The NBA is a copycat league, and with the majority of the best players in the league playing small forward, it is easy to see why teams are eager to target that position in the draft.
Now more than ever, the NBA is about perimeter scoring and wings that can slash and create their own shot. A quick glance at this year’s crop of small forwards reveals several intriguing prospects who can help their future teams in various ways.
When bunched together with shooting guards, the perimeter is one of the deeper positions in this draft. While the board is still unsettled, this position is dominated by young and athletic prospects that have a lot of upside.
Here are some of the top prospects.
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Alex Poythress, SF, Kentucky
Poythress is explosive and a good finisher at the rim but remains raw as a shooter. At times Poythress has disappeared on offense but when he is focused he is something to watch, especially in transition.
Talking with scouts, Poythress projects to be a plus defender with the versatility to cover multiple positions. While consistency has been an issue as a freshman, teams will not hesitate to take Poythress based on his athleticism and upside. No longer in the mix to be the top pick, Poythress should be a top-10 pick.
Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown
I’ve been high on Porter for some time and had big expectations for the Georgetown sophomore heading into the season, which he has met. Averaging 15 and 7, while boosting his 3-point percentage by over 22%, has caught the attention of NBA teams.
Offensively, Porter has stepped up as the man for the Hoyas and seems comfortable taking the last shot. In a recent win over Notre Dame in South Bend, Porter shot over 70% from the field, 75% from beyond the arc, and had 9 rebounds. Games like that are becoming more common for Porter, whose development is also evident on the defensive end as well.
What’s intriguing about Porter is the fact that he has produced at the level he has in Georgetown’s system. Porter doesn’t appear to be a franchise-altering wing, but his smooth game and steady production indicate he could be a very good complimentary player in the NBA for many seasons. Porter is the most complete SF in this draft and is likely to be a top-10 pick.