Our 2021-2022 Clippers player season preview series continues with 2-way southpaw Jayden “Jay” Scrubb, a skilled offensive player who has yet to be tested in the deep waters of the NBA.
Weight: 220 pounds
Position: Shooting Guard
NBA career: 2020–present
NBA Stats: 8.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 0.3 assists across 4 games played in 2021.
Contract Status: Signed to a 2-way contract designated to the Clippers’ G-League affiliate for 2021-2022.
Who is Jay Scrubb?
Jay Scrubb was the 25th pick in the second round, 55th overall, in the 2020 NBA Draft. Originally selected by the Brooklyn Nets, Scrubb was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers on draft night in exchange for the 57th overall pick. Scrubb is currently party to a two-way contract with the Clippers.
Scrubb entered the NBA directly from John A. Logan College, a junior college in Carterville, Illinois. He is the first junior college player to be drafted since Donta Smith of Southeastern Illinois in 2004. According to Real GM, the explosive left-hander averaged 20.67 points, 7.73 rebounds, 2.07 assists and 1.27 steals per contest over 60 games played during his junior college career, while shooting a respectable 52.4% from the floor and 39.5% from three-point range. Scrubb earned First-Team NJCAA All-American honors in each of his two seasons and was named the NJCAA Player of the Year in 2020.
Scrubb’s success at the junior college level has not yet translated to the NBA, and it is an open question whether it ever will. Scrubb underwent surgery on his right foot at the end of 2020 and did not make his NBA debut until May 11, 2021. He appeared in four regular season games and six post-season games for the Clippers; most of it garbage time. The two exceptions were the Clippers’ 71st (Houston Rockets) and 72nd (Oklahoma City Thunder) games of the season, both of which were losses. Scrubb contributed 17 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals in the Clippers’ effort against the Rockets and 14 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assists and 1 steal against the Thunder. In both games Clipper fans got a glimpse of Scrubb’s potential, at least as a potential scoring threat.
Scrubb has an impressive combination of size, skill, and athleticism. He’s bouncy, speedy in transition, and is rumored to have a 40-inch vertical and 6-foot-10 wing span. His strength is definitely in his potential as a scoring threat. He boasts a variety of offensive moves, including a euro-step, respectable pull up jumper, strong first step and downhill attack, plummy handles, the ability to absorb contact, and a velvety finish at the rim.
Scrubb’s offensive prowess was inconsistent in summer league, but definitely on display in the Clippers’ summer league opener on August 9 against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Scrubb is also an extremely resilient young man, having overcome many obstacles in his youth. Forbes’ Adam Zagoria did a great piece on the young star just days before the 2020 NBA Draft that is definitely worth a read.
Scrubb’s lack of experience playing against high-caliber players and learning curve on the defensive end of the floor are weaknesses. He must maximize his time in the G League to improve his footwork and his responsiveness when engaged in 1:1 coverage. Size and athleticism are not cure-alls when matched up with NBA-caliber perimeter players.
Additionally, Scrubb has room to grow when it comes to creating opportunities for teammates. With 124 assists and 158 turnovers over 60 games played, Scrubb earned a not so great .78 assist to turn-over ratio during his collegiate career. This must improve if Scrubb is expected to create for others as an NBA role player.
Summary / Expectations
Scrubb will spend the majority of the 2021-2022 season refining his game in the G League with the Agua Caliente Clippers. Accordingly, expectations for any impact he may have on the Clippers’ season, positive or negative, are minimal. He is the ultimate low risk investment.