What’s to expect for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s third year with the Brooklyn Nets? Elite Sports New York’s projections are in.The Brooklyn Nets traded the Portland Trailblazers for Hollis-Jefferson following the 2015 NBA Draft.
Now entering his third year, the young forward will have to show that he can be a positive force behind the Nets rebuild.
Though he’ll be playing in the second unit, what can fans expect from Hollis-Jefferson?
Points Per Game
Last year, Hollis-Jefferson averaged 8.7 points per game on 43 percent shooting from the field. Per NBA.com, he landed only 59 shots beyond eight feet of the rim. That’s out of 235 field goals made last year.
Within eight feet, Rondae was extremely efficient. He connected on 176 of 347 attempts, which is just above 50 percent on the season. The majority of his close range shots were layups. Beyond that, he took a fair amount of jumpers (242), but only connected on 27 percent of them.
A look at his best scoring game last year, where he dropped a career-best 20 points in a win over the Phoenix Suns.
Rondae’s three-point shot is nearly non-existent. He connected on only 22 percent of them last season, and that only equals out to 15 in total. Now, due to injury his rookie year, we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
No one jumps from a 22 percent shot to a 50 percent shot, but he can certainly get better. And he likely will. He shot best on above the break threes, as that’s where he found 10 of his 15 total, according to NBA.com. He attempted 42 of them on the year, equaling out to a 24 percent average.
One of the biggest highlights of his season last year, this nasty crossover on Milwaukee Bucks’ guard Malcolm Brogdon.
Within his offensive skill set, the kid makes cutting plays look effortless. He averaged 94 percent on all cutting shot attempts including dunks, layups, or finger rolls. Rondae attempted only 25 of those shots but still, certainly, something head coach Atkinson should play more with.
Rebounds Per Game
For someone who only weighs 215 pounds, Rondae has a full frame and can compete for rebounds next to the best of them. Last season he averaged 5.8 per game, but did record eight double-doubles.
With Brook Lopez gone, the Nets will need someone to step up and grab those rebounds. Maybe it’s Hollis-Jefferson. He did end last season on a high rebounding note. Rondae averaged 7.1 rebounds for the last month of the season.
Furthermore, he grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds in an early season win over the Phoenix Suns. Very impressive for a young guy.
Next to rookie Jarrett Allen and sophomore Caris LeVert, the Nets will be set in terms of rebounding from their second unit.
Points Per Game: 10.3
As with many of the other Nets’ youth, having two points guards in Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell will open up scoring.
Per nbawowy.com, Rondae saw an -4.5 difference in his true shooting percentage when playing next to Lin on the floor. Maybe playing in the second unit with point guards Spencer Dinwiddie and Isaiah Whitehead will benefit him more.
Rebounds Per Game: 7.2
Hollis-Jefferson found his stride with playing off the glass at the end of last season. With the proper training and summer work, he’ll easily find his way to a couple extra rebounds per game next year.
Steals Per Game: 1.2
Even though he’ll be seeing less minutes next year, I don’t doubt that Rondae will let go on the defensive intensity. The most underrated aspect of his game last year, the sophomore posted a 1.1 average on the year.
With limited playing time I don’t see Rondae upping this stat, though he’ll maintain last year’s average.
For what most will consider his sophomore season, Hollis-Jefferson is in for a big year.
If he can make way to improvement despite limited minutes, he’ll cement his place in the Nets rebuild for years to come.