Marjohn Beauchamp’s wild NBA draft journey could be of interest to the Knicks

Marjohn Beauchamp’s story reads like a Hollywood script.

From considering taking a break from basketball to playing in the green room of the 2022 NBA draft for 15 months, the 6-foot-6 winger’s journey has been a whirlwind.

After joining the Chameleon BX—a training program for draft losers—rather than attending a four-year college, he enrolled in a junior college in his hometown of Yakima, Washington, before joining the G-League Ignite, the NBA’s development team. for the most promising These steps brought him to the threshold of the dream of a lifetime.

“I feel like I’ve found myself and learned something new about myself,” he said during a preliminary Zoom call on Friday. “I have grown as a man and have taken steps to where I need to be.”

His rollercoaster ride seems to be going up and it could take him to New York. Beauchamp, 21, recently had a one-man practice with the Knicks and had dinner with head coach Tom Thibodeau and team president Leon Rose.

Marjohn Beauchamp
MarJohn Beauchamp had an unconventional path to the NBA draft.
NBAE via Getty Images

“I feel like they are being reckoned with,” Beauchamp said, adding, “I think I can come in right away and play good minutes and learn from the veterans that they have. I really feel like I can grow with this team, especially defensively. You know, with coach Tiebs he’s on defense and I feel like that’s going to be my role in the NBA.”

One NBA scout who knows Beauchamp said the Knicks would pick him for 11th, which would be something of a reach, but also noted that teams’ predictions for him are scattered all over the map, from the end of the lottery to the middle. – the end of the 20s. He has worked with teams such as the Hawks (picks 16th), Rockets (3, 17, 26), Grizzlies (22, 29), Bulls (18), Cavaliers (14 ), Pelicans (8), Wizards (10), Hornets (13, 15) and Spurs (9, 20, 25).

Beauchamp is not a 3-and-D prospect at the moment – his jumper is not one of his strengths; in the G-League he shot 24.2 percent from long range, but his height (he has a wingspan of 7ft 1in), defensive versatility and raw athleticism are strengths that make him attractive to teams.

“He looks more like a Brandon Clark-type all-rounder. Very active, excellent motor skills, he does not need to play any pranks, ”said the scout. “A gooey guy who can fit in with other types of players.”

In the G-League Ignite, Beauchamp performed well, finishing second on the team in scoring (15.1) and rebounding (7.3). According to a second source who has spent a lot of time with Ignite, his best asset has been transition efficiency. He did a lot for the G-League team, and also had 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals in a team-record 36.6 minutes.

Marjohn Beauchamp
Marjohn Beauchamp will likely be available when the Knicks are drafted at No. 11.
NBAE via Getty Images

“He plays better on the open court than on the half court,” the source said. “His midrange is good. He hasn’t hit the ball since the 3rd – his numbers were bad – but there’s nothing wrong with his throw. He just had to do it more.

“Scoring in transition and shooting from mid-range after pin-downs, that’s how he became very effective.”

A highly regarded four-star prospect in high school, Beauchamp joined Chameleon BX in August 2020, hoping to skip a step towards the NBA. But things didn’t go according to plan, in part because the COVID-19 pandemic put restrictions on the San Francisco curriculum. He returned home last February and did not know what to do. He eventually joined Yakima Valley Community College where he averaged 30.7 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists in a shortened 12-game season. This helped him get into the G-League Ignite after training with former NBA champion Mike Miller.

“I was very close to quitting the game when I returned to Yakima from Chameleon BX,” Beauchamp said. “It was probably the hardest time of my life. It was quite difficult because I didn’t have any opportunities. Like they said, they love you when you’re at your best, but when you’re at your lowest, you don’t really hear from anyone. That’s the position I was in.”

Now Beauchamp is hearing from a lot of teams. He could have heard from the Knicks next Thursday.

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