Draft profiles: John Jenkins, 6'4, 215 lbs, SG, Vanderbilt

Draft profiles: John Jenkins, 6'4, 215 lbs, SG, Vanderbilt

Jenkins comes into this draft as arguably the best shooter in the draft, a sniper from all over the court.

Athletic Ability

Athletically, he is below average in everything.  He lacks vertical, has below average straight line speed, and will struggle to defend shooting guards with his lack of lateral quickness.  While, there have been reports that he has worked to re-define his body type and has gained some quickness, he'll need to prove it to NBA GMs to increase his draft position.  If he could just get his speed to be near average, he would be a huge asset at the next level.


While he is slightly undersized at 6’4 at the shooting guard, Jenkins possesses good body size to body up his opponent on the defensive side.  Offensively, he operates off-the-ball as his size will not be a concern.

Off-Court Issues

There are nothing but good things to say about John off the court.

Basketball IQ and want it factor

Jenkins basketball IQ is through the roof.  While sometimes he would shoot ill-advised shots, it was because he was the main scorer for Vanderbilt and at times, the only one that would take a tough shot.  The fact that he would get his shot off despite his physical limitations speaks a testament to how much he wants to win, but also his high basketball IQ.  Jenkins moves well off the ball to find spots to get his shot off whether from mid-range or beyond the arc. 

As for will to want it, Jenkins is noted as a workhorse and is constantly in the gym to get back.  He is not afraid to take and make the big shot, or to keep shooting even if his shot is not falling.  He will try to set up his teammates when opportunity presents.


Jenkins comes into the draft as strictly a shot-maker from anywhere on the court.  He shot 44 % from beyond the arc with an astronomical nine attempts per game.   For Vanderbilt, Jenkins was the # 1 option and, at times, the only option.  For a shooter, that is somewhat difficult.  If a defender closes out, Jenkins has a nice pump-fake, dribble drive pull up jumper.   He will never be a creator at the next level and some of his attempted shots at Vanderbilt would certainly have been blocked in the NBA. 

However, stating all this, Jenkins will still be able to find and make open shots at the next level and gives you that Ray Allen/Dell Curry/Steve Kerr/Reggie Miller type scare when he takes an open shot.   While Kyle Korver is an amazing shooter in his own right, I feel Jenkins is much more consistent.

Defensively, Jenkins will likely struggle at the next level even if has lost some reported weight.  As mentioned, he is below average laterally and shooting guard is one position that requires lateral quickness.  He seems to understand body position which will alleviate some weaknesses and is able to mask some blow-bys by using his body to shield opponents away.


Overall, Jenkins is coming into the draft as one of those once-a-decade pure shooters.  While he might be compared to Doron Lamb, I don’t doubt that Jenkins could shoot at least 50% from three if he played for Kentucky.  This is not to discredit Lamb’s shooting as he is a good player and shooter, but Jenkins is on another planet in terms of shot-making and degree of difficulty.  Because this is a deep draft, Jenkins could slide to late first round, or because he is so gifted at his craft, he could drafted in late teens.

How does he fit with the Bulls?

Again, at pick 29 (if the Bulls stay here), he is going to be compared to Doron Lamb.  Doron is a safer and more complete player in terms of not being a defensive liability.  However, John Jenkins is one of the safest picks in the draft in my opinion because of his ability to not only shoot, but to shoot with limited time and space. 

Cutting to the point, John is that “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe we left him open or shoot” player.   He has the confidence and shooting ability of a Steve Kerr, John Paxson, Anthony Morrow, Kyle Korver, Reggie Miller, Ray Allen, etc…   Of course, he's a one-dimensional player with numerous flaws.  If waive Korver, John Jenkins is an excellent pick at 29.  If we still have Boozer on our team, please don’t play them at the same time if Jenkins has to defend someone who can drive.

While we as Bulls fans are tired of those one-dimensional players, I love Jenkins because not only is he a good shooter, he is a clutch and doesn't fear the moment.  With the way our team is set-up and in contention for deep playoff runs, we can always use the next shooter and quality two way players are hard to find this deep in the draft. 

If we are comparing Jenkins to Jeremy Lamb, Brad Beal, or Terrence Ross, of course I would take them over Jenkins because of their overall skill set and lack of weaknesses.  However, at pick 29, if Jenkins and Doron Lamb were available (they likely both won’t be here at pick 29) I would take Jenkins every time for our team.   While Doron is a better overall player, I don’t feel either are starter material ready for a championship-type run team (Doron could be a solid starter for many teams, but not championship type) and therefore I would rather take the player that provides a little more of a threat in an impact role. 

The only shooting guard I would consider at pick 29 over Jenkins would be Kevin Murphy because of his possibility to make more of an overall impact at the scoring level without being as a liability on defense.


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  • "The only shooting guard I would consider at pick 29 over Jenkins would be Kevin Murphy because of his possibility to make more of an overall impact at the scoring level without being as a liability on defense."

    I totally agree with this. Murphy seems to be on the better side in terms of offensive skill, also he is the type of player we need. Rip will be gone in a year, and we may not be able to add another SG. Murphy should be able to step in and score in that role once Rip is gone. Ala Redd after Allen left Milwaukee.

    Jenkins is a great shooter and that will be great in terms of fit. Ideally I would want to get two players out this draft. If we can buy a second rounder, and get a Jenkins and a Murphy that would be ideal for me. If not we can try and draft someone who can play some PG like a lamb/cunningham.

    If its not apparent, I am very high on Murphy, I think he goes first round like Brooks did last year or we take him at 29 I hope.

    In terms of Draft Talent right now:

  • The NBA Combine is being aired on ESPNU today and tomorrow, FYI.

    Just saw John Jenkins in some drills and he looks bigger than most pics/vids that are out there. Seems like he's put on some muscle or something. Orlando Johnson looked great as well. They said he dropped a few pounds too. Don't know much about Jared Cunningham, but he looked really solid. Analysts were saying his ceiling could be Russell Westbrook(?), but I'm definitely gonna be looking forward to your profile on him, Kevin.

  • Kevin, you obviously like Kevin Murphy. As I said I just don't have enough to go on with him. I wish his steals and rebounds were higher for a guy his size in a smaller conference. Yet his three point shooting on six attempts per game is impressive. Obviously his prolific scoring and size are appealing. Same reasons a lot of people liked Marshon Brooks as someone mentioned.

    I'm short on time, but let me just say this. John Jenkins averaging 40 plus ppg in his senior season in high school. And prolific scoring in his sophomore and junior seaons in a major conference. His handle in my view is somewhat underrated. He does have decent athleticism offensively overall IMO, and a decent first step to exploit average defenders occasionally due to how tight guys are going to have to play him. His three point shooting obviously is the best in the country.

    When I look at him personally as I watched him play in many games, interviews, timeouts etc., I just don't see a dynamic personality. That doesn't mean he can't be a very good offensive player. But defensively he just looks terrible to me. Not only sub par lateral quickness, but his anticipation is just awful as well.

    Doron Lamb, aside from his high school rankings, playing at Oak Hill Academy, leading the way in an aplpha group of historic proportions in the tournament, and he just has the it factor as far I'm concerned personally. Other then Andrew Nicholson, he is the guy I would choose in the 20's. Though if the Bulls selected Jenkins I admit I would be excited as overall I think he is underrated as a scorer. He can hit pull ups, and could prove to be an excellent rotation guy. And he is a hard worker no doubt.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I don't have a problem with Doron and honestly he has great skills. I like Andrew and all, but I feel sometimes he is soft too. Jenkins has that "it" factor to me in that he will keep shooting no matter what and is fearless and always has been. Lamb has developed that, but has not always had that. I just feel Jenkins can make shots that others cannot and I just don't feel others are that overwhelming to me over Jenkins.

    Doron is the safest pick at pick 29 (if available) of all the people I have written about. I just like others impact over others.

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    I mean others impact over him.

  • I think that you already did Will Barton, how would you compare him to Jenkins. Barton averages 18 & 8 rebounds which is pretty impressive for a 2 guard. At the combine Barton came in at a legit 6'5" will Jenkins was only 6'3".

    I don't know if it is a good thing or a bad thing but Barton went off a couple days ago about being the best shooter/shooting guard in this draft.

    Without actually watching them play extensively, Barton seems to have a chance to be the better player overall/longterm.

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