FSU basketball: Jamir Watkins' next move is 2024 NBA Draft

Mar 2, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Florida State Seminoles forward Jamir Watkins (2) shoots against
Mar 2, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Florida State Seminoles forward Jamir Watkins (2) shoots against / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately, the Jamir Watkins era in Florida State has come to an end. The guard recently announced that he has declared for the 2024 NBA Draft and looks to take on new challenges at the professional level. In just one season, Watkins proved to be the focal point for the Seminoles leading them to much success during the 2023-24 season. 

It was a beautiful journey for the junior guard to take a chance on Florida State after spending two seasons at VCU. Watkins wanted to join a program that believed in him. He wanted to play with a coaching staff who understood his true value and allowed him to play at his best. Heading into the season, there were questions for the Florida State Seminoles regarding who could be a player who stepped up to the plate and emerged as the number one option. Early in the season, Jamir Watkins proved to be the guy who could put the team on their back. 

As the season progressed, the world got a better understanding of Jamir Watkins. NBA Scouts and General Managers were blown away by his energy on both ends. Offensively, Watkins was a gifted three-level talent who thrived off scoring in transition and finishing around the rim. Let's also not forget to mention that he continued to progress as a perimeter scorer, shooting a career-high 34.4 percent from three. 

Defensively was where Watkins could steal the show. Florida State’s switching at all five positions allowed him to show his versatility in defending both bigger and smaller offensive players. Watkins was a terrific on-ball defender as he used his speed and attention to detail to apply great ball pressure. Watkins could also defend a team’s best scorer and also provide rim protection under the basket. Defense comes with effort and who wants to get a stop on that end. Watkins’ energy and tenacity was one that set the tone on that end for Florida State. 

As the NBA Draft is a month away, the question is where will Jamir Watkins land? Which franchise will he fit best with and help maximize his potential? The 2024 NBA Draft is not the strongest that it has been in recent years. There isn’t a clear-cut favorite as far as who is the number one pick and there isn’t a player who is projected to become a franchise superstar. 

When coaches and General Managers dive into the NBA Draft, there are a lot of things that take place. Sometimes teams don’t look for superstar potential but they find who can be the most valuable for a team. Can a young player step in and contribute to winning? Can they make plays that can potentially elevate the team? Jamir Watkins is a player who checks all of the boxes as a valuable player. This past season at Florida State indicates the type of player he is with a winning mentality. Although the Seminoles had their ups and downs, Watkins often led the way to help the team win. 

According to multiple NBA Draft boards, Watkins is projected to land as a late first-round-early second-round pick. Often that means that a player will land on a team that is in playoff contention. The experience could be beneficial for Watkins as he can play next to key veterans and learn how to win right away. Watkins could be a key piece in the second unit who could step in and make hustle plays. His defensive mentality as well as his relentlessness in attacking the rim could make him a fan favorite in the locker room. 

As well as declaring for the NBA Draft, Jamir Watkins has also entered the transfer portal as well. It’s a regular thing for several prospects to enter the Draft but also keep their options open. If you ask me, it’s time for Jamir Watkins to take his talents to the NBA. He’s had three years of college to prepare for this moment and he’s ready for the next challenge in his journey.

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