The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Jaylen Wells drafted; Isaac Jones signs NBA contract

Two Cougs break into big leagues over weekend
Jaylen Wells rises above the sea of defenders for a mid-range shot, Jan. 27, in Pullman, Wash.

With the 39th pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, the Memphis Grizzlies select Jaylen Wells from Washington State University. When those words were read, Wells’ goal when he came to WSU came true. He was now officially an NBA player. 

His selection marked the first time Cougs were drafted into the NBA in consecutive years since 1986 and 1987. Last season, Mouhamed Gueye made the NBA after being taken with the same exact 39th draft selection. 

Wells entered draft boards after a stellar season with the Cougs. After becoming a top player at Sonoma State, he moved up to the Pac-12 and after dealing with injuries, began to prove his worth.

After being selected, he sat in his post-selection interview and took in the realization that his hard work had paid off.

“I never doubted that I could be here … But, being in this seat is surreal,” he said

In 2023, Wells played in 34 games, making 20 starts. Averaging 12.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game on 43.6%, 41.7%, 81.4% shooting, he became the Cougs most reliable playmaker over the entire season. 

His best, and by far most memorable, game will be his 27-point outburst against Arizona on the road, which included a four-point play to steal victory for the Cougs. 

Likely to see action off the bench, Wells is joining a team with playoff aspirations and young talent from top to bottom.

Joining Wells in the NBA is Isaac Jones. After showing out in his lone season at WSU and at several showcases for collegiate seniors, Jones signed a two-way NBA deal with the Sacramento Kings following the conclusion of the NBA Draft, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. 

A two-way contract means Jones will be eligible to play 50 of the Kings 82 games during the regular season at a contract half the league minimum salary. When he is not on the active NBA roster, Jones will be able to practice and travel with the team or get minutes with their G-League affiliate. 

Last season, Jones averaged 15.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists and just over a block per game while eating up a majority of the minutes as a relatively undersized five. 

Jones and Wells will be seen in regular season action starting Oct. 24, when the NBA begins its 82-game marathon to the playoffs.

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About the Contributor
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2024 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.