Originally written on NBA Draft Blog  |  Last updated 10/15/14
Name:   Jarnell Stokes        Age:   20   School: Tennessee Height: 6’8½          Weight: 262   Projected Position:  PF 2013-14 Stats: 15.1 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 2.0 apg, 0.9 spg, 1.1 bpg, 2.6 tpg (32.4 minutes per game) 53.1 FG%, 69.6 FT%, 57.6 TS%, 53.1 eFG% 24.6 USG%, 15.3 ORB%, 23.1 DREB%, 19.2 TRB%   SKILLS & ATHLETIC BREAKDOWN Offense Post Offense Stokes is an above-average offensive post player, capable of playing with both his back to the basket or facing up. He does a good job using his body to establish position in the post area, and his wide body makes it tough for defenders to deny entry passes without fouling him. Stokes doesn’t have many moves, but he is effective going over either shoulder after a backing down his man to the basket, and he is capable of hitting short shots with either hand.  His footwork is average and his moves can be slow to develop, but he uses his body well and his patience often allows him to chance to get very good looks at the basket, especially against longer defenders who may give him trouble. He has also developed a nice up-and-under move if he finds his first move stopped by the defender. Stokes needs to work on getting a better sense of where the defense is before he makes a move, and he needs to be quicker to get the ball out to teammates when he is doubled in the low post. On occasion, Stokes can face up out of the post and use his dribble to get by his man to the basket, but he needs to be able to knock down the jumper consistently as well. Stokes is a very good perimeter screener, and he opens up well to the ball, but he has to work on moving quicker towards the basket, looking for the pass. Stokes understands spacing well and can be very active moving in the post to get in position for the ball, especially using a variety of methods to get open moving from side to side. His ability to keep defenders on his back allows him to seal the lane off for teammates who are looking to get to the basket. While he resorts to using good shooting touch to score around the basket, if given the space, Stokes can finish above the rim. Ballhandling/Penetration Stokes is an above-average ballhandler for his size, able to use both hands well, though stronger with his right, and able to get to the basket in either direction.  When going to the basket, Stokes uses his big body well to shield defenders from the ball, and he shows decent body control for his size. He doesn’t often have the speed to beat help defenders to the basket, so he often relies on a runner to finish, though he needs to be able to hit that shot consistently if he can’t finish at the basket. Stokes does a good job keeping his head up when heading to the basket and seeing where the help defenders are, but he could work on finding open teammates better. Stokes is capable of finishing with either hand around the basket, and he when he gets to the basket he is very good at using shot and head fakes to create space to get his shot off and draw contact. Perimeter Shooting This is one area where Stokes is going to need to put in extra work. He has shown a good form at times with smooth release and follow-through, but he can be slow getting into his shooting motion, and when he hesitates, defenders are quick to close on him. Stokes is a very good screener, so being able to use him in pick-and-pop situations will force the defense into rotations. Before that can happen, he has to become confident and consistent with his mid-range jumper.    Free Throw Shooting Stokes is a below-average free throw shooter, but his mechanics should allow him to at least be average. His shooting motion is very short and is mainly from his upper body. .  He has a consistent routine and good balance at the line, along with good follow-through, but he has a problem with his shot sometimes coming off flat on the release.  Stokes does a very good job drawing contact around the basket, especially using shot and ball fakes to get defenders in the air. He is also very good at getting quality shots off through contact because of his strength.  He goes to the free throw line around over 1 time for every 2 field goal attempts, but he draws at a higher rate when he was playing around the basket area.   Defense Post Defense/Help Defense Stokes is an above-average post defender, using his body well to force opponents, even taller ones, away from the basket. He sets a balanced base with his legs and positions himself well between his man and the basket. He has shown good footwork when defending against both back-to-the-basket and face-up post moves, though his reaction time needs to be much better. Stokes will often try to defend the post over-the-top by denying entry passes, and while it works on occasion, a good passer will get the ball into the post and force the help to try and stop a basket. He holds his ground very well against post moves, though he should rely on his lower body more instead of leaning on the man with his upper body. Stokes’ defensive awareness is very good, and he has a knack for getting into help position quickly. Stokes is not much of a shot-blocker but he does do a good job challenging shots in his area. In pick-and-roll situations, Stokes needs to do a better job hedging on the ballhandler, but he needs to watch not hedging hard and leaving a gap for the ballhandler to make a play. Perimeter Defense (On/Off Ball) Stokes is an average perimeter defender, and he moves very well in open space for his size. He positions himself well between his man and the basket, and has good lateral movement, though his reaction to movements and foot speed need to improve. Stokes closes well on perimeter shooters, though he needs to work on his reaction time.  Off the ball, Stokes positions himself well and he always has a good eye on his help position. Again, his reaction time needs some improvement, but he is capable of containing others at his position off the dribble. His defensive awareness is good on the perimeter and he should only improve over time.   Rebounding Stokes has a great knack for tracking and getting his hands on missed shots, and he does a good job using his body to seal off opponents.  He boxes out well, goes strong after the ball, and he has strong hands to secure the rebound.  On the offensive end, Stokes does a very good job using a variety of techniques, not just using his body, to get into position. He can get quick shots off when he gets an offensive board, but he is also very good at being patient and drawing the defense in the air with fakes to draw contact. Transition Stokes runs the floor very well for his size, though he is only really an option as a trailer heading down the lane on the secondary break or coming in strong and getting an offensive board of a missed shot. Intangibles/Summary Stokes is a big-bodied power forward who can use his strength to back down players on the offensive end, while using a nice touch to finish around the basket and using smart play to consistently draw contact or find open looks. His ability to set strong screens and seal off defenders in the post creates space for his teammates, and when the shot goes up, Stokes is already working hard to get in position for a rebound. Mid-range shooting will need to improve and become consistent, but I don’t think he will need to adjust his shot much to do so. Stokes is a physical defender who makes it tough for offensive players to get shots close to the basket, and his strength often forces his man to resort to jumpers or contested shots in the lane. He has good awareness on the defensive end, and though he won’t block many shots, he will do what he can to make it tough. Stokes has the potential to be a valuable role player quickly as a defender and rebounder, though he should work on improving his quickness.        Draft Value:  Early-Mid 2nd Round – #34-42 Stokes is quality option for teams looking for a classic power forward-type of player who can play physical defense, rebound on both ends, and score efficiently around the basket. Also, Stokes played 3 years at Tennessee, but he only turned 20 in January. His game will need to expand a bit if he wants to be more than a role player, but he is the kind of player who will make the most out of any minutes he can get on the floor. Leave your comments below, or email me – ed@nbadraftblog.com Follow me on Twitter - @NBADraftBlog
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