Everyone knows second round picks in the NBA Draft are no sure things. They don’t have guaranteed salaries, and they damn sure don’t have a guaranteed roster spot. Each second round player has to earn his stripes in summer league action and show his team he was worth the pick, and more, that he’s worth keeping around. Jared Jordan, a little known point guard out of Marist, was finally getting tid-bits of recognition for his nation leading 8.7 assists per game nearing the end of last season. Then, once his team was out of March Madness contention, he fell back off the radar. But a few stellar pre-draft workouts and games later, Jordan, the unlikely prospect bee, was back to buzzing, keeping teams interested enough to create hope that he might have a city to call home, if only for the summer. But drafted? He played at a small school, faced almost no competition, and his physical attributes leave something to be desired. But his passing. His leadership. Those things are hard to ignore.
The Clippers, a team with a franchise point guard rehabbing his entire leg, and another point guard a step away from retirement, were in dire need of a point guard. A guy who could come in and fight for a spot, prove he belonged, and maybe even develop into a good player.
But will he?
After guiding Marist to a 25-9 record and averaging over 8.5 assists for the second season in a row, Jordan would like to think so. He posseses the intangibles needed to be a successful point, and brings a little bit of everything to the table. He doesn’t have the lateral quickness or amazing athleticism teams like in their starting point guards, but he makes up for it in hustle and solid defense. After averaging almost 6 rebounds a game in his senior year, as well as over a steal per game, Jordan has proven he can play defense and rebound…at the college level.
So what makes anyone think he’ll actually pan out?
One word: Opportunity.
Jordan is like any other second rounder. He is vastly underrated and underappreciated. Most second rounders, like Jordan, are four year college performers who are overlooked because younger players with better potential are available ahead of them. But basketball isn’t just about athleticism. Ask John Stockton or Steven Nash. These guys have that thing that makes a team go. They’re little Energizer Bunnies running around, finding open teammates, leading teams ruding crunch time, hitting open jumpers, and most importantly, winning games.
Jared Jordan may never be a household name. He will most likely never be voted to an All-Star game. But when it’s all said and done, he will be the Clippers starting point guard for years to come. Go ahead, doubt him.