July 18, 2024

Former Folsom High School and Washington State standout Jaylen Wells is climbing the ranks in NBA mock drafts.

Wells, who helped lead Washington State to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008, is poised to realize his NBA dreams in the upcoming 2024 draft. The 2021 Sacramento Bee Player of the Year has significantly boosted his draft prospects after receiving a last-minute invitation to the NBA combine in Chicago. Once overlooked, Wells is now projected by several analysts as a late second-round pick, following his impressive performance at the combine and weeks of pre-draft workouts nationwide.

The 20-year-old, 6-foot-6½, 206-pound small forward has made remarkable strides since entering high school as a 5-6 freshman. He averaged 26.0 points per game as a senior at Folsom before attending Sonoma State, where he earned Division II All-American honors with averages of 22.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore, shooting 59.1% from the field, 57.1% from 3-point range, and 90% from the free-throw line. Transferring to Washington State, Wells averaged 12.6 points and 4.6 rebounds as a junior, becoming the team’s third-leading scorer and playing a crucial role in their 25-10 season.

Jaylen Wells (@jaylen_wells) / X

At Washington State, Wells shot 41.7% from 3-point range on 4.9 attempts per game and 81.4% from the free-throw line. Mock drafts have Wells going to various teams: Yahoo Sports predicts the Orlando Magic at 47th, Bleacher Report suggests the Indiana Pacers at 50th, Tankathon.com lists the Washington Wizards at 51st, NBADraft.net projects the Detroit Pistons at 54th, and The Ringer sees him with the Dallas Mavericks at 58th.

Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman highlights Wells’ journey from Division II to the NBA combine, noting his potential as a shot-making specialist with excellent shooting accuracy. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor compares Wells to Washington Wizards’ Corey Kispert, emphasizing his knockdown shooting ability, which fits the profile of role players surrounding stars like Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving on the Mavericks.

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