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Draft Express Interview with Joel James

Jonathan Givony catches up with Joel James at the Team USA U18 tryouts. Two big takeways from the the Q&A. First is James saying he is focused more on being a defensive presence. He doesn't mind banging in the interior and "doing the dirty work." The second is James saying he went from 315 lbs before signing with UNC to 260 lbs now. That is 55 lbs in about a nine month span with James saying UNC's up-tempo offense motivated him to get into shape. Givony says he looks "chiseled" and that the combination of his size, energy and mobility might make him an NBA Draft prospect sooner rather than later.

If James is indeed content with more a defensive role and can provide a legitimate physical post presence that should compliment James Michael McAdoo nicely on the interior. Again, expectations should be tempered but when analysts like Givony are taking notice the outlook for James really starts to look much brighter.