If you trust the scouting ability of NBA rookies, the Nets got a pretty good pickup in Rondae Hollis-Jefferson — both on and off the court.
In NBA.com’s annual rookie survey, new Nets wing was the top vote-getter for two categories: “Best Defender” (23.5 percent) and “Funniest” (44.3 percent).
Hollis-Jefferson also picked up votes for “Most athletic” (T-5th, 5.6 percent), and had “the most total votes, thanks to his dominance in the humor department.” His funny side has also been on display all summer, whether he’s ranking Starburst flavors, showing off his trademark Shimmy, or revealing his celebrity crush.
Chris McCullough, who sat out most of the season with a torn ACL before the Nets picked him 29th, also garnered votes for “most athletic.”
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson: “Look out Brooklyn, here I come! You can’t hide, you can’t run!”
The Nets acquired Hollis-Jefferson in a draft-day trade with the Portland Trail Blazers, sending Mason Plumlee and the rights to the 41st pick (Pat Connaughton) for the rookie and Steve Blake. Blake was later traded to the Pistons for Quincy Miller. This video, on the Arizona Wildcats YouTube channel, shows off the work Hollis-Jefferson puts in on the defensive end.
Granted, this was put together by his college’s official account, so it’s bound to make him look good. But hey, he looks good! He’s active, committed on the ball, forces opponents into bad decisions, and uses his lankiness to roam and deflect passes & shots.
He dropped out of the lottery because of his shaky offensive game, particularly a jump shot with a noticeable hitch. He’ll compete for minutes with Bojan Bogdanovic, Wayne Ellington, and Markel Brown, who all have better offensive games than Hollis-Jefferson. He’ll also get minutes at small forward backing up Joe Johnson.
If his defense is as good as advertised — and the rookies who played against him in college have first-hand experience — he’ll bolster a Nets defense that ranked 23rd in points allowed per possession last season.
NBA.com — Rookie Survey