2023 NBA Draft scouting report: Trayce Jackson-Davis

It’s weird going into an NBA Draft and not mocking every possible big man to the Charlotte Hornets. After the selection of Mark Williams and emergence of Nick Richards, the Hornets center rotation actually feels kind of set for once. But they have to use their picks somewhere, so selecting a big like Trayce Jackson-Davis is certainly in the cards. He’s the 38th ranked player on our board and visited the Hornets on June 10 for a workout.


Height: 6’8.25″
Wingspan: 7’1″
Standing reach: 8’10”
Weight: 240 pounds
Vertical: 33″ standing, 36.5″ max


Vertical athleticism, interior scoring, passing ability

The athleticism and interior scoring kind of go hand in hand. TJD is an explosive player around the rim and is a terrific lob threat on the interior.

He can also catch the ball away from the basket and take a dribble or two to rise up and finish, so he isn’t limited to just catching lobs. He has a post game as well, though it’s not something he’ll go to as much in the NBA. He’s got good touch around the basket and should be able to take advantage of switches in the NBA, even if he is very left hand dominant.

That vertical pop makes him an imposing defender too. He averaged 3.3 blocks per 40 minutes as a senior and has some sensational highlights on that end of the floor.

The athleticism and timing make up for the lack of size, and his good feel and anticipation make up for any lateral movement shortcomings.

TJD’s game isn’t limited to his leaping ability though. He’s one of the best passing big men in this draft, averaging an impressive 4.7 assists per 40 minutes as a senior. He looks for cutters and kick outs out of post ups, and he excels out the high post and the short roll. Between his ability to finish around the rim and his ability to make sound decisions as a passer, he’s a pretty high level pick and roll player all around.

This sequence is a good encapsulation of who Jackson-Davis is as a player.

Question Marks

Positional size, shooting ability

Jackson-Davis is only 6’8.25″ without shoes, which is a quite small for a full time center in the NBA. However, he seems relegated to playing that position due to his complete inability to shoot from the perimeter. He only attempted three 3-pointers in his entire four year college career, and he missed them all. His technique looks rushed and uncomfortable, so there’s a very long path to him developing a jump shot at the NBA level.

That lack of shooting makes it difficult to find a good lineup configuration for TJD. Ideally he’d play a small ball 5 role or get some minutes at the 4, but he’ll need his other big to be a threat from deep to not completely ruin offensive spacing. When playing at the five, his size hurts him, as he can get pushed around and moved out of the play by bigger centers.


Trayce Jackson-Davis is just a good basketball player; he led the entire NCAA in box plus-minus last season. He makes good decisions, tries hard, and is a plus athlete. He should be able to find a role in the NBA. He’s a pretty similar prospect to Brandon Clarke coming out of Gonzaga back in 2019. Clarke has become a key piece for the Memphis Grizzlies as an energy big off the bench, and it’s easy to see TJD taking up a similar role for some team late in the first round.

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