Debunking St. John’s Players’ NBA Draft Prospects

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JaKarr Sampson

JarKarr Sampson has been widely been though of as being the St. John’s player with the best NBA prospects. For good reason too. He is extremely athletic, does a variety of things well on the court and came to the program expected to be a high-level player in the Big East Conference.

And you know what? He is an NBA level player, but not nearly as good a one as some think. Sampson is an undersized power forward, who hasn’t shown a great level of improvement in his game. Standing at 6’8′ (which probably means he’s really closer to 6’7″), Sampson’s inability to make jumpers are going to devastate him in the pro game. Couple that with a limited post game, lack of rebounding skills and having nearly zero ball handling skills, Sampson’s stock is trending in the wrong direction.

Coming to the program, Sampson was perceived to be a first-roundish player. After his first season, however, more folks started to project him to go in the second round. I still think he gets drafted, but like many other people whose sole purpose is to project drafts, I also think he goes in the second round — the late, late second round.

Sampson is now a sophomore who hasn’t shown a great improvement in areas of his game that were weak last year. This lowers his projected ceiling and pigeon holes him as an extremely undersized power forward. That’s not really a position that the NBA is looking for these days. Especially with the love of the “stretch four” coming to the forefront. Not to mention the fact that even if a team is looking for a tradition power forward, Sampson doesn’t really fit that mold anyway.