2013 NBA Draft: Top Small Forward Prospects

Glenn Robinson III, SF, Michigan

The top-ranked Wolverines had a highly touted freshman class but I’m not sure anyone expected Robinson to be this good, this early. While playing alongside Trey Burke has made things easier for Robinson, he is arguably the second-most important player on the roster.

During two recent games against Ohio State and Minnesota, Robinson was held to single digits and in both games he looked affected. Robinson’s game is a blend of polish and athleticism, but he really excels in transition.

Robinson has been extremely efficient offensively and has shown surprising athleticism. With his pedigree and playing on this stage there is still plenty of room to improve his draft stock. He is a potential lottery pick in June.

Dario Saric, SF, Cibona Zagreb

Saric is your prototypical European forward. Tall but wiry, great ball handler, sees the court well, high IQ. Stop me if you’ve heard this description before because it seems like every prospect that fits this bill gets lumped into the “next Toni Kukoc” category.

Saric has PF size but his game screams for him to be on the perimeter. Saric is a skilled forward that is comfortable with the ball in his hands, especially bringing it up and initiating the offense.

The opinion around the league seems split on Saric as some feel he is not athletic enough to stick in the NBA while others see him as a quality skilled forward with versatility. The biggest liability with Saric will be defensively, as he is not strong enough to or athletic enough to keep up with NBA athletes.

Don’t be surprised to see Saric be considered by teams in round one, and he could be a stash candidate for teams hoping to avoid or reduce the luxury tax next season.

Sergey Karasev, SF, Triumph Moscow

Of the top European prospects in the draft, Karasev may be the most productive. He is not ready for the NBA and must get stronger, but eventually projects to the perimeter.

Offensively, Karasev is aggressive and knows how to get his shot off. The son of his coach in Moscow, Karasev has very high basketball IQ. Karasev is comfortable with the ball in either hand and is a good athlete.

Having just turned 19, it’s unlikely Karasev will arrive anytime soon, probably not before 2015-16, from what I’m told. While Karasev has the potential to be a first rounder it would not be surprising to see him slip into round two.

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