With his 6’9 frame and exquisite combination of shooting the ball gracefully and raw athletic ability, Portland Trail Blazers rookie Jake Layman is a name worth remembering as we advance further into the 2016-2017 NBA season.
As a four year man out of Maryland, Layman had always shown flashes of brilliancy and being able to light it up anywhere on the court. As a Terrapin, Layman averaged 10.2 points while grabbing just under 5 boards per game. His play at Maryland resulted in him being the 47th pick in this year’s draft.
In his first taste of NBA action, Layman lit up the Warriors for 17 points in less than 8 minutes of play. Although the Blazers threw him in the game on the verge of a blowout loss, Layman showed signs of what he is capable of doing when given the chance. Layman hit five three-pointers, which tied him with Donyell Marshall for most 3s hit by a player making his NBA debut.
A .500 team so far this season, the Blazers will need to rely on another scoring option besides Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum if they want to get over the hump. As the Blazers turn to their bench for answers, Layman may find himself getting more of an opportunity as the season progresses. Layman certainly has the skills to be a playmaker in the league, but it’s a matter of executing when his name is called upon.
Per 36 minutes, Layman is averaging 21 points and pulling down 4.8 rebounds. From being an under-the-radar player entering the draft, to making an NBA roster and producing when given the chance, it’ll be interesting to see how Layman develops on this Trail Blazers team.
Written by: Brendan Feifer