St. John’s Red Storm guard Shamorie Ponds has a big decision to make about his future. The junior guard has put together a superb 2018-19 season, and the expectation is that he’ll enter the 2019 NBA Draft after the year. But that apparently isn’t a foregone conclusion just yet, or at the very least, the decision hasn’t been revealed.
While Ponds tested the draft waters last season, Zach Braziller of the New York Post reported that a source within the program said the expectation is that he’ll head to the NBA this time. This wouldn’t be a surprising outcome, as Ponds has put together an impressive past two seasons, beginning by averaging 21.6 points with 4.7 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game last year.
The numbers for Ponds have looked good across the board throughout the 2018-19 season. He’s averaged 19.5 points, 5.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds through the first 32 games. But arguably the most impressive area of his game that has improved is his shooting percentages.
The 6-foot-1 guard averages 3.6 fewer shot attempts per game but has managed to knock down 45.6 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from beyond the arc (up from 25.3 percent last year). Ponds has the makings of a solid NBA prospect, but there’s somewhat of a split on his overall draft stock.
Shamorie Ponds NBA Draft Profile
While Ponds has improved as a shooter this season, he just needs to show consistency in that area moving forward. He’s taken a decent-sized step in the right direction, but that could prove to be one of the biggest talking points around his game heading into the draft. Obviously, another question mark will be his size, as a number of NBA point guards would tower over him. If Ponds can overcome that and defend larger point guards, there’s a lot to like about his upside.
The talented guard is a great finisher and can create his own shot frequently. He doesn’t turn the ball over often which may be one of the most appealing traits of the bunch. Over his three seasons at St. John’s he’s averaged no more than two turnovers per game and has improved his assist totals in each year.
Shamorie Ponds NBA Draft Projections & Mocks
In his latest mock draft, The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie has Ponds as the No. 37 pick, making him an early second-rounder and heading to the Chicago Bulls. He cites that Ponds has the potential to make an impact off Chicago’s bench right out of the gate, which makes sense as the team could use some guard depth.
As far as Vecenie and The Athletic’s NBA draft big board goes, Ponds lands right around that same spot, as he’s listed at No. 36. This leaves the St. John’s standout ahead of Marquette’s Markus Howard and Purdue’s Carsen Edwards.
For a slightly different viewpoint, Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo listed Ponds at No. 49 on his big board, just behind Kentucky’s Ashton Hagans. NBADraft.net also has the Red Storm guard listed further back in the round, pegging him as the No. 59 pick and heading to the Toronto Raptors.