Under Maintenance

We deeply apologize for interrupting your reading but Vendetta is currently undergoing some important maintenance! You may experience some layout shifts, slow loading times and dififculties in navigating.

Sports Media

KJ Simpson 2024 NBA Draft Profile

KJ Simpson NBA
Colorado’s KJ Simpson was a standout at the 2024 NBA Draft combine. What does his draft profile look like now? (Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports)

KJ Simpson 2024 NBA Draft Profile

We are less than one week away from the start of the 2024 NBA Draft. Today, we will be continuing our draft profile series with Colorado guard KJ Simpson, who was one of the Pac-12’s best lead guards throughout the 2023-24 season. Without further ado, let’s hop into it!

Height: 6’0.25″ (6’4.50″ wingspan, 7’9.50″ standing reach)

Weight: 212.4 lbs

Draft Age: 21.9

Position: Guard

KJ Simpson, a graduate of Chaminade High School in West Hills, Calif., was a top-100 recruit and a top-8 guard in the country within the 2021 recruiting cycle, per 247sports.com. He chose Colorado over many West Coast offers, such as Arizona, Arizona State, California, Pacific, USC and UC Santa Barbara, among others.

Simpson originally came off the bench as a freshman, playing behind Keeshawn Barthelemy. He struggled shooting the ball, but still led the Buffs in assists and assist percentage (25.2), a mark that ranked in the top-5 in the Pac-12 amongst qualified guards.

His shooting struggles continued, but his passing and defense continued to improve before he vastly turned around the former in 2023-24. Simpson finished his collegiate career averaging 19.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists on 47.5 percent shooting and 43.4 percent from beyond the arc. He was a two-time All-Conference guard and was a huge reason why CU went on a late-season surge to make the NCAA Tournament for the second time in four seasons.

Let’s dive into some of his strengths and weaknesses, shall we?

Strengths:

Simpson was a deadeye 3-point shooter in his final season. As I mentioned above, he converted on over 43 percent of his 3-point shots, where he took 35.5 percent of his long-range attempts. He shot 56.7 percent at the rim and 40.9 percent on other 2-pointers inside the arc, per Barttorvik, which are good-not-great marks for a 6-foot-1 guard.

Simpson has a pure and very repeatable shooting stroke. He has a good release point and it’s lightning quick, where he was comfortably able to shoot over bigger defenders beyond the arc or in the mid-range. He had good lift on his jump shots and always appeared on-balanced with his lower half.

He was good at punishing over-aggressive defenders off the bounce, attacking closeouts with a quick burst and navigating close quarters well with good vision plus above-average handle.

Though one of my favorite qualities that Simpson brought was that he’s a pure floor general. He doesn’t mind playing off-ball and played with multiple NBA-caliber players in Tristan da Silva (draft profile here) and Cody Williams (draft profile here). Simpson knew when to be aggressive and when to let his teammates take control of the offense; he knew how to get players involved.

I specifically look to the NBA Draft Combine scrimmages, where the point guard shined. In those two games, he averaged 13.5 points and two assists. But he commanded the floor every second he was on the floor and maintained his aggressiveness while making the right plays. He looked as comfortable on the floor with players he’s never played with as he did at Colorado. That matters when you’re immediately inserted into an NBA offense.

He was very good at making extra passes, hit-ahead passes and playing within the flow of the Buffs’ offense. Simpson sported a career-best 15.2 AST-TO%–an exceptional mark for a player with a 26.7 percent usage rate. Simpson doesn’t get rattled or make too many mistakes with the rock in his hands.

Weaknesses:

I’m not very concerned about Simpson’s shooting, but he did shoot just 26.9 percent inside the arc and 45.0 percent on 2s in his first two seasons at Colorado. I think he showed that he’s capable of having good touch from distance. Though the biggest question may come inside the arc because of his sheer lack of size.

Finishing over NBA defenders will be a more arduous task. I also wonder if his size could cap his upside as a playmaker; he’s going to navigate more lanky defenders who close off space better–which could, in theory, lead to more turnovers.

I also think he will be targeted more defensively than he was with Colorado. Simpson possesses that bulldog mentality with good hands at the point-of-attack, but it’s hard for NBA offenses to not pick on someone barely 6-foot.

Projection: Early Second Round Pick

I would not bat an eye if Simpson went in the No. 25-30 range. I loved his combine performances and I think he can be a really solid rotation player. He’s got great feel for the game on- and off-ball with good vision and excellent shooting capabilities. He may be small, but he has a high floor with decent upside, in my view. I’d take a gamble on him every day of the week.

***

Subscribe to Vendetta’s Twitch

Subscribe to Vendetta’s YouTube

Check out the Vendetta Shop

Click here for more NBA content

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Popular Past Stories

recommended stories

Adam Thielen

Adam Thielen Reveals This AFC Team Did Not ‘Want Me’

Adam Thielen Reveals This AFC Team Did Not ‘Want Me’ Adam Thielen hit free agency at 32-years-old after the 2022…

Read More
Mike Muscala

11-Year NBA Vet Mike Muscala Is Retiring

11-year NBA vet Mike Muscala is retiring Reports around the league today confirm that Oklahoma City Thunder center Mike Muscala…

Read More
DaRon Holmes II

Nuggets rookie DaRon Holmes II tears Achilles, likely out for season

Nuggets rookie DaRon Holmes II tears Achilles, out for season Denver Nuggets rookie DaRon Holmes II will likely miss the…

Read More
UFC Denver Preview Predictions

UFC Denver Preview And Predictions

UFC Denver Preview And Predictions The UFC is returning after a week’s absence with a fight night event in Denver,…

Read More