NBA Draft: Small Forward Rankings/Profiles

Tyler Jamieson, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


Small Forward Rankings/Profiles for Top 75 prospects in the 2013 NBA Draft.
Position rank (overall rank)/Name/School/Class
1 (6). Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown, So.
Overview: The 6-foot-9 do-it-all sophomore out of Georgetown had a breakout year averaging 16.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. A lot of people consider Porter the most well-rounded player in the draft, but the naysayers counter with the claim that while he does everything well he's not exceptional in any one area.
Analysis: At 6-9 with over a 7-foot wingspan, NBA scouts love Porter's size and length. There is a growing faction amongst draft pundits that Porter could go first overall and complement Kyrie Irving nicely in Cleveland. While it's possible, at this point it doesn't look likely. He's still pretty raw offensively with what can be called a somewhat unorthodox game at times. What he does bring to the table is fantastic court vision with the ball in his hands and an ability to cover multiple positions defensively.
2 (17). Sergev Karasev, SF, BC Triummph 1993 (Russia)
Overview: At just 19 years old, Karasev has a basketball I.Q. well beyond his years. Having already competed for the Russian National team in the Olympics as well as playing at a high level professionally in Russia, Karasev has more elite level experience than you would think for his age.
Analysis: Karasev's biggest strengths are offensively. He's a natural scorer, he's a very good shooter, especially in catch and shoot situations, and he's a deft passer who likes to get teammates involved and play unselfish. Scouts love his maturity and he's already pretty much locked into the first round and could be climbing up people's boards.
3 (24). Dario Saric, SF, Cibona Zagreb 1994 (Croatia)
Overview: At 6-10 he looks like he could play both small forward and power forward, but his lack of muscle would surely get him eaten alive by NBA big men. Saric is most comfortable in the open court with the ball in his hands making plays and creating for others which makes it appear his future is at SF.
Analysis: Saric would best be served to land with an up-tempo team where he can get out in the open floor and show off his court vision. Consistency is still an issue offensively and he does have a tendency to be a bit reckless at times, but scouts will live with it for the time being because he can make plays.
4 (26). Giannis Adetokunbo, SF, Filathlitikos 1994 (Greece)
Overview: Adetokunbo is a gangly 6-9, 200-pounder with a wingspan well over 7-feet and ridiculously big hands. At just 18 years old he's still growing and is quite raw, but it's obvious the potential is there as he moves with natural athleticism.
Analysis: Adetokunbo is another international player who has rocketed up the draft board the past year. Playing professionally in Greece, Adetokunbo hasn't yet played against top competition and lacks professional seasoning and experience. Consistency will be a concern moving forward, but his natural athleticism and potential are off the charts for an 18-year-old and on full display when you watch him grab a rebound, take it coast to coast and finish with a dunk or athletic lay in on the opposite end. Just a few days ago Adetokunbo was a borderline first-round pick; it now sounds like he may have made his way solidly into the first round and could be moving up the board.
5. (32). Reggie Bullock, SF, North Carolina, Jr.
Overview: A sharp-shooting junior out of North Carolina, Bullock averaged 13.9 points and 6.5 rebounds this past season. Throughout his time with the Tar Heels, Bullock played a complementary role to numerous first-round picks; he should be a solid complementary player as a pro as well.
Analysis: While not overly athletic, Bullock does possess long arms and does an adequate job. Where he sets himself apart from other players is his ability to shoot the ball out to the three-point line and beyond. Any team with a need for a wing shooter will have Bullock on its radar, and he should go in the back end of the first round or beginning of the second.
6 (36). Tony Snell, SF, New Mexico, Jr.
Overview: The 6-7 Snell chose to leave New Mexico early after his junior year, which might be fitting because when you watch him shoot he looks like a professional. Averaging 12.5 points this past year, Snell excelled in mid-range catch-and-shoot scenarios where his smooth jumper was showcased.
Analysis: While Snell looks good catching and shooting with nobody in his face, where he gets into trouble is having to shoot over people and putting the ball on the floor to create shots. At this point in his career Snell will need to be surrounded with playmakers who can get him an open look until he proves he can shoot off the dribble and create shots for himself.
7 (43). Solomon Hill, SF, Arizona
Overview: The solid but not spectacular Hill spent his four years transitioning from a role player at Arizona to a team leader and voice of maturity for young, heralded players. As a senior, Hill averaged 13.4 points and 5.3 rebounds in a leadership role for the young, talented Wildcats.
Analysis: Moving back and forth between small and power forward, depending on where the Wildcats needed him, Hill settled in at small forward last season and showed off a newly effective jumper with range out to the college three-point line. He's not a top-notch athlete but he always seems to find a way to fit in somewhere and has never been a liability athletically. He may not be overly impressive as a prospect but he is solid, and should get some looks from teams in the second round.
8 (48). Deshaun Thomas, SF, Ohio St., Jr.
Overview: A former Indiana Mr. Basketball and McDonald's All American, Thomas blossomed into the Big 10's leading scorer this past season, averaging 19.8 points per game. While Thomas has accrued an impressive list of individual accolades and is a shooter with the ability to score, other areas of his game are what need to be improved for Thomas to impress NBA teams.
Analysis: Thomas is not a great athlete and suffers at the defensive end of the floor. He's not quick enough to keep up with fellow small forwards and isn't strong enough to guard 4's, so what he's giving you on offense better be more than what he's giving up on defense. If Thomas can improve his defense and rebounding look for him to move up in the second round.
9 (68). Elias Harris, SF, Gonzaga, Sr.
Overview: Harris is a strong 6-8 athlete who thrived in Gonzaga's system for four years. Ironically, his best PPG average came as a freshman when he scored 14.9 per game. He's good in the open floor and has improved over his time in Spokane, but the improvement hasn't been what people expected after watching him as a freshman.
Analysis: Harris has always been a good athlete since he stepped foot on campus at Gonzaga, but over the years he has also proven he can do a decent job getting to the basket, be effective in the mid-range game and shoot out to the college 3. He's quick for his size and a nightmare for bigger guys to guard in the open court. However, Harris' biggest struggles seem to come in the half court being able to create his own shot, and that's a big problem in the NBA game.
10 (69). Adonis Thomas, SF, Memphis, So.
Overview: With a name like Adonis Thomas, how could he not be on everyone's Big Board? Once a top-tier prospect, Thomas has had two underwhelming years at Memphis culminating in last year's sophomore season of 11.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
Analysis: While at Memphis, Thomas didn't even really shown a sliver of improvement in his game offensively. He's extremely raw in all facets offensively and basically gets by on athletic ability alone. At first glance he looks like an NBA player and has the athletic ability to be one, but he just hasn't put anything together over the past two years to prove it.
(Next in the series: Shooting Guards, June 12)
Tyler Jamieson is the Senior NBA Draft Analyst for The Sports Xchange.