Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Lakers may be signing soon to be former Los Angeles Clipper Jamil Wilson.
Assuming he clears waivers today, the Lakers are strong front-runners to sign forward Jamil Wilson to a 10-day contract, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 8, 2018
So who is Wilson, where should we expect him to contribute, and is this a smart move by the Lakers?
Who is Wilson?
Jamil went to college at Oregon and then transferred to Marquette. He had a solid junior season for the Golden Eagles and was the team’s second leading scorer his senior year.
Wilson has spent time for several D/G-League teams, has played for several years in Puerto Rico and Italy, and has had stints on Summer League teams. He finally had some sustained time for an NBA team this season with the Clippers, where he has appeared in 15 games and started 10.
What does he do?
Jamil Wilson is a 6’7″ small forward but plays like a stretch 4. Here are his aggregated play type frequencies from his G-League and NBA data:
Wilson likes to spot up, pick and pop, and will also isolate and post up. He doesn’t run the pick and roll as a pick and roll ball handler, use handoffs, or work off of screens nearly as much as 3s usually are. He also doesn’t post up, get putbacks, or have as many dump off cutting possessions as 4s typically do. He’s a 3 that plays like a stretch 4.
Based on that breakdown of play types, here are Wilson’s top offensive style player comparisons:
That’s not to say he’s as good or has the potential or efficiency as those players. This is purely based on those play type frequencies above.
But regardless, Wilson looks like the type of player that LA could use. He also shot 40.5% from deep for the Clippers and their G-Leauge affiliate this year, which is much needed for the Lakers. Having a “finisher” type of player that will spot up or pick and pop to catch and shoot and hit at an above average rate would be fantastic for LA.
He also has above average driving data but his pull up shooting is below average. He almost never rolls in the pick and roll, and likely won’t be active inside much at all. He’s scoring more points per shot than 65 percent of the league on mid ranged jumpers and 86 percent on short jumpers.
Wilson’s ultimate success will come from making or missing shots. He’s not a creator or a playmaker. He won’t be pounding teams inside or active on the glass. What he does is catch and shoot.
Wilson does not show up in ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus Minus database, but we do have Synergy data for him from his G-Leauge and NBA time. This type of data will only cover his primary defense, not how well he protects the rim as a help defender or how he is as a help defender in other areas.
It’s not looking good from the data. Wilson is in the 23rd, 20th, and 30th percentiles in his three G-League stints. If he can’t defend well at that level, it’ll be hard to trust his defense against a higher level of competition.
Wilson is a very poor interior defender as someone defending drives and post ups. Based on that, I’d venture to guess his help defense inside isn’t anything that’s deterring drives.
Based on his numbers, he looks like an average spot up defender. He has good data facing pick and roll ball handlers that are his men as well as containing ball handlers as the screener’s man.
From all of this, Wilson looks like he’d have success in the Lakers’ heavy switching defense when forced to stick with guards for a little bit, but won’t fare so well if switched onto a big man and is mismatched down low.
We can look at Clipper on-off data for added context. Wilson has been on the court for 274 minutes for the other LA team. During that time, the Clippers have a defensive rating (points given up per 100 possessions) of 104.1. When he’s off the court, that number is 107.0. That means that the Clippers’ defense has been 2.9 points better per 100 possessions when Wilson is on the floor.
That’s seventh best for the Clippers on the season. That info is good, but it is also on a small sample and is also impacted greatly by lineups (especially at a smaller sample). So it’s encouraging, but don’t put too much weight into it.
Overall, I’m happy with the signing. LA needed shooting, and they got it. Wilson is very much a guy that will fit in offensively and help add spacing to the team with his shooting. Defensively he has weaknesses, but should be able to survive and succeed in a wing role. He might not pan out, but Wilson is worth a 10-day contract based on his body of work and potential to add shooting to the team.