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Jalen Bridges has the makings of a 3-and-D player with upside at the next level.

Baylor’s Jalen Bridges looks like an ideal 3-and-D wing, but has the potential to be more at the next level.

Before the 2024 NBA Draft, we’ll take an in-depth look at different prospects here at Liberty Ballers and try to figure out which players would be the best fit for the Sixers at Nos. 16 and 41. Next up in this series is Baylor’s Jalen Bridges.

After starting his collegiate career near home at West Virginia, Jalen Bridges transferred to Baylor for his final two seasons. As a redshirt senior in 2023-24, Bridges was a huge part of the Bears’ success, showing off the type of skillset that makes him an ideal 3-and-D wing prospect — and possibly more.

Jalen Bridges has developed into a dynamic shooter with clean mechanics, capable of shooting off of screens or off the dribble. He displayed some level of shot creation in some of his pull-up jumpers, showcasing in-out dribbles on drives and spin moves. He likely won’t ever be a full-time ball hander, but he can at least attack closeouts or take the ball up the court on fast breaks. Bridges is a smart player and moves well off the ball often relocating on the perimeter for threes or cutting at the right time for opportunities at the rim. Defensively, Bridges uses his 6-10 wingspan well and is able to switch onto a variety on positions. He slides his feet well, along with disrupting passing lanes. Baylor liked to use zone defense, with Bridges being effective within it.

Bridges is one of the more refined prospects slated to go in the second round, meaning there aren’t too many holes in his game. Prior to this year, he was an inconsistent three-point shooter — shooting 34.4 percent from three throughout his first three collegiate seasons. Compared to other multi-year prospects, he was a low-usage player which suggests he’ll never be able to be a full-time creator.

Bridges has the size and quickness to guard anywhere from 1-3; even capable of guarding smaller fours. On the court, he’ll be best optimized as a true wing next to a traditional point guard. He has a lot of Royce O’Neale to his game — a wing who can guard most players, hit threes at a high clip and provide secondary playmaking.

The Sixers currently are slated to pick at 41st overall, which falls right into the range most expect Jalen Bridges to go. Bridges’ age makes his ceiling lower, but most label him as a surefire second-round pick that should be able to help teams fast compared to other prospects.

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