When the San Antonio Spurs drafted Jeremy Sochan, it was instantly considered a successful draft by many fans. The Baylor power forward and sixth man showed, in limited playing time, that he could be a do-all player on a top college team. Hopefully, he can take the next step and play the same role in the big leagues.
Sochan has a very pretty jump shot, although he never really got it to fall in college, shooting only 29% from behind the arc. Needless to say, Chip Engelland will be dearly missed.
Right now, Sochan’s NBA comparison is Kyle Kuzma. Kuzma is often overlooked, as he’s never been the best player on the team and is known for his ridiculous fashion statements, although Sochan has the hair to fill those shoes.
Jeremy Sochan is Kyle Kuzma 2.0
Kuzma is a 34% threat from deep, can handle the ball anywhere on the court, and is a great scorer inside the arc, averaging double-digit points over his career, even when you take the three-ball out of the equation.
Kuzma was taken 27th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft, although any redraft should have him in the top ten over Johnathan Isaac, Dennis Smith Jr, and first overall pick Markelle Fultz. Sochan was selected ninth, so even if Kuzma remains a comparable player, that’s a good pick for the Spurs.
Now let’s assume Sochan adds a solid 3-point shot, which is the only part of the game he’s missing. If Sochan adds that missing piece, his ceiling suddenly shoots past Kyle Kuzma.
Sochan’s absolute ceiling is Chris Bosh or Kevin Love
Both Chris Bosh and Kevin Love had Hall of Fame careers. In Cleveland, Love benefited from playing behind Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, but he became exactly what a modern power forward should be. He was able to facilitate to better scorers and create for himself everywhere on the floor. Fans and experts love to say someone can score from anywhere, but when you’re approaching seven feet tall, that’s insanely hard to do. Even Giannis can’t do that.
That’s not to say that Sochan will be better than Giannis. I’m not delusional.
If Sochan adds a jump shot, his style could be very similar to Kevin Love in Cleveland. But he will undoubtedly be a better defender than Love. Enter Chris Bosh.
Bosh never shot the three until the 2013 season. In the modern NBA, a good player usually has to be able to hit those shots, but the aughts were a different, simpler time.
The reason the Bosh comparison stands out to me is quite simple: both players are in a similar position. Bosh was drafted to revitalize Toronto basketball after Tracy McGrady found success elsewhere and Vince Carter was run out of town. In his first All-Star campaign, Bosh’s supporting cast included Mike James (who scored 20 points that year and then never averaged more than 12), Charlie Villanueva, Jose Calderon, Jalen Rose, and Matt frickin’ Bonner. Not exactly a ton of talent.
The 2022-23 Spurs don’t have a lot of talent, either. Sochan will be expected to help pull the franchise back to relevancy from day one. Granted, he has young stars to play with like Johnson and Primo. Bosh didn’t have that luxury, but their situations are almost identical.
Bosh, like Sochan, was not an elite defender but can hold his own anywhere on the court. He could power through the paint or pull up for a long-distance jumper of 18 feet.
The environments are similar. Kevin Love has a much better shot than Bosh ever did, and I don’t expect Sochan to ever get to that level, but if he can manage to average between 15-20 points as a second option behind Primo and Johnson, then the Spurs got a steal.