Jake Layman was never Maryland basketball’s go-to scorer, but he was almost always efficient. In his senior year in College Park, the 6’9 forward scored 11.6 points on 50 percent shooting from the field.
Unfortunately, that has not yet translated to the NBA stage during Layman's five game stint in the Las Vegas Summer League.
In five games, Layman averaged eight points a game but shot 35 percent (14-of-40) from the field and a miserable 18.2 percent (4-of-22) from beyond the arc.
Before his poor shooting performance, the Wrentham, Mass. native announced his Summe League presence with a highlight-reel dunk over 6’10 big Marquese Chriss. The slam was Layman’s first professional field goal.
In his first two games of action, Layman came off the bench to play forward, while he was put into a starting role in his final three contests. Layman had his best performances in two games against the Jazz when starting at small forward. Layman scored 21 points on 47.4 percent shooting (9-of-19), grabbed six rebounds, and recorded four steals shooting while averaging 22.3 minutes per game.
In the Trail Blazers last game in Sin City, a victory over Layman's hometown Celtics in the consolation bracket, Portland slotted the lengthy wing into the starting power forward position with Noah Vonleh sitting out. The position switch allowed Layman greater chances inside where he grabbed a team high seven rebounds, while also attempting a team-best seven free throws.
Layman has already signed a guaranteed deal with Portland that would slot him as a backup forward to Evan Turner and Al-Farouq Aminu. However, before Blazers coach Terry Stotts is ready to play the 22-year old as a stretch-four, Layman will need to bulk up from the 209 pound-frame he weighed in at during the NBA Draft Combine. Getting assistance from pro-level trainers should enable Layman to put on the weight he struggled to keep on before the draft.
Blazers president of basketball operations and GM Neil Olshey had positive remarks on Layman after acquiring his draft rights from Orlando, per a team press release.
"Jake is a high character young man with a skill set we value on both ends of the floor," Olshey said. "His ability to defend multiple positions and shoot the ball from range will be positive additions to our roster."
Despite his subpar showing in Summer League, Layman still has a high ceiling with the Trail Blazers, and he has some time to prove his worth.