Being labeled as a ‘shooter’ is a compliment to most players, but when you have more to your game than that, it can be taken as a slight. There are plenty of guys in the League who have made long and successful careers off of being one-dimensional shooters. While CJ Wilcox would love to have a lasting career in the NBA, he wants to show people he can do more.
“I can do more than shoot,” Wilcox said. “I can handle the ball more and will surprise people with my speed and athleticism.”
It’s a relatively bold statement from a player who hoisted more than half of his field-goal attempts last season from the land of three. But the more you watch him, the more you begin to see that he was right. CJ Wilcox is more than a shooter.
Capable of putting the ball on the deck and raising up (a la Brad Beal), Wilcox uses his great elevation to rise up and shoot over the top of the D. While he’s not going to be delivering any ankle-breaking crossovers, he has a much tighter handle than people give him credit and has no problems changing direction in crisp fashion. In the workout you see above, the 23-year-old showed that he can be a threat off of dribble hand-offs and side ball screens, something that he has been focusing on in L.A. with Don MacLean.
“I’m definitely working on creating my own shot, ball-handling and playing with the screen and roll,” Wilcox said. “I just want to be more consistent with that.”
One thing that Wilcox has been remarkably consistent with is his jumpshot. Shooting it at a 52 percent clip from two, 39 percent from three, and 87 percent from the line, he has emerged as one of the more pure shooters in the 2014 draft class. The Pleasant Grove, UT, native showed that in the workout, too. He shot the ball effortless from the NBA three-point line, exhibiting picture perfect form with nice elevation. He seriously made you forget that he was bombing from 23 feet 9 inches during the workout. While Wilcox is out to prove he can do more than scorch the nets from deep, it will ultimately be his jumper that makes him next in line from the Huskies in the League.
“I learned from a lot of guys,” Wilcox proudly said of Washington’s rich NBA lineage as of late. “Quincy [Pondexter], Isaiah [Thomas], Terrence [Ross], Tony [Wroten]…Just being around that type of talent brings a lot out of you and hopefully you can learn more, then transition to the NBA.”
There won’t be much of a transition phase to the NBA three-point line for Wilcox, which has made him incredibly appealing to scouts. He’s sitting firmly on that first round/second round ledge, and he could easily lock himself in the first with strong workouts. While Wilcox’s size and shooting ability will catch your eye, he feels that it will be his intangibles that ultimately sell an NBA team on selecting him.
“I won’t bring any baggage to the team. I’m always going to come in and do what you want me to do,” he said. “I feel like I’m going to work hard and my game will transition smoothly to the NBA.”