The next position in line for the NBA draft positional preview is the small forward. The small forward position is an important one in the NBA with guys like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard running the show and dominating the league. This year in college basketball, Brandon Ingram and Ben Simmons stole the show from the others and solidified themselves as the top two picks in the draft. Let’s take a look at the other top ranked small forwards.
Prince is a small forward out of Baylor that has made a huge impact on the program in his time there. He was known for being an extremely versatile defender that can guard multiple positions and is a fantastic on ball and perimeter defender. He is also a good finisher at the rim that can take almost any defender off the dribble. He needs to add some size and become a better shooter, but I still believe he will be an early to mid second round pick.
Known for his defense and high basketball IQ, Dembry made his mark at St. Joseph’s. Scouts took notice of his quick and efficient decision making on the court and his impact on both ends of the ball. He is a fantastic defender who can guard almost anyone and a great scoring forward who can get to the rim and finish. All of these intangibles together are why I feel he will be a late first round pick
3- Jaylen Brown
Brown is part of the triple threat of small forwards in this draft that can easily make up 3 of the top 5 overall picks. One of the most highly talked about recruits in last years class wasted no time in making an impact in his first and only season at California. He is a 19 year old with a long, athletic build that makes for match-up issues. He has great quickness and acceleration that gives him great penetration and gets to the line very often. Also an above average defender. I expect him to be a top 10 draft pick.
2- Ben Simmons
The huge debate this pre draft process has been who will go number one…LSU’s Ben Simmons or Duke’s Brandon Ingram. Simmons posted the best overall stat line out of anyone this season, averaging 19 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists per game. However, despite all of that and his above average court vision and basketball IQ, there are a lot of questions about the consistency of his hustle and his jumper. For these reasons, I have him going number 2 in the draft to the LA Lakers.
The second player in the number one overall debate is a 19 year old out of Duke named Brandon Ingram. Ingram is an athletic, lanky and quick small forward that has great ball handing skills and can space the floor better than anyone else in this draft. He is a great shooter that can also put the ball on the floor anytime and take it to the rim. Some people have concerns about how skinny he is for 6’10, but that never stopped a certain all star named Kevin Durant. I do believe Ingram will be the number one overall pick in this year’s NBA draft.
Others to watch out for- Paul Zipser, Jake Layman, Jarrod Uthoff, Wayne Selden Jr, Perry Ellis.