Paul George knows how hard Jaime Jaquez Jr. worked to get into the Heat system.
Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra seem to always find diamonds in the rough within the NBA. They got to the NBA Finals twice with a squad full of undrafted talents that were molded by the Miami Heat‘s culture. This year is not looking any different. With Bam Adebayo playing heavier minutes and Jimmy Butler being more lax in his production, someone else stepped up. He goes by the name of Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George is starting to notice him.
Usually, teams are riddled with the dilemma of prioritizing a draft prospect’s talents or fit. This was not at all the case for the Heat when they landed Jaime Jaquez Jr. Paul George outlined how the rookie’s growth is benefiting the Bam Adebayo-led squad, via Law Murray of The Athletic.
“Definitely playing beyond his years… This Miami culture I think fits his identity and who he is, just a hard-working player… I told him back when we played him in LA, that this looks easy,” the Clippers star said.
Jaquez is having an insane rookie year and looking like the steal of the 2024 NBA Draft. He currently averages 13.1 points per contest while knocking down shots at a 49.7% field goal clip. The Heat rookie also drops 2.7 assists on a nightly basis and grabs 3.8 rebounds. All of this is helping the Heat climb up the Eastern Conference standings. They currently sit at eighth and are likely to get better once the postseason kicks in just like in previous years.