The Mavericks selected Purdue center A.J. Hammons with the No. 46 pick of the 2016 NBA draft on Thursday night at the Barclays Center.
Hammons averaged 15 points and 8.2 rebounds per game in his senior year with Purdue, capping a decorated four–year career. Over four seasons in West Lafayette, he played in 132 games and averaged 12.1 points 7 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in 24.3 minutes.
Hammons, 24, was a four–star prospect coming out of high school, where he starred for Oak Hill Academy—the alma mater of NBA players like Carmelo Anthony and Rajon Rondo. He helped Purdue to NCAA tournament appearances in 2015 and 2016.
Strengths: Hammons is a legit 7-footer with offensive chops. He improved each season during his four years at Purdue. As a senior, Hammons averaged 15 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in only 24.6 minutes. He has the skills a man his size needs to exist in a small-ball league, as he can run the floor, contend on the glass and step out for the occasional jumper.
Weaknesses: Hammons is 24 years old and has been a relatively known commodity since his first season at Purdue. That means NBA teams have had a long time to pick apart his game. It also means that he could be dangerously close to being a finish product. Hammons also leaves something to be desired in the effort department at times.