percentile on spot-up jumpers specifically, converting 45.6% of those looks.

Jordan Hawkins is a nightmare to defend because he’s always moving. He seemingly never loses energy as he sprints around the court on offense. I’m not comparing the UConn product to Steph Curry, but that’s approaching the level of off-ball movement we’re talking about. It’s elite. Defenders need to know where he is at all times or he will make them pay, especially in transition.

Coupled with that constant activity, Hawkins is an elite movement shooter. One of the reasons I really liked Bennedict Mathurin going into last year’s draft was his ability to shoot on the move, and Hawkins is even better at it. He does such a good job of ensuring that his upper body is square to the basket no matter where his lower half is pointed. Considering his high efficiency alongside the types of shots he was taking, it’s hard not to love what Hawkins brings to the table from long range.

Finally, Jordan Hawkins displays great feel and effort for both offense and defense. Offensively, I already mentioned his unbelievable stamina. Despite not being a super advanced passer, Hawkins knows when to make the extra pass to a wide-open teammate. On defense, he’s a capable team defender with a good understanding of rotations. He knows his role, hustles a ton, and does his best to make an impact. The two-way buy-in is a huge plus.

Weaknesses: On-Ball Creation, Finishing, Defensive Upside

Despite Jordan Hawkins’ off-ball prowess, he is extremely limited in what he is able to offer in terms of on-ball creation. His handle is too loose to take defenders off the dribble and he’s a pretty rudimentary passer. It’s not an issue of having bad feel for the flow of the offense, it’s just that his feel doesn’t extend to playmaking. The handle is probably the biggest cap on his ceiling. Hawkins will likely be an entirely off-ball player, and you’d be correct to question how much value he can realistically return if that’s the case.

Hawkins struggles to finish at the rim and overall is not as efficient inside the arc as one would like. It’s a little puzzling because his touch is extremely good. He shot just 44.5% on two-point attempts last season and just 52.6% at the rim. Despite being athletic enough to put people on a poster, Hawkins doesn’t attack the rim as much as he could. That’s partially due to his handle and partially due to his thinner frame, which is unfortunate because he’s automatic from the free-throw line but doesn’t maximize his opportunities to get there. Adding bulk would help him as a finisher and diversify his offensive game.

Another area where adding some strength to his frame would be beneficial is the defensive end. Hawkins’ upside as a defender is capped by how wiry he is. Although he has the lateral quickness to stay in front of most of his assignments, he likely won’t ever be a high-level one-on-one defender unless he bulks up a bit. Tenacity and agility go a long way, but the frame is still a limitation.

Best NBA Fit: Orlando Magic, Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Lakers

I picked a few teams where I could see Jordan Hawkins landing, all of which struggled with hitting threes last season. The Orlando Magic own the No. 11 pick and finished 25th in three-point percentage. I’m curious to see how Hawkins would play off the frontcourt duo of Wagner and Banchero. Atlanta (No. 15 pick) were among the league’s worst for taking and making threes. However, they also set a high frequency of screens, and Hawkins would shine in that sort of system. Finally, should Hawkins slip further, I like the Los Angeles Lakers (No. 17 pick) as a potential landing spot. They were fifth-worst in three-point percentage and could really use a pull-up shooting threat.

NBA Comparison: Isaiah Joe

Looking at Jordan Hawkins, I see a lot of what Isaiah Joe offered coming out of Arkansas. The two players have a similar frame and functioned as three-point specialists who were less efficient inside the arc. Each came out of college a solid team defender but was limited in what they could do as an on-ball defender. Joe may have had a slightly better handle, but I think Hawkins has the edge in his instincts on the offensive end. Neither is a great passer and each is best used off-ball. Finally, I think the Joe archetype speaks to some inherent volatility that could arise with Hawkins. Joe shot 33.3% from three for the 76ers two seasons ago before hitting 40.9% of his triples in OKC this past season. When you’re an off-ball shooter without a ton of creation ability, sometimes the threes aren’t always falling.

Draft Projection: Borderline Lottery Pick

The shooting Jordan Hawkins provides is so valuable that I would be surprised if he falls outside the top 20 picks on draft night. There’s a chance some team takes him in the lottery, but I think just outside is more likely. Look for him to hear his name called in the 15-20 range.

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