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