2021 Draft Watch: Evaluating Daishen Nix, and Another Look at Jalen Green
August 30th, 2020
by Alan Lu
I took the time to watch Trinity International School’s 6-4 guard, Daishen Nix play in a high school basketball game against Jalen Green and Prolific Prep that took place on February 7th, as I was able to see this with thanks to YouTube via The Grind Session. Both Nix and Green are highly touted prospects that will be heading to the G-League next season, and both players could go high in the 2021 draft. I decided to see them both play to assess their strengths and weaknesses, and to see where they are at right now. Here are my thoughts on how they both fared, as well as how their games may stack up in the NBA.
Daishen Nix is a very skilled playmaker that excels at distributing the basketball to rack up assists for his team. He does a good job of pushing the pace and leading break, as he can find teammates ahead in transition to set up scores. He also passes well off the dribble, and he can throw sharp long, accurate passes as well as find cutters to notch additional assists. Sometimes though, he can go too fast and out of control, as he may overdribble, which can cause him to lose the ball by driving into traffic, or he may throw a hasty pass that may get intercepted. Late in this game, he committed a basket interference call when going for an offensive rebound.
He also showed a knack for scoring on fast breaks. Nix would drive hard to the basket in transition to score on smooth layups, and he would often go hard and use dribble moves to draw hoards of fouls upon his defenders to get to the free throw line. Plus, he did a great job of making his free throws when he was at the foul line. Late in this match though, he struggled to score when the help would arrive, as he had his shots blocked twice towards the end.
Nix also excelled at making three-point shots to provide floor spacing for his team. He didn’t look to take many outside shots, but he was able to make two threes late in this game, and Nix can knock down long-range jumpers when he needs to. He showed that he can make them off the catch or dribble, as his ability to make outside shots can open up the rest of his game.
However, he struggled to score on half-court drives more when his team would slow the ball down and get into half-court sets. Sometimes he would try to force the issue too much, and he would have trouble scoring in traffic when the help would arrive, as he was prone to missing on contested shots around the basket. He also had trouble making long two-point shots, and he generally struggled to make pull-up jumpers consistently.
Plus, Nix also did a good job of rebounding the basketball. He would actively chase down balls to get defensive rebounds for his team, and he would tend to push the ball up the floor after getting them. Also, he also played good defense in this game. Nix would jump passes to get steals, and he also managed to recover on a drive to back-tap an opposing ball handler to get another steal due to possessing good motor, length, reach, and anticipation skills. He also would actively contest shots to force misses, and he would tend to put himself in the right spots to get stops for his team.
In general, Nix is a smart, skilled combo guard that can effectively run the point or play off the ball, and he is a talented prospect that could end up having a good year in the G-League next season. He could end up being a worthwhile pick for a team in the mid first to the second round range, and he could project to be a solid role player similar to former Indiana Pacers’ veteran guard, Jamaal Tinsley in the NBA.
This also presented another opportunity to see Jalen Green play, and while he made some impressive plays early on by showing off his tremendous athleticism and two-way potential, he continued to struggle to make shots consistently, as he especially had trouble making long-range jumpers from beyond the arc.
Green did a good job of scoring on quick drives to the basket. He can finish plays using either hand, as he can score on tough, acrobatic layups at the rim, and he can finish through contact and get hang time on his jumpers to consistently score in the paint. Plus, he also can draw fouls upon his opponents to get to the free throw line. Every once in a while, he may rush his shots, which can lead to misses, but Green was very effective in scoring on isolation plays.
He also scored on a high-flying dunk off of a cut early on in this game. However, he later got his shot blocked off of a cut midway through. Green also struggled to knock down jumpers consistently from the field. He was able to make threes both off the catch and dribble, but he took many threes and he would often miss long-range shots from beyond the arc. He also had trouble making mid-range jumpers, and sometimes he would take tough, contested shots that would lead to misses. That Green takes a lot of threes and does not seem to be effective in making long-range shots could be problematic at higher levels, and he will need to improve his jump shot moving forward.
In addition, Green displayed adequate playmaking skills. He is an unselfish player that will move the basketball, and he will look to find the open man to set up scoring chances for his teammates. Sometimes though, he would throw passes that would result in turnovers. He threw one hasty pass that ended up getting picked off. Early on, he threw a sharp pass to a teammate on the break, which led his teammate to drop the pass out of bounds.
Also, Green did a good job of rebounding the basketball. He would often leap up to get defensive rebounds, and he would tend to bring the ball up the floor afterwards. Plus, he also played above average defense in this game. Green was able to jump on a loose ball that his teammate deflected to help his team get a steal. He also would look to contest shots off of drives to force misses, and he also successfully challenge a three-point shot another time. Sometimes though, he wouldn’t cut off penetration when defending drives in transition, which would lead his team to commit fouls and allow scores. On another play, he would be caught ball watching as he would over-help in the paint, and he ended up allowing his man to score on an open three-point shot.
In summary, Jalen Green is a very athletic swingman that can score the basketball, and he is a talented prospect that can play multiple positions. He will need to improve his jump shot and also will need to be a more focused on-ball defender in games. He is a high-upside prospect whose ceiling could be through the roof if he can harness his game and improve upon his weaknesses. Right now, he projects to be a likely lottery pick for the 2021 draft, as he could end up being a solid starter similar to former Washington Wizards’ guard, Larry Hughes in the NBA.
Coleman Hawkins is a mobile, skilled big man that will be attending school at Illinois for next season, and the 6-9 forward showed off solid skills on both ends of the floor for Prolific Prep.
Hawkins excelled at scoring on hustle plays. He ran the floor to score on a fast break, and he also would take the ball strong to the hoop to score and draw free throws off of put backs after getting offensive rebounds for his team.
He also showed a good ability to score from the post. He was able to score on a right-handed hook shot early on, and he also can drive in from the high post to score on floaters and contested layups. Plus, Hawkins would also take the ball aggressively to the rim to get to the free throw line, and he excelled at making his free throws when he would get there. He did get his shot blocked once, but Hawkins generally excelled at getting scores in the paint.
On the downside, he struggled to make more shots when he would take them further away from the paint. He missed on a mid-range jumper off the catch, and he also missed a trail three from beyond the arc. Hawkins also displayed solid playmaking skills. He is a good passing big man that sees the floor well. He showed a knack for finding cutters on the move to set up scores for them, and he can push the ball up the floor to create scoring opportunities for his team. He is a fairly good passer off the dribble as well as from the post. Sometimes though, he would be prone to committing clear-out fouls when driving to the basket to commit offensive fouls and turnovers. Other times, he would throw inaccurate passes that would go astray, as he had one that was dropped out of bounds, and another that ended up being intercepted.
Plus, he also did a great job of rebounding the basketball. Hawkins would actively look to crash the glass, and he excelled at hauling in boards on both ends of the floor. He also would tend to bring the ball up after getting defensive boards, and he can handle the ball in the open court. However, there was one play where he committed an over the back foul when going for an offensive rebound once.
Also, Hawkins played solid defense. He is an active help defender that can make numerous plays on the ball, and he would rotate to block shots and get steals for his team. He has good length and timing to swat shots in the paint, and he also can poke balls and get his hands on passes to get steals and deflections. Plus, he will actively look to contest shots to force misses. However, there was one play where he fouled a three-point shooter in transition due to over-aggressiveness.
Overall, Coleman Hawkins is a skilled big man that has strong passing skills, and he also played well on both ends of the floor to help his team get the victory. He will need to make more outside shots consistently in games and add more strength, but his high skill level for a player his age suggests that he may have the skills to potentially be an impact player right away in college basketball. He is a player that can play out on the perimeter as well as in the post, and he could project to be a solid role player similar to former NBA veteran big man, Josh McRoberts in the association.