Hands surprised some by declaring for the draft after his sophomore season at UCLA, but few finished the year on a better roll. The former McDonald's All-American had two 20-point games in his college career before finishing the 2019 season with six in his last 10 games. He'd had a total of six double-doubles before complementing 21 points with 10 assists, and 22 points with 11 rebounds in two of the Bruins' last five contests. It was a flashback to the 2017 McDonald's Game, where Hands' all-around performance included 14 points, three rebounds and three assists.
The 6-foot-3 point guard can score, pass and rebound, and has the quickness to defend the point guard position. He ranked among the Pacific-12 Conference leaders in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.9) and steals (1.3), the ideal combination for a point guard. Yet he managed to average 14.2 PPG and hit clutch free throws when he had the opportunity (78.0% from the line). He finished 2019 looking like a guy ready to graduate.
Hands is projected to go undrafted in some circles, but that would be a head-scratcher. He checks a lot of the boxes required of NBA draft choices, such as having a position, being able to defend the position, and offering offensive versatility. His weakness might be not having a strength, but having the speed to hang with NBA point guards cannot be understated.
Hands shot just 41.3% last season and 37.3% on 3's, which isn't going to wow evaluators. But at the same time, his rebound and assist totals were on the rise, so he's a guy who demonstrated an ability to find another way to contribute when one wasn't getting him anywhere.
Teams tired of seeing their backup point guards torched by the likes of Damian Lillard and Kemba Walker would be wise to consider Hands.