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2022 NBA Draft Prospect Profiles: Jeremy Sochan

The Grizzlies have always shown the willingness to trade up for their guys. Can Jeremy Sochan be one of them?

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NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament First Round-Norfolk State vs Baylor Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Over the next 3 weeks, GBB will be profiling various players the Memphis Grizzlies may target in the 2022 draft. We’ll primarily look at who they may pick with the 22th and 29th pick, or with a pick from a possible trade up in the draft.

Jeremy Sochan, Forward, Baylor University

  • 6’9”, 7’0” wingspan, 230 pounds, 19 years old, from Milton Keynes, UK (originally from Poland)
  • Last season at Baylor: In 30 games (25.1 minutes per game) — 9.2 points on 47.4% shooting (29.6% from 3, 58.9% from the FT line), 6.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.7 blocks
  • 3 STATS OF STRENGTH (per Tankathon): Defensive Win Shares/40 minutes (.101), 2-point field goal percentage (58.5%), Rebounds Per 36 minutes (9.1)
  • 3 STATS TO IMPROVE: Free Throw Percentage (58.9%), Projected NBA 3-point percentage (32.1%), Fouls Per 36 minutes (3.3)
  • AWARDS AND ACCOLADES: 2021-22 Big 12 All-Freshman, 2021-22 Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year
  • CURRENT BIG BOARD PLACEMENT: 11 (Tankathon), 8 (The Ringer), 15 (ESPN), 9 (The Athletic), 11 (Bleacher Report), 13 (CBS Sports)

The Memphis Grizzlies move up for their guys — doing so for Brandon Clarke, Xavier Tillman, Ziaire Williams, and Santi Aldama in the past 3 draftsman . With 2 first-round picks in this year’s draft, among other assets, it seems probable Zach Kleiman does so again.

Jeremy Sochan could be one of those players in the mix.

Sochan seems to fit the Grizzlies cultural fit with his competitiveness and his energy — “care factor,” a term Taylor Jenkins likes to use, is evident with him. Similar to Ziaire Williams, his raw numbers don’t pop out, and it’s a fair reference for any skepticism. However, at only 19 years old, his tools are tantalizing as a do-it-all, high-energy forward that can defend every position on the floor

Areas of Strength

Sochan’s calling card at this stage of his career is defense. He’s a menace, aspiring to reach the two-way prowess of All-Stars such as Draymond Green, Jrue Holiday, and Jimmy Butler. He can legitimately defend 1-5, possessing fantastic mobility and lateral quickness for a big man his size. Because of his quickness and versatility, he often finds himself in position to generate turnovers — accounting for 2.9 steals per 40 minutes, trailing only Tari Eason, Kennedy Chandler, and Julian Champagnie. As the league trends towards switching and defending across multiple positions, Sochan is going to be valuable rather quickly in the league.

The most intriguing element of Sochan’s offensive potential is his creation. Per Synergy Sports, Sochan generated 0.933 points per possession in isolation situations. The sample size is small, only 15 possessions, but it’s still a compelling part of his potential. He has a nice blend of size and speed that could be used in a variety of ways, and as he gets more comfortable as a creator, we should see him tap into his upside as a live-dribble scorer and playmaker.

From there, Sochan should leverage his rebounding (9.5 rebounds per 36 minutes) and his playmaking (2.5 assists per 36 minutes) in grab-and-go situations to make himself a versatile option on both sides of the ball.

Areas of improvement

Jeremy Sochan’s shooting is probably the biggest swing skill of the draft. It could be the difference between him becoming a rock-solid role player to a two-way All-Star.

Sochan’s transition into a 3-point shooter in the NBA is murky. He only shot 29.6% from 3 this past season. He fared poorly in two of the biggest barometers of NBA 3-point translation — free throw shooting (58.9%) and floaters, only connecting on 3 of his 14 runners, per Synergy Sports.

A big part of his shooting woes come with inconsistent mechanics. At times, it looks fluid, and others his base is all out of wack. Refining his shot into a more consistent motion should help straighten that out.

Sochan can make his way through without much of a jumper, but it’s going to impact his upside and role going forward.

Fit with the Grizzlies

Sochan’s fit with the Grizzlies is enticing, because he’s a potential long-term solution towards some of their decisions on the line.

If Dillon Brooks isn’t in the fold going forward, Sochan could evolve into a primary defensive stopper at the point of attack. If Kyle Anderson walks, Sochan can immediately step in as the backup 4. If Brandon Clarke isn’t longed for the team’s future, Sochan could become the closing 4 — or that starting 4 — next to Jaren Jackson Jr..

The Grizzlies prioritize versatility players that can defend across the floor and that are good positional playmakers. Sochan provides that, and his energy off the bench should help them maintain firepower, despite the tough decisions en route this summer.

If his skills are translatable, and he can refine his shooting, he could evolve into a key complementary guy alongside a championship core.

The question now is, how high do the Grizzlies need to trade up? Sochan’s range likely starts with Portland at 7, and his floor is Atlanta at 16. A sweet spot for a trade-up could be New York at 11. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported the Knicks are trying to shed Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks’ salaries ahead of free agency, but they may need to attach the 11th pick or a young player to do so.

Again, more actual trade suggestions will be thrown out later.

Zach Kleiman has shown the willingness to take on unwanted money to acquire a coveted asset. Is a higher pick in the 2022 draft in his sights? If so, Jeremy Sochan might emerge as one of his desired prospects.

Stats found on Synergy Sports and sports-reference

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