Following the NBA Draft earlier this month, Kris Jenkins still was without an NBA team. The famous forward out of Villanova, known for his buzzer-beating three-pointer to beat UNC in the 2016 NCAA National Championship game, was signed by the Washington Wizards as an undrafted free agent. The Washington D.C. native now has an opportunity to make the Wizards’ final roster for the 2017-18 season, but it won’t be easy.
In his senior season at Villanova, Jenkins averaged 13.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 31 minutes per game. He shot 42.7 percent from the field, 36.0 percent from three on over six attempts per game, and 86.2 percent from the free-throw line.
Jenkins is a physical forward with underrated athleticism, but he needs to improve in various aspects of his game. The big question whether he is quick enough to guard wing players at the next level. Washington should be able to get a good sense for that against the competition in Las Vegas.
As you can see in the highlights, Jenkins has good outside touch and can handle a high volume of outside shots. He can also back someone down in the paint and hit a shot in the post when needed. His built-in chemistry with former Villanova teammate Daniel Ochefu, who will also be on the Wizards’ Summer League team, could also give him a boost as he fights for a roster spot.
The battle to watch during the Summer League will be between Jenkins and Danuel House. House made the Wizards roster last season after a strong showing in last year in Las Vegas, and is aiming to do it again this season. House has more of the build to play at the NBA level, but Jenkins is a more polished scorer. How he performs compared to House will be crucial for his chances of making the roster.
Jenkins has to show he can play both ways at the next level. In order to make the roster, he will have to show he can play strong defense and improve on his playmaking. If Jenkins can do those two things, he has a shot at making the Wizards roster for next season. If not, he could still emerge as a candidate to sign a two-way contract with the team as a long-term prospect.