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2013 Draft Preview: SMALL FORWARDS

June 24, 2013
by Joe Gabriele Beat Writer

The 2013 NBA Draft is rapidly approaching and – as keepers of the top pick – the Cavaliers are already on the clock.

As continues to break down the prospects, position-by-position, we turn our attention to this year’s group of small forwards. It’s an interesting group, from highly-publicized players like Otto Porter Jr. and Shabazz Muhammed to international men of mystery like Giannis Adetokoubo and Sergey Karasev.

Any or all of these 3’s could be in the Wine and Gold’s plans when they make their selections at the top and middle of the first round or in the early selections of the second …

Giannis Adetokoubo6-9, 205 – Born: December 16, 1994 – (Athens, Greece) – Team: Filathlitikos – athletic wing player with great size (6-9) after growing three inches in a year, with an incredible (7-3) wingspan and huge hands; though a late bloomer, basketball-wise, has a good basketball IQ and good feel for the game; concerns about the level of competition he’s faced so far in Greece; athleticism and wingspan allow him to guard four positions on the floor; great ball-handler for his position and size; smooth, fluid athlete who hasn’t nearly reached his true potential; no mid-range game and below-average from beyond the arc; great instincts, defensively, but needs to fill out relatively thin frame; youngest player in the Draft, won’t be 19 until December; the most raw prospect of this group, but combination of length, athleticism and youth will be too tempting for one team to pass up

Reggie Bullock 6-7, 200 – Born: March 16, 1991 – (Kinston, NC) – College: North Carolina – developed as one of the top spot-up three-point shooters in college hoops as a junior at UNC; versatile player, can score in a variety of ways; very good rebounder on both ends of the floor for his size; not an explosive player or high-flier; good size for small forward spot; does all the little things on the floor; not a great defender for his size and physical tools; textbook shooting stroke and quick release; doesn’t get to the line often; good ball protector, very low turnover rate; needs to be more creative in mid-range game; extremely quick and powerful in the open floor; not an aggressive finisher at the rim; strong, solid frame; smart, instinctive player who stays within himself; his versatility, smooth shooting touch and defensive potential have scouts viewing him as a solid role player at the next level

Sergey Karasev 6-7, 197 – Born: October 26, 1993 – (St. Petersburg, Russia) – Team: BC Triumph – at just 19 years old, maybe the most productive product in all of European basketball; very high basketball IQ and extremely savvy passer; solid court vision and imagination; lefty with an array of offensive moves; spends a lot of time beyond the arc and can fall in love with the long ball; son of a coach and former player; needs to add serious bulk and strength to compete against NBA small forwards; tough, willing rebounder; aggressive, confident, versatile scorer in the European league; has logged a lot of pro minutes for such a young prospect; can create his own shot; needs some work on the defensive end, should come with solid coaching and simple physical maturity; youth, size, intelligence and versatility make him one of the more intriguing prospects in the Draft

Shabazz Muhammed 6-6, 225 – Born: November 13, 1992 – (Las Vegas, NV) – College: UCLA – once viewed as a top 3 pick, tumultuous freshman season at UCLA damaged his Draft stock; doesn’t have ideal height (6-6) for NBA small forward, but makes up for it with long (6-11) wingspan; excellent strength and willingness to bang in the post; not a particularly explosive athlete; a pure, aggressive scorer; helped UCLA win the Pac-12 as a freshman; lefty who rarely goes right; not an above-the-rim player; strong work ethic, plays with a chip on his shoulder; not afraid of the pressure of late-game situations; has three-point range; gets to the free throw line a lot; is afflicted with Tourette’s Syndrome; excellent rebounder for a wing player; hungry, competitive player on both ends of the floor; if he slips, could wind up being the biggest steal of the first round

Otto Porter, Jr.6-9, 200 – Born: June 3, 1993 – (Sikeston, MO) – College: Georgetown – polished, multi-talented pro prospect; made a big leap from his freshman to sophomore seasons at Georgetown, named 2012 Big East Player of the Year; terrific size and length, skinny frame but 7-1 wingspan; late bloomer who didn’t play on the AAU circuit; highly effective mid-range game; solid shooter with unusual mechanics; will really need work in the weight room and isn’t viewed as an explosive athlete; good-but-not-great first step; strong leadership skills, finished classes at Georgetown even after declaring for the NBA Draft; gets to the free throw stripe regularly; moves without the ball exceptionally well; has a great feel and understanding of the game; product of the Princeton offense; strong defender and all-around competitive player; maybe the safest pick at the top of the Draft


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