As a Blazer fan I am intrigued by this move. Coming into Thursday's draft the Portland Trail Blazers had no draft picks. Toward the middle of the second round they sent a future second pick to get former Terp Jake Layman with the 47th pick from Orlando.
What are they getting in Layman? The 6-foot-9, 209 pound forward averaged 11.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists in his senior year. He started as a stretch four for Maryland and reached a peak his junior year with 12.5 points and 5.8 rebounds. His senior year he dipped in productivity due to the lack of room on the court. Both Diamond Stone and transfer Robert Carter (both who are on NBA rosters already) took over at both the power forward and center spot, leaving Layman stuck at small forward.
He put up the lowest average of points per game since his freshman year with 11.6 points and 5.3 rebounds. Although the numbers weren't as flashy his percentages grew. He shot 50 percent from the floor (3 percent increase), 40 percent from deep (2 percent increase) and 83 percent from the line (8 percent increase).
He is a very efficient scorer who can play multiple positions and has great size to dominate defenders and play good, physical defense. His size creates mismatches for opponents. His height makes him too tall and physical for other small forwards to keep up with while he is too fast and athletic for most power forwards. That might cause him problems on defense at the next level as they say you are what you guard and he might have trouble with what position to defend against.
His offensive game stands mostly as a catch and shoot player. 80 percent of his shots came without a dribble; a very strong skill to possess in the current NBA game.
It isn't all fine and dandy with Jake. He attempted the least amount of field goals of any small forward with 10.2 per game adjusted to 40 minutes in 2014-15. His passive approach to the game is the opposite of what teams look for outside of box scores; dedication and heart. The Portland faithful have fallen in love with players just the opposite, heart and hunger is what gets the Moda Center going. Layman is going to have to prove he has that gene in him to get the fans to support \ him.
His collegiate career ended on a high note with his final NCAA Tournament being his best. He remained fourth in scoring on the team, but he helped propel the team up when the regulars began to struggle. He averaged 16 points per game throughout the tournament while shooting 60 percent from the floor.
Jake Layman developed into a solid rock that can contribute on any level even if he doesn't necessarily having the skills to completely take over a game. As a mid second round pick, he stands as a safe choice for the Blazers. Time will tell if this move was a good one. The Blazers obviously need more than Layman to get deeper in the playoffs next year, but he is a step in the right direction.