Last time we checked in on Jeffers, he was fresh off a break-out showing at the 2009 D-League Showcase. The Chicago native didn't earn a call up to cap his tremendously productive rookie year, but after a brief stint in Italy and a successful sophomore campaign on a stacked Iowa Energy team, Jeffers saw action in 14 games for the Utah Jazz near the end of last season. Solidifying himself as one of the top call-up candidates once again this season, Jeffers impressed once more with his athleticism, toughness, and defensive intensity.
Many of the observations we made about Jeffers's offensive skill-set in our last report remain true at this point. He's a marginally improved catch and shoot threat, and has made some strides in his ability to shoot off the dribble, but he still has a lot of work to do on his ball-handling and perimeter scoring arsenal to make it a viable NBA tool, and didn't attempt many jumpers in the games we watched in South Padre.
At this juncture, most of Jeffers's points are the byproduct of his relentless hustle, quick first step, and physicality around the basket. He runs the floor with purpose in transition, isn't selfish with the when he sees an open teammate, and seeks out contact at the rim. Getting to the line 8.5 times per-game and pulling down 2.5 offensive boards, Jeffers epitomizes the bulldog mentality and team first attitude that coaches love.
That mentality is pivotal to Jeffers's success on the defensive end. Extremely active and capable of shutting down some of the NBADL's best wings in one-on-one situations, Jeffers is the type of player that clearly takes his responsibilities on the defensive end personally. A great rebounder and team defender, it is easy to understand why NBA teams take an interest in a player like Jeffers.
Standing just 6'5, Jeffers has made some strides towards becoming a full time wing, but he's still converting just 37.5% of his jump shots this season according to Synergy Sports Technology. Seeing a few extra spot-up possessions per-game, it will be important for Jeffers to continue honing that part of his game to give himself the opportunity to exploit all his other talents at a higher level. Regardless of his development as a true small forward, Jeffers will be a potential call-up candidate year-in and year-out because of the intensity he brings to both ends of the floor.