2020 NBA Draft Watch: Jahmi’us Ramsey is a great fit for the San Antonio Spurs
By Damien Bartonek
Everything about Texas Tech’s Jahmi’us Ramsey makes him a great fit for the San Antonio Spurs, but he may be out of range in the 2020 NBA Draft.
July is finally here and the San Antonio Spurs will be returning to play later this month. The question marks remain with this current roster with plenty of holes to fill during the 2020 NBA offseason. One of the main priorities for this team is capitalizing on the NBA Draft.
The Spurs’ 2019-20 season has been underwhelming, to say the least. With a solid 2018-19 season in the books, this team only looked to continue to improve with the addition of Dejounte Murray. Meanwhile, guys like Lonnie Walker IV and Derrick White gained much more familiarity and playing time in the team’s system.
Considering the Spurs are projected to be in a lottery position here, you can tell how the season went. There are loads of question marks with just about every man on this roster, obvious fit complications and one-sided play being a detriment to this team. Therefore, San Antonio must select a building block for the future in the 2020 NBA Draft.
The Spurs are looking at a surefire lottery pick if they don’t make the playoffs after the resumption of the season in late-July. This pick could be the highest it’s ever been since the franchise drafted of Tim Duncan in 1997.
San Antonio is currently projected to land the No. 11 selection in the Draft, according to Tankathon. With plenty of solid guard prospects to choose from like RJ Hampton, Cole Anthony and Saddiq Bey, one prospect that flies under the radar who fits well alongside Murray and DeMar DeRozan is Jahmi’us Ramsey out of Texas Tech University.
The 6-foot-4 combo guard can make a difference in both the shot creation and spacing portions of the Spurs’ offense. San Antonio has some of the worst spacing issues in the NBA and when DeRozan is off the court, this team severely lacks shot-creating ability.
Ramsey’s upside and immediate impact on this team could be felt in year one. The skill level scoring-wise is there, and his impact off the floor for TTU was felt in every aspect and metric you can find. But, even with his rookie season being likely spent in Austin, the Spurs could have a potential core member of their future in Jahmi’us Ramsey. The Spurs should draft him.
Next: Ramsey is a walking bucket in the half-court
Jahmi’us Ramsey brings the shot creation and prowess that the San Antonio Spurs need from a 2020 NBA Draft prospect.
Ramsey’s impact on the offensive end is felt stronger than a hip check from Robert Horry. During the first 13 games of Tech’s 2019-20 season, the Red Raiders were 8-1 with Jahmi’us Ramsey playing. In those nine contests, TTU shot 48 percent from the field, 39 percent from three and eclipsed the 80 points per game mark as a team. Their team was hitting on all cylinders, with a near-perfect record.
In games without Jahmi’us, TTU found themselves as a .500 ball-club going 2-2. The Red Raiders were scoring an average of 69 points per game, shooting just at 40 percent from the field as a team and only 27 percent from three. The obvious drop off in production as a unit is evident with Jahmi’us, but this goes to show you how impactful his presence can be on the court not just for himself, but for the entire team.
Ramsey’s best attributes offensively are his ability to shoot and score both off the ball and off the bounce. Jahmi’us has a unique blend of skill, size and speed that give opponents nightmares. That was evident from his first game of the season. He flashed his offensive bag like no other throughout his freshman campaign. Anyway you wanted it last season, Jahmi’us lit opposing defenses up night-after-night.
Jahmi’us Ramsey’s offensive shot chart courtesy of @TheStepien
He is a SHOOTER ladies and gentlemen pic.twitter.com/CuJxkCk4cg
— Damienひ (@DABartonek) July 1, 2020
He isn’t your typical “dribble the air out of the ball” type of offensive player many are accustomed to watching. He’s a dynamic scorer and shooter. In his freshman season, he shot 43 percent on all catch-and-shoot jumpers. Off of screens and handoffs, Ramsey shot a combined 53.3 percent from the field. Continuing, in transition, he scored at a 60.7 percent clip. Lastly, his isolation scoring for the amount of volume given was pretty good too. In isolation sets, he converted at a 40.5 percent clip.
While the scoring was seen immensely throughout his freshman campaign, Ramsey still has plenty of room to grow. The upside and ceiling for this young man are astonishing. While his floor maybe as a Sixth-man, he has star-like scoring potential and with correct coaching and work ethic, can be a solid starting-caliber Shooting Guard in the league.
He has things offensively that he needs to work on though. While he does have a good ball-handle, his first step isn’t where it needs to be just yet. Neither is his finishing at the basket. Ramsey finished at the rim at a 44 percent rate. Furthermore, his effectiveness as a mid-range shooter wasn’t great either as he shot 29.6 percent on mid-range jimmy’s.
In addition to some shooting and scoring aspects that must be worked on in his game, his passing ability needs a little work as well. Ramsey isn’t a terrible passer, but he is more of a reactive passer and a swing passer who doesn’t see the floor well. He’s very limited in terms of passing vision, and he’s also not all there yet as a pick and roll passer either.
While Ramsey looks like more of a two than a one at this moment, the Spurs could use a scoring and shooting punch like this desperately. With little-to-no true scoring option in the backcourt, SA could instantly upgrade in that aspect with this selection.
Next: An underrated guard defender
The San Antonio Spurs need assistance defensively and Ramsey could fit their needs in the NBA Draft.
One of the more underrated on-ball defenders coming into the league this year, Ramsey shows flashes of high-level on-ball defense. His ability to move well laterally and stay in front of his man, play passing lanes, and make plays on defense (1.3 steals per game) prove that he has the effort to be a solid defender at the next level.
Although he is a willing and able defender, he does lack a little bit of defensive IQ due to youth and inexperience. For example, he isn’t a great off-ball defender as he loses his man a lot, doesn’t identify screens quite well just yet. Jahmi’us also struggles with his defensive footwork and biting on pump fakes as well. While he flips his hips very well, he relies too much on athleticism as opposed to basketball IQ and awareness on that end of the floor.
He tends to get tangled up while trying to overcompensate and/or make a play when beat, which can get him into some deep waters, ultimately giving up easy buckets. Ramsey has much more room to grow on defense than he does offense, but all isn’t bad on this side of the court.
The most impressive thing about Ramsey on defense is his ability to be a crafty, unique and somewhat stout rim protector for a guard. He’s an excellent weak-side help defender, and as a rim protector, he had some impressive outings this past season.
Opposing players scored at the rim on Ramsey at a 49 percent clip, which is remarkable for a 6-foot-4 guard. His 6-foot-10 wingspan (Yes, you read that right) makes him versatile defensively as he can defend positions 1-through-3 with improved defensive attributes as mentioned. Along with the fact that he can alter just about any and every shot, Jahmi’us has some serious upside once he learns how to use his physical traits correctly.
There’s a lot of room to grow on defense. He had his struggles during his only year in college, but Ramsey possesses some unique traits and skills that can have his defensive game improve exponentially with time.
Next: The fit makes a lot of sense in the long-run
There’s a legitimate case for the San Antonio Spurs to use their NBA Draft pick on Ramsey later this year.
San Antonio should draft Jahmi’us Ramsey in the 2020 NBA Draft. Unless a couple of higher-level prospects like Devin Vassell, Cole Anthony, or Deni Avdija slide down draft boards, it would be very hard to pass on Jahmi’us.
Question marks have filled the Spurs’ front office as it pertains to the 2020 NBA season and beyond. With only four players signed to contracts after next season, San Antonio truly has next to nothing in both prospects, and players.
Ramsey can be an instant spark plug for a second unit that desperately needs. There will be plenty of sets where he can run the floor with guys like White, Murray, and should he be here, DeRozan. His game fits seamlessly with players of their nature on both ends.
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Considering Jahmi’us offers you both shot creation, spot-up shooting and can be a solid swing passer for this offense, his fit works beautifully in the Spurs system. He can excel in the second-unit in the early stages of his career, but with time, can become your starting two-guard.
In years two and beyond, San Antonio could run a starting lineup of Murray, Ramsey and Walker as your 1-through-3. The defensive versatility and switchability due to length and athleticism would be insane. Not to mention the offensive side of the ball would come much easier for Dejounte and Lonnie, whose styles both are a work in progress on that end.
Ramsey offers you arguably the most polished offensive scoring game outside of DeRozan from guys listed 1-3. With loads of potential on both ends of the floor, the Spurs at the worst-case scenario get a Sixth Man out of Jahmi’us Ramsey.
At best, you can get solid star-level scoring production from your starting shooting guard.