Our player evaluation series continues with Jordan Schakel.
The Washington Wizards’ front office added Jordan Schakel as an undrafted free agent after he went undrafted after his senior season at San Diego State. Schakel, a 6’6 wing, averaged 14.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1 assist per game in his last college season.
He shot 46.1 percent from three on 6.4 attempts as a senior 42.7 percent for his career. He was also a 90.8 percent free-throw shooter as a senior and 87 percent overall. Based on those percentages, the expectation is that Schakel’s shooting would translate to the NBA.
Schakel played 30 total minutes in four games for the Wizards. In those minutes, he made 1-of-11 shots and 1-of-6 from the three point line. That’s such a small sample size that I don’t think you can draw any meaningful conclusions from it.
Most of Schakel’s run came in the G League for the Capital City Go-Go this year. He started out as just a G League signee before eventually being converted to a two-way contract after the Wizards released Joel Ayayi.
In 42 games for the Go-Go, Schakel averaged 14.3 points, 4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 32 minutes per game. Schakel made 34.2% of his threes on 7 attempts per game and 43% from the field overall. He seemed to experience some of the same troubles Corey Kispert had getting comfortable with the NBA three-point line.
Schakel did not shoot as well as I would have hoped this season but someone with those college percentages typically finds a way to make perimeter shots in the NBA as well. We saw Kispert have similar ups and downs throughout the year. That’s not atypical for a rookie to need time to acclimate.
It does seem like he has the ability to attack closeouts and he looked pretty comfortable from mid-range. He also played pretty well in their two playoff games, which to me is a good sign. In the two games, he scored 43 total points and made 7 of his 16 threes (43.8%). Some of those shots were pretty clutch, which is also a good sign.
Even if he does become the type of high-end shooter the Wizards are hoping for, what else does he do? He wasn’t a particularly strong defender even at the G League level and he’s not an explosive athlete. He doesn’t create for others and most of his NBA points will likely come from catch-and-shoot situations.
Future with the Wizards
Schakel projects as purely a shooting specialist at this point. Yes, the Wizards need perimeter shooting but can they really afford to play another guy who is so one-dimensional? It doesn’t seem like you could play he and Kispert together so how does Budget Kispert earn meaningful minutes?
If the Wizards traded Kispert as a part of a deal for another star player, perhaps I could see a pathway to more minutes for Schakel. I wouldn’t mind having him back on a two-way next year if they can’t find anyone who seems more likely to be an impact player.
That being said, this may not be the best draft in recent memory but I do think several players with higher upside than Schakel are likely to go undrafted and could be available to sign to two-way contracts. If that’s the case, I would not be mad at the Wizards for moving on from Schakel and attempting to sign him to a standard G League contract instead.