|2015 NBA Draft
|Drafted 23rd overall by Portland.
|2015 NBA Draft
|Traded by Portland, along with Steve Blake, to Brooklyn in exchange for Mason Plumlee and the draft rights to Pat Connaughton (#41).
|6th July, 2015
|Signed four year, $6,657,157 rookie scale contract with Brooklyn. Included team options for 2017/18 and 2018/19.
|30th October, 2016
|Brooklyn exercised 2017/18 team option.
|12th October, 2017
|Brooklyn exercised 2018/19 team option.
|2013 - 2015
|June 2015 - present
|Brooklyn Nets (NBA)
June 29, 2018
SF/PF - 6’7, 214lbs - 23 years old - 3 years of experience
Moving to the four spot looks to have been the right move for Hollis-Jefferson. He gives up some size to most of his opponents at the position, yet that is a price worth paying for getting a player of his calibre and importance to the future in the best position for him to succeed.
He responded with a career-best campaign across the board. Able to defend four positions, playing Hondae-Jefferson at power forward alongside Jarrett Allen means having a frontcourt of long defensive players no opposing ball-handler will relish switching on. Long and engaged as a defender, he can defend the post bigs or the stretch bigs equally adeptly.
The change in position particularly helped RHJ offensively. It seems as though the ball-handling and range that are prerequisites of being a full-time small forward will never be naturally forthcoming, but getting him into the post (particularly the left block) where he can drop mid-rangers (93-199 shooting from between 10 foot and the three-point line on the season) and get to the basket and finish worked a treat. This is a role he should be in, and the big scoring spike is a testament to his success at it.
Developing the ball-handling and outside shooting would still help, of course. Hollis-Jefferson will always give up size to most of his opponents at the power forward position, so if he can stretch and draw the slower ones away from the basket, this will be the great equaliser. Nevertheless, between his rebounding rate, new offensive resumé, athleticism, length and persistent, technically precise defence, he is doing plenty already.
Player Plan: One year of rookie scale salary remaining. Extension eligible. If he’d take $12 million per year, give it to him. And if he backs himself to earn more in a year, empower him.
June 29, 2017
SF/PF, 6’8, 220lbs, 22 years old, 2 years of experience
The move to the power forward spot is the right idea, given that the perimeter jump shot is broken in a way that does not look readily fixable, and the handles are not much better if at all. He is going to be better suit-ed as an undersized, hustling, athletic big than he is as a wing with a sloppy, exploitable handle. But he needs the added strength to be able to pull this off, as well as more experience and better decision making (which hopefully will come with the experience).
Player Plan: Two years of rookie scale salary left, but on such a small salary that his 2017/18 cap number has to be adjusted upwards to the minimum, a la George Hill. Keep and develop as a power forward.
July 4, 2015
[...] However, a discussion of Hondae-Jefferson here is incomplete without a discussion of the trade that sent him to Brooklyn. On draft night, the Nets acquired his rights along with Steve Blake from Portland in exchange for Mason Plumlee and the rights to Pat Connaughton (41st pick). Disregarding Blake, who is irrelevant to the talent part of the trade and was included purely to match salary, the trade is Plumlee and Connaughton for RHJ. And no matter what anyone may think of RHJ, it's an extremely valid question to ask why Plumlee's value was deemed so low. Plumlee is athletic, rebounds very well in traffic and has potential (if not yet all that much effectiveness) as a paint protector. It is duly noted that he was somewhat stuck behind Brook Lopez, a man with whom he pairs very badly, and that although the aim would be to have both Plumlee AND Hollis-Jefferson, the Nets hadn't the assets elsewhere to make that possible. Yet Plumlee has been an effective NBA centre for two years, in an ugly yet sustainable way, and is both cheap and capable. Very capable, in fact. So why is his value considered to be that of a #23 pick? And why on Earth was Connaughton added?
Nonetheless, RHJ is here now. He is, sans the spacing issue, what the Nets need, and a player with a lot of potential. If he lives up to some of it, Connaughton's bizarre inclusion won't matter.
June 16, 2015
Hollis-Jefferson is not a shooter. Indeed, he's almost a non-factor as one. Aside from, if we're being generous, a fairly consistent 12 footer, Hollis-Jefferson is little other threat on the jump shot, and does not have much potential in this area with his current form. He does at least shoot 70.7% from the foul line, which is not bad, aided by a quite contrived wiggle in his pre-shot routine. But the wiggle can't be adapted to the jumper, and so a wiggle-less RHJ is able to be entirely left alone from the perimeter.
Every other part of the game, however, has plenty of potential. Strong, long, fast and athletic, Hollis-Jefferson defends multiple positions and plays with great energy on the defensive end. He plays hard on the offensive end, too, but his skill is underdeveloped - lacking a jump shot with range (as mentioned above), demonstrating little in the way of ball-handling ability, not posting up, and not in any way creating much offense other than by running the court. Hollis-Jefferson is also not the best finisher when he does get looks at the basket that aren't dunks, although he does attack defenders looking for contact, and does at least create these opportunities through cuts and hustle. But in order to be a slasher, he has to develop his handle beyond being the straight line driver that he is now, and improve his awareness so as to not barrel in recklessly.
The defensive end is the calling card and likely always will be. Always with great energy, Hollis-Jefferson stays in front, bodies up, uses his length and reading of passing lanes to recover for blocks, and has a knack for clean stripping drivers. He stays in front of smaller guys and smothers them on the perimeter, closes out quickly and with his hand up, and bodies up the bigs with core strength that it does not look like he has. In theory, RHJ can defend every position - that makes him a 3 by default in the NBA, as do his measurements, but a small forward with defensive versatility to go both bigger and smaller is exactly the type of small forward the NBA wants.
These improvements are required more than desired for Hollis-Jefferson, if he is to stand out from the Julian Wright types that have gone before him, players did not develop these skills and found themselves soon out of the league for the next crop of the same type of player who might. The idea of a multi-positional, defensive-mind, transition-and-cutting athletic presence is nonetheless a nice one. Hopefully RHJ keeps up the intensity and is exactly that.