The Charlotte Hornets need help on the wing. Their best two guard is maybe more of a point guard and their best small forward is more of a power forward. Malik Monk’s long term future has been a question mark for three years now, and that doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon. The Martin twins are fine, but they’re certainly not making anyone say that the wing position is set for years to come.
The solution to shoring up the wing position for good probably won’t come in the second round, but the Hornets could take a stab at it. Jahmi’us Ramsey is one potential target that fits that mold. He was considered a lottery prospect by many for much of the season, but he started falling down draft boards towards the end of the season. Now he looks like a target for the Hornets at 32.
Weight: 195 pounds
Strengths: Catch and shoot ability, defensive potential, well-defined 3&D role
Ramsey’s clearest path to carving out a role as an NBA player is as a prototypical 3&D wing. He showed the shooting stroke at Texas Tech, knocking down 42.6% of his 141 3-point attempts as a freshman. His form is a little unorthodox, as he likes to load the ball from his left hip, but the ball finds a more traditional spot before he leaves his feet. The stroke looks good and repeatable off the catch, and it led to some very impressive shooting rates. According to Hashtag Basketball, Ramsey ranked in the 91st percentile on catch-and-shoot jumpers, 93rd percentile on 3-pointers, and 88th percentile when coming off screens.
Ramsey is already a good on ball defender, and he shows flashes of being a menace off the ball. He moves his feet well and is strong enough to hold his ground against bigger covers. He blocked 0.9 shots per 40 minutes, which is a pretty impressive number for a player his size. He’s a very good athlete and is more than willing to rotate and protect the rim. That said, he still has to clean up his consistency off the ball, as he too often falls asleep on the perimeter.
Question marks: Shot creation, ball handling, consistency
Ramsey looks like he’ll be limited to an off-ball scorer, at least at the beginning of his career. He doesn’t have a deep bag of tricks with the ball in his hands, and he wasn’t an efficient scorer in the half court. He doesn’t have a lot of wiggle with the ball and doesn’t seem confident that he can get a step on his man off the dribble, often electing to settle for tough jumpers instead of attacking the basket in isolation situations. He’s very good driving to his right in a straight line, but awful going left. You can’t get away with that in the NBA.
There are a few red flags in Ramsey’s statistical profile that give cause for concern. He doesn’t get to the line often and he has pretty poor offensive efficiency numbers. He played a few duds as a freshmen, including seven games with fewer than ten points. He finished the season with a whimper, averaging 8.0 points per game on 27.5% shooting from the field and 25.0% shooting from three, including a zero point showing against Oklahoma.
Ramsey showed explosive outside scoring potential for spurts during his lone season at Texas Tech. In the eight games prior to the aforementioned whimper, he averaged 18.9 points per game and shot nearly 55% from 3-point range. Kevin Pelton of ESPN ranks him as the tenth best prospect based purely on his statistical profile, which might raise a few eyebrows. He has a clearly defined role in the NBA knocking down spot-up shots and playing hard on the defensive end. His lack of playmaking may limit his ceiling, but there’s a chance he could improve here and become one of the biggest steals in the draft.