Position Breakdown: Small Forwards
The Wine and Gold are unofficially on the clock for the 2014 NBA Draft and they could be selecting from the pool of prospects listed below, as Cavs.com completes our position-by-position breakdown.
Among our qualifying quintet is an NCAA Tournament hero, a prolific scorer from Duke and his trusty sidekick, an elite offensive weapon from the Wolfpack and an off-the-charts athlete who brings it on both ends.
With that in mind, here’s what the scouts have said about some of the top small forwards in this year’s Draft …
Rodney Hood – 6-8, 208 – Born: October 20, 1992 – (Meridian, MS) – College: Duke – Just the fourth player to ever transfer to Duke under Mike Krzyzewski, Hood is a player who can score from any point on the floor; he’s a good finisher with either hand and has textbook form on his jumper with a high release point; can play either shooting guard or small forward and likes to use his height against smaller wing players; he has NBA three-point range and shot 80 percent from the stripe; Hood is a good-but-not-great defender who uses his length and speed but sometimes loses focus on that end of the floor; at Duke, was a solid second scoring option behind Jabari Parker; he has a very good arsenal of shots; an underwhelming rebounder, Hood needs to add a few pounds of muscle to help him on that end; although coming out as a sophomore, his age equates to an older junior because of the transfer; the lefty was a Second Team All-ACC selection; he added some much-needed muscle to his frame at Duke, but will need to keep working on it at the next level.
Jabari Parker – 6-9, 240 – Born: March 15, 1995 – (Chicago, IL) – College: Duke – Parker already has the ideal NBA build, at nearly 6-9, 240, with a 7-0 wingspan – physically suitable to either forward position; offensively, Parker has an arsenal of moves – including a pro-ready step-back jumper and the ability to slash in either direction; he has a polished mid-range game, he can score from the perimeter or on the block and has a solid post game for a guy who’ll be considered a wing player in the NBA; he moves well without the ball, has great footwork and is considered an excellent ballhandler for his size. He’s also a strong offensive rebounder; Parker has been criticized for his work defensively, with critics arguing that he doesn’t bring the same effort and intensity to that end of the floor and can, at times, look lost; in terms of intangibles, he’s got almost everything coaches look for – he’s a focused competitor who primarily leads by example, but isn’t afraid to get vocal when the situation calls for it; he’s intelligent, instinctive and mature. Read Full Profile
T.J. Warren – 6-8, 220 – Born: September 5, 1993 – (Durham, NC) – College: NC State – As the ACC Player of the Year and a Second Team All-American as a sophomore, Warren more than doubled his scoring average from his freshman season despite playing just 8.4 more minutes per game; he’s an elite offensive player with great instincts for the game; Warrant finished third in the nation in scoring at 24.9 ppg while also yanking down 7.1 rebounds per contest; he knows how to score from anywhere on the floor – moving well without the ball, crashing the offensive glass, playing with his back to the basket or getting out in transition; already has NBA three-point range; somewhat of a tweener; doesn’t possess top-level athleticism or great lateral quickness; Warren probably won’t develop into an elite defender at the pro level, but he works hard on that end of the floor.
Andrew Wiggins – 6-8, 200 – Born: February 23, 1994 – (Thornhill, ON) – College: Kansas -- Wiggins has extraordinary athleticism; he’s long and rangy, with a thin frame that could easily add bulk and muscle; he’s an explosive leaper with incredible conditioning, logging a ton of minutes as a freshman; he’s already a gifted defender who has the makings of a top-line scorer at the next level; on the offensive end, Wiggins already has a good array of weapons – including a deadly step-back jumper and a developing floater; opponents have to respect his outside shot, but Wiggins in also lethal getting to the cup – getting to the stripe at a good rate and hit on almost 78 percent when he got there; he’s a very good rebounder, especially on the offensive glass where he uses his explosive and sudden leaping ability; defensively, Wiggins uses not only his off-the-charts athleticism, but also his high hoops IQ; he’s rarely in the wrong spot; he was often asked to guard the opponents’ toughest perimeter player and consistently rose to the challenge. He’s got the length and quickness to disrupt passing lanes and the vertical talent to block or alter shots. Read Full Profile
James Young – 6-6, 215 – Born: August 16, 1995 – (Troy, MI) – College: Kentucky – Young is definitely not afraid of the limelight; he helped Kentucky get to the NCAA title game as a freshman, netting 20 points and seven points in Kentucky’s loss to UConn; he was selected to the All-Final Four Tournament team, shooting 42.6 percent from behind the arc and better than 85 percent from the free-throw line; averaged 18.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in the Final Four; he has ideal shooting form with great range; Young is very light on his feet, quick, crafty and plays with very good energy; he’s strong enough to finish through contact, but tends to fall in love with the jumper and doesn’t get to the basket with regularity; by all accounts, a coachable kid; not a great basketball IQ at this point, Young can be a streaky shooter often with some questionable shot selection; Young has a good frame and wingspan, but could add another 15-20 pounds in the pros.