Jaime Jaquez Jr. was a standout performer for the University of Alabama as a junior, but he will likely never play in the NBA. However, if he continues to work hard on his game, perhaps he could become an NBA lottery pick in due time. The comparisons to Peja Stojakovic, one of the most skilled defensive players in the Croatian league, are fair. Many expect Jaquez to follow in the footsteps of former UAB star Stojakovic and become a top NBA Draft pick.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. stands at 6′ 8″ and weighs around 180 pounds. His strong frame makes it easy for him to block shots, rebound, and guard on the interior. He has an extremely good vertical, which is one of the reasons he is so efficient at the basket. He runs extremely fast and is extremely agile, which also helps him defend well in the paint. As a freshman, Jaquez played both guard and small forward, scoring averages of 9.3 points per game on 33% shooting from three-point range.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. was listed as a possible starter for Arizona during the 2021 Adidas Nations Summer Tour but ultimately signed a pro contract with the Miami Heat. It wasn’t long before he proved himself worthy of playing in the NBA, as he averaged 14.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists as a rookie for the Heat. Unfortunately, for Jaquin, Miami made a few roster mistakes, which opened the door for him to receive more playing time elsewhere. When he did get some playing time, he was unable to produce on the same level as higher caliber players, as he often didn’t make the same impact as he had in college.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. actually has decent size, standing just beneath six feet, but because he’s not a natural scorer, his natural position will always be at the shooting guard position. Playing at the point in the game where there is a lot of passing and ball handling, it’s difficult for players who lack in height to succeed. That’s where Jaquin will have to work on his ball handling skills, and continue to improve on his shot-making. He’s very good with the basketball, but needs to develop a more complete offensive game if he ever wants to have a chance at winning the NBA title.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. has an extremely high basketball IQ, which allows him to play multiple positions and pick up plays quickly. He also doesn’t hesitate to run when the opportunity presents itself. Many of today’s players are taught to play the guard, and sometimes that’s the best spot for them to be. But as with most things in the game, being better at one position doesn’t necessarily make you better at the other. Learning how to run the team and run the offense correctly will allow Jaquin to be a dominant force on the court, but it will also take time.
I’m expecting a big year from Jaquin. He should have enough talent to play at the next level, and I think he’s got the makings of a solid all around player. If he can continue to improve on his outside shooting, rebounding, defense, and ball handling, he has the potential to be one of the best guards in the NBA. I expect a breakout year for Jaquin.