MarJon Beauchamp’s story reads like a Hollywood script.
From considering a break from basketball to making it to the green room of the 2022 NBA Draft in the span of 15 months, the 6-foot-6 wing’s journey has been a whirlwind one.
After joining Chameleon BX, a training program for draft hopefuls that failed, instead of going to a four-year college, he attended a junior college in his hometown of Yakima, Washington, then landed in the G-League. Ignite, the NBA development team. for the best prospects. Those movements have brought him to the door of a lifelong dream.
“I feel like I found myself and learned new things about myself,” he said in a pre-draft Zoom call on Friday. “I have grown as a man and taken steps to where I need to be.”
That rollercoaster ride certainly seems to be on the way, and it could take you to New York City. Beauchamp, 21, recently had a one-on-one workout with the Knicks and went out to dinner with head coach Tom Thibodeau and team president Leon Rose.
“I feel like I’m considerate of them,” 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, really feel like I can grow with that team, especially on the defensive end. You know, with Coach Thibs, it’s all about defense, and I feel like that’s going to be my role in the NBA.”
An NBA scout familiar with Beauchamp said the Knicks taking him to No. 11 would be something of a reach, but he also noted that teams’ projections for him are all over the map, from the bottom of the lottery to the half of the race. -late 20. Has worked for teams like the Hawks (who will pick 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 isn’t a 3-and-D prospect right now: His jump shot isn’t one of his strengths; he shot 24.2 percent from distance in the G-League, but his length (he has a 7-foot-1 wingspan), defensive versatility and raw athleticism are strengths that make him attractive to players. equipment.
“He’s more of a versatile Brandon Clarke-type defender. Really active, great engine, you don’t need to run any plays for him,” the scout said. “A type of glue that can fit in with other types of players.”
With G-League Ignite, Beauchamp performed well, second on the team in scoring (15.1) and rebounding (7.3). His best asset was his effectiveness in transition, according to a second source who spent a lot of time with Ignite. He did a lot for the G-League team, also notching 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals in a team-high 36.6 minutes.
“He’s better on the open court than half court,” the source said. “Their mid-range material is good. He didn’t shoot the 3 ball, his numbers were bad, but there’s nothing wrong with his shot. He just had to do it more.
“He scores in transition and hits mid-range shots with pin-downs, he got really efficient that way.”
A well-respected four-star prospect in high school, Beauchamp joined Chameleon BX in August 2020, hoping to skip a step on the way to the NBA. But he didn’t go as planned, in part because the COVID-19 pandemic created restrictions for the San Francisco-based training program. He came home last February and wasn’t sure what to do. He eventually joined Yakima Valley, a local high school, where he averaged 30.7 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in an abbreviated 12-game season. That helped land him in G-League Ignite after training with former NBA champion Mike Miller.
“I was very close to quitting the game when I came back to Yakima from Chameleon BX,” Beauchamp said. “That was probably the hardest moment of my life. It was quite hard because I didn’t have any chance. Like they said, they love you when you’re at your highest, but when you’re at your lowest, you don’t really hear anything from anyone. That was the position I was in.”
Now, Beauchamp is listening to a lot of teams. He could hear from the Knicks next Thursday.