Photo Credits: Brett Rojo/Tulsa World
Over the past few days, reports have surfaced that the Oklahoma City Thunder have brought in first-round prospects for workouts. As we have come to find out, the Thunder also have started to tap into late-round prospects for evaluation.
Let’s check them out:
Tulsa guard Brandon Rachal (6-foot-6; 220 pounds; 21 years old)
Source: Rylan Stiles (7/8)
Senior Averages: 15.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.6 steals, 31.4 minutes
Brandon Rachal has received little chatter as we near the NBA Draft, but the Tulsa senior has been a mainstay in his past two seasons. Jones is a project, though, he did have some spurts of being a quality 3-and-D wing. Rachal was almost nonexistent from outside 15 feet in his first two seasons, but this past year the guard shot over 4 attempts from deep on 31.4% shooting. Rachal has a long way to go to solidify himself outside, though his grit around the rim does supplement his game. Rachal was pesky, averaging 1.6 steals last year, so it’ll be interesting to see where he projects defensively at the next level.
Rachal has some moldable traits. As a finisher around the basket, Rachal feasts in digging into his opponent for contact, and when inside five feet, guard in the AAC simply could not contest him. Rachal was feisty picking the ball loose posting one 5 steal game and four 4 steal games last year aswell.
Rachal had progressive improvement from distance, but the patches of recording 1-of-7 or 2-of-8 platters outside outweighed nights where he had any sort of cohesion from deep. Rachal wasn’t a weak spot defensively though foul troubles were ongoing throughout the year. As a ball handler Rachal got out of hand with turnovers in some situations, coughing up 5+ turnovers in six of his 27 games.
Draft Evaluation: Undrafted
Louisville guard Carlik Jones (6-foot-1; 185 pounds; 23 years old)
Source: Carlik Jones (7/9)
Senior Averages: 16.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.4 steals, 37.5 minutes
Carlik Jones earned himself a spot in last month’s G-League Elite Camp after capping his Senior season with Louisville on a team-high 16.8 points a game. In Jones’ time in the G-League camp, the guard posted a camp-high 23 points in his first day of play, that was enough to get the 23-year-old on to the official Draft Combine. Jones isn’t going to wow you with his speed or wide array of dribble moves, but the guard does have a strong sense of the floor. Jones plays much bigger than his size indicates often creating contact on layups or getting handsy in the passing lanes. Jones’ solid work as a finisher and passer in college should give him some looks late in the draft.
Jones is a physical playmaker. He enjoys coming off of screens and digging into the second level for layup opportunities. As a passer Jones has a solid feel in the halfcourt when it comes to hitting cutters or making reads while driving towards the basket. Jones also shot consistently above the 80% mark in his past two seasons, an indicator that he’ll be won’t be shooting in the twenties from deep.
Jones’ pace and overall is better suited in the G-League as opposed to the NBA right now. His handle on the ball is solid, but a lack of a first step makes him a shaky isolator at best. Jones is questionable playing off the ball, and with teams (including Oklahoma City) having established situations at the point, adjusting to a shooting guard role will have a toll — this also rolls over to the defensive side of things as well.
Draft Evaluation: Late Second to Undrafted
Both Rachal and Jones are widely considered to be players in the undrafted pool, but with Oklahoma City possessing the 55th pick — they may be in consideration for a selection, a G-League pick, or a Summer League nod.