NBA draft prospect Jake LaRavia vs. Gordon Hayward

Jake LaRavia was one of the top prospects this year and is currently ranked 27th in the overall HoopsHype LIVE trial.

After playing two seasons at Indiana State, LaRavia moved to Wake Forest and had an effective all-around season, leading to second-team All-ACC selection. LaRavia’s versatility as a shooter (56% from the field and 38.4% from three-pointers), rebounding (6.6 boards per game), passing (3.7 assists per game) and defense (1.7 steals and 1.0 blocks per game) shots per game) intrigued. NBA Talent Evaluators.

“LaRavia knows how to play and can play for himself or teammates,” an NBA executive told HoopsHype. “He’s a good athlete who is a hybrid forward and could eventually become a striker.”

“LaRavia is well-rounded, has a high IQ and is a better athlete than you think,” NBA scout HoopsHype said. “He’s basically healthy.”

With a week left before the draft, LaRavia has a few more practices with teams under the age of 20. After his last workout, LaRavia explained to HoopsHype how he decided to stay in the draft after initially believing he would just test the waters, how he would contribute to an NBA team next season, and more in a phone interview.

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Jake LaRavia: I like being in nature and hiking. Other than that and video games, I don’t do anything other than basketball. I have a pretty simple life.

DL: To be honest, I kept getting better. My game continues to improve in every aspect. I played with a really good team this year, so I was able to showcase a lot of gameplay with a really good group of guys. We were all able to beat each other. I hit the ball more.

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DL: I knew that I would go to the draft after the end of the season, because I spoke with the coaches. At first, I was just going to test the waters, but I started to get good reviews, and I was confident that I would go to all these trainings and do very well.

DL: I think the point is that people find out about me and people start watching the movie and see what I can do. They see that there is still room for improvement in some areas. I think people are finally starting to take notice.

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DL: Actually, it was probably when I got to Wake Forest and that summer I made a leap in my game. During the year certain games gave me more confidence. UNC game (31 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals and one block). Duke game (19 points and 10 rebounds). In those games, I played really well against guys who were really going to be in the NBA. It definitely boosted my confidence.

DL: I think I’m the perfect NBA role player for any team in any position. I do everything the coach tells me. I think I’m versatile enough on offense and defense that I can be placed anywhere on the court, and I can make any adjustments, down to moving from college to the NBA level.

It depends on which team I’m on, but if I’m on a team with a few superstars then my role will be to help them defensively because they carry a lot of offensive workload. Then, on offense, it’s easy to be able to make those open throws when the defense comes crashing down on them.

If it’s a team that doesn’t have superstars but is generally good, I can see myself more of a playmaker role and still hit open shots and be versatile defensively.

DL: I feel like a lot of people think I’m a slow defensive player, but I don’t think that’s true.

AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman

DL: Gordon Hayward.

DL: At the moment I have to play in Minnesota. I have Golden State, Indiana, and maybe another team.

DL: I want to get some rings. I’m not really into statistics. I want to win games and championships.

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