Evaluating Jeremy Sochan's ceiling with no jumpshot
Recently, Twitter has been exploding with takes surrounding Jeremy Sochan’s poor shooting since starting to play in the NBA for the San Antonio Spurs. It’s true Sochan is 6/36, 16% from behind the arc in just 16 career games, but that shouldn’t discourage him. Despite disparaged claims that Sochan should avoid shooting the three-ball altogether, he is still averaging over an attempt and a half per game over his last five appearances.
I, for one, am a big believer in Sochan’s ability to develop a shot from deep. The Spurs have built careers for Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Keldon Johnson, Bruce Bowen, and Tony Parker. I don’t see why Sochan will be any different. Despite the shots not falling yet, he is very much a confident shooter and doesn’t let his many misses bring him down.
Let’s say that this season continues to go as it has, with Sochan being a non-factor from deep. After a season or two of that, Sochan will probably give up on his Steph Curry dreams and end up being a normal power forward who does not hoist shots from deep that often. That’s okay because we’ve seen that Sochan can be an elite player already without All-NBA shooting abilities.
In his rookie season, Sochan is only putting up 7.4 points, but his defense has been stellar, and he is a solid rebounder who can play physical basketball. His athleticism is off the charts. I don’t remember the last time a Spur was in the running for Dunk of the Year, but Sochan has an early entry that will be strongly considered.
Sochan’s game is remarkably well-rounded. Since the 2000 NBA Draft, over 1,000 players have been selected. Only 86 rookies have put up the same or more assists, points, rebounds, steals, and blocks than Sochan, and outside of the box score, his presence is still felt.
If Sochan never develops a jump shot, he will still be a focal point of the rebuild. At Baylor, in his lone season, he shot under 30% from deep. He was never expected to be a threat from the outside and is more of a presence player than a stat-stuffer.
For the fans who are screaming that he is a bust and won’t amount to anything, I’m begging you to just to watch a game. He is one of the rare players who makes everyone around him better, and for that alone, he was well worth the ninth pick.