Yves Pons has been on the NBA’s radar for a few years, thanks to his freaky, raw athleticism. Rick Barnes plucked him out of France and molded him into an SEC Defensive Player of the Year as a junior.
Now after four seasons in college, Pons is trying to impress NBA teams at the combine in hopes of hearing his name called later this month in the NBA Draft. On the floor, he certainly looks the part. Pons showed off that athletic ability in a floor session at the combine, documented by Jonathan Givony below.
Footage of Tennessee's Yves Pons at the Life Sports Pro Day. Pons showed him freakish explosiveness and continued to shoot the ball well like he had all week in drills in Chicago. pic.twitter.com/rNsvSpum8m— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) July 4, 2021
I guess the question for Pons becomes where to play him. He measured in at 6-5 — too small to be a true four, which is where he ended up playing at Tennessee. He also lacks some length to be a true wing at the next level, and shaky offensive output further clouds his evaluation.
However, at the end of the day, some team has to take a gamble on that athleticism in hopes of turning him into a three-and-D type role player. He’s a guy that you can play small-ball with, and he can make up for that lack of size with elite vertical leaping ability.
Pons is currently a projected undrafted free agent, but his combine showing could sneak him into the second round somewhere. If he can find a consistent shooting stroke, Pons should find a home somewhere in the league.