Irresponsible NBA Draft prospect comparisons: 3. Trayce Jackson-Davis is not ‘Jerami Grant with less shooting’
Another common mistake with NBA Draft prospect comparisons is adding a modifier — “they are like Player X but with or without Skill Y.” In most cases, it’s more instructive to just find a player who is a better match, rather than starting with a template and then taking and removing defining characteristics like a paper doll.
Trayce Jackson-Davis is ranked as a second-round prospect on most draft boards. He is clearly not an outside shooter, having attempted just three shots from beyond the arc across his four-year college career. So this comparison at least gets that point right. But I’m not sure the base comparison is meaningful enough to be useful.
At this point in his career, Grant is a slasher and shooter on offense. Removing one of his key attributes in the comparison makes it more irrelevant, especially when slashing doesn’t project to be a big part of Jackson-Davis’ game. On defense, Grant played in Syracuse’s zone in college and has become a versatile big win in the NBA, defending mostly 3s and 4s.
Jackson-Davis is bouncy and mobile but he’s also listed as roughly 35 points heavier than Grant. A significant portion of his college offense came from the low-post or mid-post face-ups. He is a lob threat and an interior force. He is not a slasher. And on defense, despite being bouncy and athletic, he seems far more likely to defend 4s and 5s at the next level than 3s and 4s like Grant. The only thing that really feels like a match here is non-shooting and some measure of athleticism. But if we’re not learning anything about the role they play now or will play later, what’s the point of the comparison?