Both Jaden Springer and Keon Johnson heard their names called last night in the first round, as expected. However, Yves Pons never got that call. The former SEC Defensive Player of the Year went undrafted, but it didn’t take him long to find a landing spot.
Pons is now expected to sign with the Memphis Grizzlies, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Tennessee's Yves Pons -- the SEC's Defensive Player of the Year -- is expected to sign with the Grizzlies, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 30, 2021
Pons arrived at Tennessee as an ultra-athletic wing, flying under the radar out of France. He struggled to find any minutes during his first two seasons, but the athletic ability was so obvious. Finally, out of sheer necessity, Pons found a home. Rick Barnes shifted him down low to the post, where he blossomed into one of college basketball’s premier defenders.
As a junior, Pons scored over ten points per game while blocking a staggering 2.4 shots per game. That’s impressive, considering his 6-6 frame. What Pons lacks in size he makes up for with truly elite athleticism.
Offensively, Pons certainly had his moments, but inconsistency plagued his overall output. Pons took an understandable step back as a senior with Johnson and Springer arriving, scoring just 8.7 points per game. His three-point percentage fell from 34 percent to 27 percent.
Obviously the question on Pons is hit fit in the NBA. Is he a hybrid 4? Or a 3-and-D wing? That’s now for the Grizzlies to determine, and it’ll be interesting to see where they start him during Summer League action.