2013 NBA Draft: Top Small Forward Prospects

Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton

If you haven’t seen McDermott yet, you are missing out. A gifted offensive prospect, McDermott is perhaps the best scorer in the country, single-handedly carrying his team most nights.

McDermott is a threat to score anywhere on the court, and while he may struggle to create offense at the next level, if he is paired with a quality PG or facilitator he could be excellent. Nearly every scout I’ve spoken with is lavish in their praise of McDermott as an efficient scorer, something NBA teams crave.

More impressive is the fact that McDermott is the entire focus of opposing defenses and still is scoring over 23 ppg. The son of his coach, McDermott is very intelligent and a hard worker.

McDermott is in the running for NCAA Player of the Year honors and don’t be surprised to see him lead Creighton through a magical March. Come draft night, expect McDermott to hear his name called in the later part of Round One.

C.J. Leslie, SF, North Carolina State

It seems like just yesterday that Leslie was thought to be a surefire one-and-done, but here we are today and he is in the midst of his junior season. Leslie’s production has modestly increased, expect for his rebounding, which has been the same since his freshman season.

Questions of whether Leslie has a true position are fair. Leslie is most dangerous in transition where his explosiveness and athleticism are a matchup nightmare. Consistency remains elusive with Leslie as he still frustrates scouts with his questionable shot selection and inability to dominate on a regular basis.

While some prefer to think of Leslie as a PF, I just cannot see him standing up to the physicality of NBA PFs. Defensively, Leslie when focused can be quite effective because of his lateral mobility and length, especially against SF.

Expect Leslie’s name to be called somewhere in the late first to early second round on draft night.

LeBryan Nash, SF, Oklahoma State

Nash is not for everyone. Some scouts are turned off by his body language while others point to his inefficiencies on the court. In fairness, a couple scouts I have spoken with view Nash as a versatile player who has the potential to be a plus defender and quality scorer.

Based on what I have seen of Nash, he needs to seriously work on his shot selection but to his credit has improved somewhat as a sophomore, which might be more a credit to Marcus Smart than any growth by Nash.

Defensively, some have thrown out comparisons to Metta World Peace as Nash is a rugged defender but he too often has lapses on that side of the court to warrant that comparison. Unfortunately, you don’t know what you are going to get with Nash on any given night.

One year ago Nash arrived at Oklahoma State as a one-and-done candidate but fell short of expectations. While he has not exceeded expectations playing alongside a top-10 pick like Smart, Nash has the athleticism and upside to warrant first round consideration but simply watching the game tape suggests he is a second round pick.

(RELATED: Top Point Guard Prospects | Shooting Guards | Top 1O Euro Prospects

Joe Kotoch is the Editor-in-Chief of Pro Basketball Draft, a leading scouting service in the world of professional basketball. Before Joe created PBD, he served as an NBPA & FIBA certified agent and scouted players all across the world. Born and raised in Cleveland, Joe also contributes to Fox Sports Ohio and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. You can follow Joe on Twitter @Probballdraft.

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