Articles | Commentary | NBA Draft

The Sacramento Kings may have selected the steal of the draft in Jahmi’us Ramsey

Selected at 43, Jahmi'us Ramsey is one of the youngest players in the draft and a great pick to retool around the De'Aaron Fox timeline.

Jahmi'us Rasmey, who was just drafted to the Sacramento Kings with the 43rd pick, has all the talent of a first-rounder who could be an eventual starter in the NBA, but the fanbase and organization will need to be patient in allowing Ramsey to hone his skills.

The highlights will wow you and are comparable to the first pick in the draft, Anthony Edwards. 

Then, there are moments of JR Smith-esque confusion and wasted possessions.

These moments are typical for any 19-year-old, specifically a college basketball player. Often, the top selections are littered with some of the youngest names eligible, due to the idea of an prolonged period of coachable growth. This year, eight of the ten youngest prospects to be drafted were selected in the top-20 (including the entire top-4). Theo Maledon, who was selected 34th by Oklahoma City, ranked sixth youngest. Jahmi'us Rasmey was the last of the ten players to remain on the board. 

There is a rawness to Rasmey's game that is to be expected from someone his age, but the flashes reveal a potential 15 (or more) point per game scorer in the league with defensive versatility and invaluable gravity off-ball.

In his freshman campaign at Texas Tech, Ramsey averaged 15.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.3 steals, and 2.0 turnovers per game. The 6'4€ guard was the team leader in points, steals, and three-point percentage where he shot 42.6 percent from beyond the arc on an impressive 5.2 attempts per game. 

Not only that, but the Texas product knocked them down in a variety of ways; off the catch, pull-ups, in the pick-and-roll, and off-movement. From the jump, he should be able to knock down looks created for him by others off the catch.

There is a chance Ramsey ends up as the second two-way contract alongside Kyle Guy. This season, two-way contracts are allowed to play 50 games with the major club as well. Experience in Stockon would allow Jahmi'us an opportunity to prioritize developing his pick and roll game and self-creation. 

New Kings' assistant coach Alvin Gentry has previously preached that a high-paced, transition offense limits the decisions that young players are forced to make and simplifies the game, and Ramsey is no different.

Yet, the inexperience shines at times here, with poor decisions and forced attempts from Jahmi'us Ramsey. Sometimes eerily similar to another player that shares his initials - Rasmey's Twitter handle is @newanimprovedJR.

The game still needs to slow down for the teenager, and he should feel less responsible to do it by himself with a better roster around him than what he was working with at the college level.

The ultimate optimism for Ramsey's offense comes from the moments that shined in him running the pick-and-roll. His scoring threat often presented opportunities to feed the open man for a clean look, even if sometimes there was a bit too much heat on them.

The importance is in the recognition and understanding to thread the needle properly, and Ramsey can improve his pass placement, plus big men at the next level will have more reliable hands.

Most commonly, Jahmi'us was hitting the roll man or dropping it off to a big in the dunker spot. This is representative of the talent that surrounded JR at Texas Tech, where he led his team in three-point percentage and had few other threats on the perimeter to open up the floor for driving lanes. 

While finishing would not be classified as a strength for Ramsey, he was in a tough position due to the aforementioned spacing as he simply struggled to get to the basket in the first place. The incoming rookie also has a concerning first-step and needs to make considerable improvements to his handle that is currently severely limiting his game off the bounce.

Interestingly, some of the other skepticism that likely led to Ramsey being available in the 40s is his confusing free throw percentage. Getting to the line is a mission in the first place, and knocking them down should be a breeze for someone regarded as a high-level shooter. Ramsey averaged just 64.1 percent from the charity stripe on the year in 78 total attempts. Five more made attempts would have taken him to just over 70 percent and make this much less concerning. It can be and has been chalked up to a rhythm issue, but is a red flag to keep in mind with free-throw percentage often seen as a telltale sign of shooting ability.

The defense of Jahmi'us Ramsey was polarizing among analysts as well, with again supreme peaks and tiresome shallow moments. At his best, Ramsey individually guarded all five positions at the college level with Texas Tech often switching ball-screens. While Ramsey is far from the level of athlete Anthony Edwards is, he displayed some impressive lateral quickness of his own by sticking on smaller guards.

Off-ball, Ramsey could be mistaken for a rim-protector with some of the weakside blocks and rotations that fill his highlight reel. Plenty of times, JR was a full or half step late to his rotation, but he displayed a defensive understanding that is encouraging. 

More commonly than the highlight blocks or steals leading to transition slams, Jahmi'us was getting caught ball watching or made the right play then lacked discipline and fouled the opposition. This is what will drive Sacramento fans crazy at the start of Rasmey's career as it is eerily reminiscent of Buddy Hield at times. 

Late rotations, inability to create space due to his poor handle and team's spacing leading to poor shot selection, inconsistency, and a shaky free throw percentage are why he was on the board at 43.

Continued development of his handle, extended reps in the pick and roll, and consistent engagement on defense are what would make Jahmi'us the steal of the draft.

Again, Ramsey is nineteen years old and should be treated as a project so don't let the lapses scare you and allow yourself to get excited when the flashes appear. 

The Monte McNair - led Sacramento Kings seem to have an emphasis on the future and retooling around De'Aaron Fox, who just inked in his five-year max extension, and Ramsey is a great fit into that timeline.

Down the road, Jahmi'us could find himself featured in a role similar to Buddy Hield or Bogdanovic - a starter or super sixth man. Worst case, Ramsey does not pan out and shows little improvement in his defensive consistency, ball handling, and the shooting is not as real as it is made out to be.

No matter, Jahmi'us Ramsey was a great low-risk, high-reward pick for Sacramento at pick 43. 

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Hobby916
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November 25, 2020 2:11 pm

Great potential, and a high upside pick, especially at 43. Work hard young man.

andy_sims
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November 25, 2020 2:21 pm

Tremendous breakdown of the facets of the game. He seems to have a lot of room to grow, and a couple of years being trained by professionals might get him to where he needs to be.

Even if he turns out to be not much more than a reliable scorer who plays defense, guys like that can always contribute.

Want2win
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November 25, 2020 2:35 pm

43rd pick… there is a reason he was passed over 42 times

TheGrantNapear
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November 25, 2020 3:06 pm
Reply to  Want2win

Exactly. Wishful thinking I guess.

BestHyperboleEver
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November 25, 2020 3:10 pm
Reply to  Want2win

Sure, there’s also a reason IT was passed over 59 times.

LOUiE
November 25, 2020 4:29 pm

Is Ramsey too short for the NBA too?

Want2win
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November 25, 2020 5:46 pm

yes there have been good second round picks but they are far and few between, heck people are acting like Halliburton is going to be a borderline All Star. I have gone into every season for the last 30 years hopeful and positive… this year I am not! After all it is 2020

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
November 25, 2020 2:42 pm

It’s too bad we don’t get a summer league. I would have been really nice to watch the 3 rookies, Kyle Guy, Justin James and DaQuan Jeffries out there playing together. It’s a lot of youth with expectations. That all being said, I’m going to temper my enthusiasm until I see them on an NBA court.

SunBreakTheDawn
November 25, 2020 2:52 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I’m so happy we are doing a full youth movement instead of the half rebuild attempts under Vlade

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
November 25, 2020 2:55 pm

McNair: “Hold my beer.”

Kings sign Whiteside,

MillersCornrows
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November 25, 2020 7:02 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

How does Adamsite’s comment get a thumb down? It would be awesome to have a summer league with these guys. Any word on Kyle Guy? Will he be on the Kings’ roster? I hope so!

Ialmostmissthemaloofs
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November 26, 2020 11:20 am

Ya there are a lot of odd thumbs down around here lately. Not sure what it could be about that plain and common sense comment that triggers someone.
(here come the thumbs down for this comment in 3…2…1…)

Biscuit
November 26, 2020 12:15 pm

I have hit the thumbs-down by accident before. Then it’s not that easy to un-do it.

BestHyperboleEver
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November 25, 2020 2:48 pm

I think it’s hard to argue against the value of the pick at 43. Ramsey definitely has some 6th man, microwave scorer upside. Which would be a huge success at 43.
I think his limiting factor was reflected in his play in college, where he was one of those players that seem to have no idea what to do when they aren’t on-ball. Ramsey’s team defense was comically bad at times. Just constantly losing his man and getting lost in no-man’s land. He showed flashes of on-ball defensive ability when motivated, but that motivation was extremely inconsistent. Similar on offense. He has real upside as a shot creator and maker on the perimeter. But his passing, both vision and execution, are pretty weak for a ball-dominant guard. At the moment, he’s just not a guy that really sees beyond himself on either end. His entire focus is getting the ball and putting it in the basket.

Long story short, I think he was a good pick at the slot with a chance to be an effective 6th man scorer.

Kangz_Landing
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November 25, 2020 3:12 pm

Funny, I too decided to watch Jah’mius Ramsey tape this morning as well and agree with everyone, but all I can say is, if he was drafted by the *checks list* Raptors, Heat, Spurs, or Blazers then he’d actually be the steal of the draft. However, he was drafted by the Waltons so I expect a heavy dose of Whiteside, Cojo, Bjelica, Jabari Parker off our bench.

Great upside, terrible draft slot.

andy_sims
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November 25, 2020 5:49 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

I don’t think that anyone suggested that he’d be a significant contributor this year, or that because the team is so bad, that’s the expectation in the front office. If he moves the needle at all, that’s better than 95% of second-rounders.

He’ll spend time in the DLeague*, and he’ll get coached up, or he won’t. I don’t think that the teams you mentioned took a pass on him simply because they’re certain he won’t make the leap. Second-rounders are an absolute crapshoot, low-risk with the chance of finding gold. That’s 90% of all draftees in any given year.

*Gatorade ain’t paying me shit.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
November 25, 2020 2:51 pm

Well, fuck.

Klam
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Nostradumbass 19
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November 25, 2020 2:52 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Well then…

BestHyperboleEver
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November 25, 2020 2:54 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I sure hope the cost is REALLY low. If so, I can see him being an asset at the deadline to a team that needs a back-up rim protector.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
November 25, 2020 2:58 pm

Then why wasn’t he signed to a team that needs sa backup rim protector?

Oh that’s right, those teams were looking for passing and deep shooting wings.

BestHyperboleEver
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November 25, 2020 2:59 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Because team needs and aspirations often change between now and the deadline.

Cheap vets with a useful skill (ie. shot blocking, shooting, rebounding, match-up defender, etc.) tend to be the type of thing competing teams look for at the deadline. And, if not, he’s gone next offseason.

Personally, I’d rather they went for youth with upside in their value pick-ups, but I can see how a move like this could make sense as well.

Last edited 1 year ago by BestHyperboleEver
andy_sims
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November 25, 2020 2:54 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Honestly, with no actual centers on the roster, where is the downside of a one-year deal? Someone has to get the rebound to start the fast break.

andrewhald
November 25, 2020 3:03 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Agreed, and Ham is reporting it is at the league minimum. Nice low risk add IMO.

FarmerGuy
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November 25, 2020 3:06 pm
Reply to  andrewhald

League minimum feels like this is the only way this move is acceptable.

andy_sims
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November 25, 2020 5:59 pm
Reply to  FarmerGuy

So…you’re okay with it then?

FarmerGuy
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November 26, 2020 5:44 am
Reply to  andy_sims

Yes. We had a need for a 5 and considering the options, this makes it a low risk acquisition. I think my fear of having Whiteside was connected to knowing Kings historically overpay to get anyone average on their roster.

TheGrantNapear
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November 25, 2020 3:07 pm
Reply to  andrewhald

If anything he helps the tank imo.

Want2win
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November 25, 2020 5:48 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Would have preferred Len

andy_sims
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November 25, 2020 5:58 pm
Reply to  Want2win

He preferred to play on a good team.

Want2win
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November 25, 2020 9:47 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Good Point

TheGrantNapear
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November 25, 2020 3:05 pm

Lol every fan base thinks they got the steal of the draft.

FarmerGuy
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November 25, 2020 5:27 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

In your opinion, who had the steal or steals of the draft?

Want2win
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November 25, 2020 5:51 pm
Reply to  FarmerGuy

Dallas when they Drafted Doncic

andy_sims
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November 25, 2020 6:00 pm
Reply to  Want2win

Too soon.

itsjabby
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November 25, 2020 6:01 pm
Reply to  Want2win

i dont think our fanbase will ever let this go. I dont think i can…maybe if he retires like right now…

richie88
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November 25, 2020 3:36 pm

Based on what I’ve read & seen, Woodard’s more likely to be a steal than Ramsey.

HaliComet
November 26, 2020 7:49 am
Reply to  richie88

Yes, Woodard has the smarts (valedictorian), athleticism, “feel for the game”, and size to be a very good wing player.

02kingsfan
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November 25, 2020 5:37 pm

Honestly I don’t get why people are unimpressed with Ramsey’s comp as JR Smith. A mid second round pick that turns into Smith would be a victory for any team

RobHessing
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November 25, 2020 5:54 pm
Reply to  02kingsfan

I think that folks may conflate Smith’s off-court and locker room issues. As a player only, JR Smith at 43 would be pretty sweet.

Kingsguru21
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November 26, 2020 11:35 am
Reply to  RobHessing

A good citizen JR Smith has a job right now if he’s healthy and wants it.

RobHessing
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November 25, 2020 5:53 pm

If Ramsey winds up being anything more than a two-way contract or rookie contract, I’ll be thrilled.

CarinaM707
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November 25, 2020 8:20 pm

I’m excited to have this 19 year old on our squad, great pick up in the 2nd round, one who many projected as a 1st round talent.

Sure many people passed on him but I love the scoring potential. I hope he can learn some shooting tricks from Buddy, while Buddy is still around.

Bluejohn
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November 25, 2020 10:55 pm

First round draft picks are a crapshoot. Second rounders are I don’t know…roulette?
If his defense to date has shown “supreme peaks and tiresome shallow moments” that puts his defensive potential higher than most of the current roster who have shown few peaks.

J-Fresh
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November 26, 2020 2:41 am

Obviously it is too early too analyse until we see them play, and even then, usually for a decent sample size…

However, the draft picks selected, actually feel like calculated risks. The youngest player with high ceiling with our last pick. Smells very analytical, which is quite refreshing for a change. I get the sense that these ‘calculated risks’ will pan out more often than not compared to previous regieme(s)(s)(s).

49taylaners
November 26, 2020 9:11 am

Love the signing.. He has alot of high upside. He reminds me alot like Bonzi Wells both physically and his style of play.

Timmy_13
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November 26, 2020 1:06 pm

He somehow reminds me of De’Anthony Melton.

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