Sports Media

Nick Smith Jr. 2023 NBA Draft Scouting Profile

Nick Smith Jr. NBA Draft

Photo Credit – Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Smith Jr. NBA Draft
Photo Credit – Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Smith Jr. 2023 NBA Draft Scouting Profile

Nick Smith Jr. 2023 NBA Draft Scouting Profile

  • Height/Weight/Age: 6’5″/185 lbs/19-years-old
  • Primary Position: Point Guard/Shooting Guard
  • Freshman Season Stats: 12.5 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 1.7 APG, 37.6% FG, 33.8% 3P, 74.0 FT%, 0.8 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 1.6 TOPG

Strengths: Craftiness, Touch, Pull-Up Jump-Shooting

Nick Smith Jr. is a slippery, slithery, smooth operator in the lane. He’s got a fluid handle and has every dribble move and counter in the book. He lacks elite burst and explosiveness but he’s quick, shifty, and has great change in pace.

My favorite aspect of Smith Jr.’s game is his pillow-soft touch. His touch on floaters and runners is absolutely insane. He can finish with both hands on those shots and only needs a sliver of space to get those shots off. I’m not being hyperbolic when I say that Smith Jr. has one of the best floaters and some of the best touch I’ve ever seen.

Finally, Smith Jr. is a tough pull-up jump-shooter who doesn’t need a ton of space to get his shot off. He’s got a lightning-quick release and can drain his shot from anywhere. Teams at the next level should be able to create instant offense with him out of pick-and-rolls and dribble handoffs.

Weaknesses: Defense, Playmaking, Shot Selection

My primary concern about Smith Jr.’s game at the NBA level is how he’ll be picked on defensively. He’s long, standing at 6-foot-5 with a 6-foot-8 wingspan, but has a real slight frame at 185 pounds. He’ll be picked on as a point-of-attack defender by even average-sized guards because of the strength disparity.

Another big concern about Smith Jr. is his playmaking. He won’t be a lead ball-handler at the next level, mostly because I don’t know if he has the playmaking chops right now. Smith Jr. has this tendency to play with his head down a bit where he gets straight-scoring tunnel vision.

He doesn’t make great reads when teams send help defenders. He’s just not a polished passer and decision-maker yet. Last season he averaged just 1.7 APG and posted a 1:1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Nevertheless, I expect Smith Jr. to develop in this department once he reaches the NBA. His handle is too filthy, and he operates too well in the lane to not develop into being at least an average playmaker.

Perhaps the biggest concern about Smith Jr.’s game is his efficiency, shot selection and lack of rim pressure. Smith Jr. posted an abysmal 47.2 true shooting percentage last season. That’s mostly because of all the contested jump shots and difficult floaters he was taking in the mid-range.

He struggled with efficiency because he struggles to create real rim pressure with his lack of explosiveness. Smith Jr. is going to have to be a deadly tough shot-maker at the next level to be efficient as a scorer.

Best NBA Fit: Raptors, Pelicans, Grizzlies

Smith Jr. needs to go somewhere where he doesn’t immediately have to be a lead ball-handler and can just focus on getting buckets. His ideal immediate role is as a sixth man or spark plug off the bench. For these reasons, I think Toronto, New Orleans and Memphis are all logical landing spots for Smith.

Toronto seems destined for a rebuild and desperately needs half-court creation, especially with the impending free agency of Fred VanVleet. New Orleans needs more creation off the bench and Smith Jr. could step in and immediately get buckets. Memphis also needs half-court creation and Smith Jr. complements both Ja Morant and Tyus Jones.

NBA Comparison: C.J. McCollum

McCollum is the highest-end comparison for Smith Jr. where he absolutely maxes out. Both are undersized guards who lack elite athleticism but who are crafty enough to get buckets from everywhere on the court. A lower-end comparison for Smith Jr. would be someone like Bones Hyland. Slighter-framed spark plug guards off the bench who can score from anywhere on the floor.

Draft Projection: Mid-First Round

Smith Jr. will be selected somewhere between the tail end of the lottery and the middle of the first round. His red flags are massive, and the deficiencies in his game are real. But so are his star traits and his upside as a shot creator. It’s hard to predict a career trajectory for a young prospect who has so much room to grow and develop.

SUBSCRIBE to the Vendetta YouTube Channel!

CLICK HERE for more NBA content!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Popular Past Stories

Trey Daubert / MLB / November 29, 2019

Zack Wheeler Is The Free Agent Starter You Want

James Herrick / UFC / December 8, 2022

Paddy Pimblett: The Most Overrated Fighter in the UFC

Trey Daubert / NFL, NFL Draft / April 2, 2022

George Pickens 2022 NFL Draft Profile

recommended stories

Matt Riddle at the WWE Royal Rumble event

Full details on Matt Riddle’s WWE release – Reports

Former WWE United States Champion Matt Riddle became the latest member of the roster to be released by the company…

Read More
trevon diggs

Jerry Jones: Trevon Diggs is ‘irreplaceable’ after season-ending injury

Jerry Jones: Trevon Diggs is ‘irreplaceable’ after season-ending injury After a smooth 3-0 record to start their season, the Dallas…

Read More
CBS Sports Serie A Media Rights

CBS To Renew Serie A Media Rights

CBS To Renew Serie A Media Rights Although CBS Sports’ coverage of Serie A is set to expire after the…

Read More
Stephen A Smith

Stephen A Smith: War Against Baseball Only Makes Him Look Dumber

Stephen A Smith: War Against Baseball Only Makes Him Look Dumber We already know that Stephen A Smith is an…

Read More