Articles | Commentary | Videos

Watching the Tape: The emergence of DaQuan Jeffries

The two-way player shined in Orlando, proving he can be a solid piece going forward.

There were few positives to take away from the effortless display by the Sacramento Kings in the Orlando bubble. De'Aaron Fox continued to exhibit the star qualities this team so desperately needs. Beginning with a slow start, Bogdan Bogdanovic finally found his rhythm though it proved to be too late. Kent Bazemore provided a solid presence off the bench and strung together positive performances. The list doesn't expand much beyond that - besides one exception.

With Luke Walton's reluctance to let the rookies in Kyle Guy and Justin James get their feet wet in meaningless games, one rookie that received adequate playing time was DaQuan Jeffries. Not having Harrison Barnes and Alex Len contributed to Jeffries getting more minutes, as guys like Bazemore saw more minutes at the three. With Len out, Nemanja Bjelica played small-ball center, opening up minutes for Jeffries as a four. When the opportunity came, Jeffries snatched it and didn't look back.

The 6'5" forward shined in the three scrimmages leading up to the seeding games and once he solidified himself in the rotation, he got to play when it mattered.

For this Watching the Tape, we'll go into Jeffries' play in the seven seeding games he appeared in and what made him stand out as one of the true young players on the roster.

 

Jeffries is at his best when he's around the rim. When taking a shot less than five feet from the rim, Jeffries converted on 11 of 14 attempts. That's good for a whopping 78.6%.

Of course that's a minute sample size to examine, but when you observe what Jeffries produced in Stockton, the numbers aren't too distant. With the Stockton Kings, Jeffries scored on 67-82 attempts (81.7%) so it's not shocking that his attempts in the bubble were successful.

Jeffries may be 6'5", but at 230 pounds, he can move like a freight train and poses a significant threat to smaller defenders.

On this play, Jeffries switches baselines so Len can clear out for a Bjelica drive. Bjelica's dribble penetration move pulls in three defenders - getting off a shot here is highly unlikely. Jeffries' prompt move back to the basket upon seeing Bjelica driving allows for a simple drop-off pass to occur.

Dion Waiters should've fully committed to cutting off Jeffries path, but he doesn't and it's an easy bucket. Great positional awareness and commitment to coming back to the bucket from the rook.

 

Positional awareness also comes into play in this clip. The Los Angeles Lakers attempt to trap Buddy Hield in the left corner (which is a smart move), allowing for Corey Brewer to sneak along the baseline to the rim.

The good ball movement by Sacramento leads to Jeffries getting a shot at the rim. There's also brilliant patience from both Brewer and Jeffries that allows that extra second needed for a clean release. Brewer's pump fake throws off Dwight Howard's body enough so that he can't position himself properly to block Jeffries' attempt. Jeffries gathers the ball away from Dion Waiters and shows the soft touch at the rim.

 

Where Jeffries needs to improve his game is from beyond the arc. In the bubble, he hit threes at a clip of 28.6% (4-14). With the Stockton Kings, that number sat at 33.9% on 6.9 attempts per game. Again, it's not an ideal sample to extract a reasonable conclusion from.

If Jeffries shot well from deep in these seven games, a larger sample size like his Stockton numbers would suggest a decline on the horizon. But since that's not the case, the optimistic approach would indicate an enhancement to that abysmal percentage.

Jeffries possesses a release that can be worked on. He tends to get off his shot before he reaches the top of his jumper, but working out the small details of his shot can position him to be a better threat from deep.

Taking a look at this clip, Cory Joseph backs out from penetrating the defense and kicks it out to an open Jeffries. Jonathan Isaac follows the ball and turns direction too late, giving Jeffries enough time and room to hit the shot. If Jeffries wants to increase his playing time, he must provide quality spacing so guys like De'Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic can penetrate and kick it out to a reliable presence.

 

Having a 230-pound frame, Jeffries can play multiple positions, expanding to the four spot as well. His body can bang down low against bigger opponents and that means grabbing more rebounds to support the center. Jeffries rebounded at a solid rate with Stockton, averaging 6.9 a game. Stockton doesn't possess too much length but Jeffries helped in that department.

Late in the fourth quarter, Jabari Parker sees minutes as a small-ball five with Jeffries as his frontcourt partner. Waiters takes the triple right after the screen as Parker was in shape to tag the potential roll big. Jeffries times his run to rebound the miss and the key aspect here: he boxes out the big man. Yogi Ferrell doesn't have the strength in this situation, but Jeffries utilizes his to secure the rebound.

 

With the size of Jeffries, it's difficult for his opponents to attack him straight on. The combination of lateral quickness with a big frame forces ball handlers to pass it up. If you aim to score against Jeffries, you'll have to dig into some creative footwork off the ball.

James Ennis beats Jeffries, who gets caught ball-watching, backdoor and runs down the baseline. It's Michael Carter-Williams' job to throw a dime leading Ennis to the basket, which he does, but Jeffries does the only thing he can in this circumstance: throw your arms in the passing lane. Don't let the pass come even if you've been beat.  Jeffries does that and just clips the ball which Ennis can't grab, leading to a turnover.

The Orlando bubble became a memory the Kings want to store far down the extensive cabinet of blown opportunities, but a diamond in the rough in Jeffries emerged. He is a restricted free agent so the Kings can retain him and it shouldn't cost much.

The Kings need to find ways to get younger talent that can defend and aid Fox on the offensive end. Jeffries checks those boxes and though he's still a developing project, he's one to keep.

Support Us On Patreon
To prevent spam, our system flags comments that include too many hyperlinks. If you would like to share a comment with multiple links, make sure you email [email protected] for it to be approved.
Subscribe
Notify of
43 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
JackassCentral916
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
August 18, 2020 12:38 pm

No comments? Must be because Kings won… the coin flip.

CoreyBrewersD
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
August 18, 2020 10:37 pm

Better Lakers Lost

Jman1949
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
August 19, 2020 7:01 am
Reply to  CoreyBrewersD

And now we can add Wenyen Gabriel to the list of players the Kings let slip through their fingers who then went on to play meaningful playoff minutes for the Blazers!

andy_sims
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
August 18, 2020 12:44 pm

Nice breakdown of some of DQ’s abilities, thank you. If he can get his three-point percentage to right around the league average, his defense will keep him employed and in an NBA rotation for years.

Honestly, anyone who can defend better on the perimeter than Kings’ players have over the past five years ought to get playing time.

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
August 18, 2020 1:11 pm

One does not simply watch the tape. Not with ten-thousand men could you do this.

One-Does-Not-Simply.jpg
Chent
Comments
Original Member
Comments
Original Member
August 18, 2020 1:36 pm

I think he can carve out a role in a 9-man rotation, I hope he’s back and we give him a boatload of minutes for the year.

ArcoThunder
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
August 19, 2020 12:04 am
Reply to  Chent

Play young guys, give all of them lots of minutes. Loads and loads of minutes. Lose lots of games. Get the #1 pick in a loaded draft. Select the no brainer future hall of famer. That super talented guy you just picked now gets to play with an established but still very young Fox, a comfortable and maybe even established Bagley, a comfortable Justin James, a comfortable Kyle Guy, maybe an established Giles?, a comfortable DQ Jeffries and a comfortable dude from this years draft.

with those 7, young, potentially all solid (maybe even all in the rotation) players, there is a fairly optimistic young base to build from. If that #1 pick actually lives up to all star or hall of fame status then this team wins a lot of games moving forward and good vets want to come sign here.

to me this is a simple strategy for our new GM to follow. It’s being realistic about next season and it’s the best way to get this team better faster.

Chent
Comments
Original Member
Comments
Original Member
August 19, 2020 7:01 am
Reply to  ArcoThunder

Yes it makes too much sense to not try to compete for the playoffs next year when GS will be back to full health, Portland will have their roster that they just beat the Lakers with, and seemingly Suns are ready to compete for playoffs. There is no space for us next year.. I think we will have to trade Buddy, and whatever we get in return I would hope should be a guy they are planning on bringing along with the young guys. I think they can probably S&T Bogi for something like a 2nd half of the draft first rd pick.

If we hit on this years pick, get a top 7 pick next year, hopefully have Bagley become a worthwhile big, and actually play guys like Jeffries/James, we may have a core to move forward with.

eddie41
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
August 19, 2020 9:40 am
Reply to  Chent

If the Kings let go of guys like Bogi, most of the young players you want to see will look a lot worse. They need facilitators like Bogi and Giles to play off of.

ArcoThunder
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
August 19, 2020 11:02 am
Reply to  eddie41

Trade buddy. Re-sign Bogi and Giles. You can always trade bogi down the line of that feels necessary.

I really want Giles back and have him take on a rotation spot with major minutes. Will be so pissed if we don’t get to watch this happen in Sacramento. Vlade couldn’t even leave us with the small joys of Kings life.

ArcoThunder
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
August 19, 2020 10:59 am
Reply to  Chent

I strongly agree with this. The Kong’s don’t need to ask their players to €œtank€. They simply need to trade buddy and give major minutes to guys like MBIII, DQ Jeff, James, this years first, Guy and hopefully Giles. The losses will come naturally and their High lottery pick from those losses will be an excellent player (hopefully and most likely). It’s not a €œtank year€ it’s a give the keys to the bus to the hopeful young core year with a plan to greatly improve/compete in 2022.

PS. I’m optimistic about Guy becoming a back up PG to Fox. Am I drinking an excessive amount of Kool aid? I think he’s a good facilitator and obviously his 3pt shot is legit. If he’s been improving his ball handling skills which were already pretty good I could see him finding his way in to the rotation if given the opportunity to find it. His IQ and court awareness are there which is a major factor for an NBA PG. his defense at that position is a complete mystery to me but the guys plays hard and is smart which is half the battle on that side of the ball.

Chent
Comments
Original Member
Comments
Original Member
August 19, 2020 7:47 am
Reply to  ArcoThunder

I think whether we try for playoffs or not we are going to be one of the 10 worst teams in the league. If we focus on the young guys we can make it to one of the seven worst teams while building out a roster of actual young guys.

If we trade Buddy, I think it allows Bagley to be a primary scoring option with Fox, which will be good for his confidence and more aligned with his skillset. My 4 goals next year would be having 1) Fox get comfortable taking 5-7 threes a game hopefully showing improvement in that area, 2) have Bagley learn to become an opportunistic scorer/ ball mover/ 3pt threat (~33-35%)/ become a decent defender, 3) find a young role player by giving minutes to Jeffries/James/Buddy trade piece, and 4) give plenty of minutes to our draft pick to see what we have.

anan1234
August 18, 2020 1:51 pm

Looks like he could be a diamond in the rough. Love his potential. Moves really well for his size. If he can show that he is a threat from 3 I wouldn’t count him out from starting because he brings so much defensively and helps with team rebounding.

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
August 18, 2020 2:58 pm

I think the kid just needs to get a consistent 3pt shot if he is gonna make in today’s NBA. With his athleticism and size he checks all the right boxes. More experience will do him well.

Questions? Can we get the exact details on his contract, meaning is he locked up for next season or is he a UFA? Also, I know it’s small sample size and maybe Stockton has more info but what are his handles like? Was he a willing passer in Stockton because his assist to TO ratio doesn’t look all that good

sonny
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
August 18, 2020 3:08 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I really like Jeffries. A lot better than Kyle Guy. Better than the other Vlade roster fillers before like Malachi Richardson et al. Jeffries is like a 9th guy off the bench with the bounce of Jakarr Sampson who’s now contributing quality minutes with the Pacers.

I will keep him instead of signing other retreads out there for higher contracts.

Btw, it’s painful to think that besides Luka, we could have had an organization with Karl, Malone and Stockton ….:)

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
August 18, 2020 4:05 pm
Reply to  sonny

I like him as well, I just want to make sure the Kings are able to retain him. I’m not 100% sure the Kings have any rights to him, and that concerns me, especially with new management coming in.

BeTheBall
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
August 18, 2020 4:04 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

As best I could find, it was a single season on a two-way deal. He appears to be a UFA now.

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
August 18, 2020 4:06 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

My research points the same way, which sucks. I was hoping the Kings had some kind of rights to him. Sort of like the Gilbert Arenas rule, they may need to make a two-way rule for rights.

Chent
Comments
Original Member
Comments
Original Member
August 18, 2020 4:19 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall
Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
August 18, 2020 4:40 pm
Reply to  Chent

Thank you!

MichaelMack
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
August 18, 2020 3:14 pm

Terrific work again Sanjesh. Having so few players with a glimpse of rotation potential at the end of the bench, or from our 2nd round picks, shows a glaring weakness in our previous FO.

ForKingsandCountry
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
August 18, 2020 3:51 pm

I like that he is one of those guys that is always doing something when he’s one the floor. He’ll make a nice defensive play, make a really crisp cut to the hoop or make a nice swing pass for an open shot. Nothing flashy other than some of the dunks but he always seems to make the right play and he seems to have a very nice feel for the game. Given that the Kings seem to be in very short supply of guys like that, I would like to see him stick around for a little while as a rotation piece.

Klam
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
August 18, 2020 5:19 pm

Damn, watching Ben McLemore in this game….really happy for the kid. Finally getting a chance to shine.

sonny
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
August 18, 2020 5:46 pm
Reply to  Klam

You probably don’t know that the Bubble court measurement is not 94 ft by 50 ft.

It is 94 ft by 65 ft! That€s why low IQ Ben doesn’t step out of bounds anymore!

ImJoeKing
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
August 18, 2020 9:08 pm

He seems to have a good idea of where to be on offense, but I didn’t recall seeing much in the way of ball movement and finding the open man from DQJ. Maybe just because more often he was the open man?

The overall skill set, undersized forward with hustle D, seems pretty close to Bazemore, though slightly worse from 3 and probably not as good on the dribble drive. Much cheaper option for roughly the same production though.

Jman1949
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
August 18, 2020 9:43 pm
Reply to  ImJoeKing

Per the Bee article for which Chent supplied a link earlier in this thread, Daquan is far from a finished product€”transitioning from a big man game to a perimeter game.

Anthony McClish, the general manager of the Stockton Kings, brought up Jeffries’ development as a point of emphasis in January. He said Jeffries had played as a big man in college at Tulsa and the Kings were focused on transitioning him to the perimeter.

Read more here: https://www.sacbee.com/sports/nba/sacramento-kings/article244760452.html#storylink=cpy

ImJoeKing
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
August 20, 2020 1:45 am
Reply to  Jman1949

Good read. If he’s only recently moved to playing on the perimeter than maybe I should give him a little more time to develop. I see more hope in him than James or Guy.

Klam
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
August 18, 2020 9:15 pm

Hmmmm

RORDOG
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
August 18, 2020 10:36 pm
Reply to  Klam

I’m curious to find out if if this Forde dude is simply assisting with the GM search or is being brought in to advise them on how to build a modern bball ops department.

CoreyBrewersD
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
August 18, 2020 11:38 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Could be either or neither….
https://www.mikefordeperformance.com/

Sacto_J
Comments
Original Member
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Vote Up
August 19, 2020 8:37 am
Reply to  RORDOG

After reading his website it seems so Vivek-ian, hiring some outside guy to come in and tell you how things should be done, reminiscent of the Stauskus draft. These things would be great if Vivek would actually follow through by getting out of his own way. I wonder if Forde can convince Vivek to do just that. Otherwise its just more wasted money, really, and another 5 years of nearly unwatchable product.

Wonderchild
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
August 19, 2020 8:41 am
Reply to  Sacto_J

This firm has assisted many other teams in making good hires though. It’s the right move for an indecisive owner.

Wonderchild
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
August 19, 2020 8:40 am
Reply to  RORDOG

I’m curious what the point is in having Joe Dumars here if the team is also hiring a firm to make the decision. Or is it that Vivek finally doesn’t trust himself to make a correct decision on the b-ball ops side?

RowJimmy
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
August 18, 2020 10:07 pm

All this content the last few day. Really need to up that Patreon pledge. Great reads at good value. Thank you TKH

Klam
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
August 18, 2020 10:46 pm
Reply to  RowJimmy

Yeah, nothing like that one-site-that-shall-not-be-named.

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
August 18, 2020 11:50 pm
Reply to  Klam

POX?

Klam
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
August 19, 2020 12:16 am
Reply to  Kosta

FAUX

Jman1949
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
August 19, 2020 7:11 am
Reply to  Klam

Well, if Joe Dumars remains in the LA area, the writers for that site are all have contacts in close proximity!

L-Train3.1
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Original Member
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Original Member
Vote Up
August 18, 2020 10:37 pm

Time to trade him for 3 magic beans

Sportfan916
August 19, 2020 1:12 am

I know this is out of place but got to say F the Fakers! Dame is at least a NorCal kid and just took game 1 from LeWhine and the Fakers! I am a life long Kings fan and my second favorite team is whoever is playing the Fakers! Blazers in the upset!

BestHyperboleEver
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
August 19, 2020 8:19 am

According to Shams, Dumars will not be a candidate in the GM search. Nor will the person hired be reporting to him.

eddie41
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
August 19, 2020 9:30 am

thanks for this article. I love these kinds of stories. Although I would not say he plays multiple positions, he does defend multiple positions. mostly 3/4 but we also saw him defend centers in Orlando. He loves playing defense. communicates. doesn’t back down. on offense I think his 3 will come around when he gets more familiarity with his teammates and there is a decent offensive system in place which does not ask him to do too much. He belongs.

Badge Legend

Patreon Supporter Patreon Supporter   Registered On Day 1 Registered On Day 1   Published Post Published Post  Published Post Nostradumbass
Comment Up Votes 200 Up Votes   Comment Up Votes 500 Up Votes    1,000 Up Votes    3,000+ Up Votes
Comments 50 Comments   Comments 100 Comments    250 Comments    500 Comments    1000+ Comments