CHICAGO, Ill. — Whatever chance might have existed that forward Jericho Sims might return to Austin for a fifth season playing for Texas ended Thursday after he signed with Klutch Sports Group, according to a tweet from the agency.
In May, Sims declared his intention to enter the July 29 NBA Draft, but did not immediately sign with an agent, leaving open the possibility that he could return to Austin for one season under new head coach Chris Beard. But after the über-athletic Sims was among the standouts at the NBA Combine in Chicago, he signed on the dotted line with Klutch.
At the very least, Sims showed that he has the tools to rebound, block shots and finish dunks: he recorded an eye-popping vertical jump of 44-1/2 inches, the second-highest in the entire event behind the 48-inch leap by Keon Johnson of Tennessee and 4-1/2 inches higher than that of LeBron James, and tied Auburn’s JT Thor with a wingspan of 73-1/4 inches. Utah State’s Neemias Queta had the widest — barely — at 74 inches.
Sims measured 6 feet, 9 inches at the Combine — an inch shorter than the height at which he was listed at Texas.
Despite his legitimate NBA size and his otherworldly athleticism, Sims is projected by most as a second-round selection in the draft, in part because he did not dominate on the offensive end; in four seasons, he averaged just 6.6 points per game, putting up 9.2 points per game last year, and a career-best 9.7 the year before.
Sims is regarded as a solid defender, and averaged 5.4 rebounds per game. He shot just .524 on free throws and .639 of his field goals.
Other Longhorns who took part in the Combine:
• Kai Jones
Height: 6 foot 10
Standing reach: 9 feet, 2-1/4 inches
Wingspan: 7 feet, 1-3/4 inches
• Greg Brown
Height: 6 feet, 7-1/4 inches (compared to his listed height of 6-9 at UT)
Standing reach: 8 feet, 11 inches
Shuttle run: 2.98 seconds (fastest of all Combine participants)
Vertical jump: 39 inches