The 2019 NBA Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NBA Draft. North Carolina forward Nassir Little may not have had the greatest numbers, but is still a quality prospect in this draft class.
2018-2019 stats: 9.8 points per game, 8.9 rebounds per game, 4.6 assists per game, 0.7 steals per game, 0.5 blocks per game, 47.8% field goal, 26.9% 3 point
Size: 6-foot-6, 220 pounds
Little was one of the most recruited players in the country heading into last college basketball season. He was the second overall recruit as ranked by 247 Sports, only being ranked behind R.J. Barrett. Although he could have gone anywhere in the country, Little decided to join a loaded North Carolina team.
Because of the stacked lineup at North Carolina, Little did not start one game at the college level. With him coming off the bench, Little had inconsistent output for the Tar Heels. In the NCAA Tournament, Little had 19 points and then 20 points in the first two rounds. In their Sweet 16 loss to Auburn, Little managed just four points. He was not able to win any notable national awards, but displayed his physical tools to NBA scouts throughout the course of the season.
While other prospects have limited experience because of injury, Little has relatively low experience, as he averaged just 18.2 minutes per game at UNC. Even with the limited playing time, Little is still projected to be a lottery pick.
Little has good size and strength for an NBA prospect. At 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, he not only has adequate height, but he also is very strong. He has a 7-foot-1 wingspan that also is tremendous given that he is a wing player. His size, strength and length should all help him transition to the NBA level.
His athleticism is one of his greatest strengths. He uses it to defend well and get to the basket. It is not uncommon to see a bunch of highlight plays from Little because he is usually more athletic than most people on the court. He can also go up and get rebounds over bigger players because he times it well and can jump higher than most people on the court as well.
Finishing at the rim will not be a problem for Little. He can go through contact or absorb it and still get the ball in the basket. He has a quick first step to get past defenders and get to the bucket. Little can also cut off-ball and get open for big dunks. With his good motor, he is always a threat to get to the rim, or rebound misses, and get opportunities close to the basket.
Little can’t shoot very well from the outside. He finished his freshman season shooting 26.9 percent from deep. On top of that, Little very rarely took outside shots, as he made 0.4 per game, indicating that it is an area of his game that needs work. With his athleticism, if Little can develop an outside shot, he will be a much better all-around offensive player. He also needs to develop his mid-range game.
Scoring may also be an issue, as he was inconsistent in college. He had some games where he’d score 20 points and others when he’d score as little as four points. That is how he only averaged 9.8 points per game in his one year of college. If it was tough for him to score in college, it will probably be even tougher for him to score in the NBA, when opponents can more aptly match his athleticism. He’ll need to work on creating his own shot or he may go long stretches without scoring.
He can protect the ball better to be more efficient. Little had almost double the turnovers as he did assists in his one season of college basketball. For this to improve, he needs to make smarter decisions passing the ball. As a ballhandler, he not only has to improve to create his own shot, but also has to tighten up his handle on the ball to make sure to not turn it over.
Projected Draft Range: Top 15 pick