Nick Smith Jr. Draft Profile

by Max Brandt


Smith, the highly anticipated college freshman of the season, fell short of expectations due to injury setbacks. Nevertheless, his potential remains undeniable. Standing at an impressive 6-foot-5, with an almost 6-foot-9 wingspan, Smith possesses the physical attributes that set him apart as a combo guard.

On the offensive end, Smith's scoring prowess is exceptional. With a quick first step and exceptional ball handling skills, he exhibits a shiftiness that keeps defenders guessing. His dribble moves are precise and purposeful, and he maximizes every movement with the ball in his hands.

What truly makes Smith a force to be reckoned with is his jump shot. His shooting form is impeccable, making his shots appear effortless. Coupled with his remarkable range, he effortlessly sinks deep triples without hesitation.

Smith's offensive arsenal extends beyond the perimeter. He displays craftiness and effectiveness with pull-up jumpers and a variety of floaters in the midrange. However, his finishing at the rim leaves room for improvement, as he often opts for jump shots instead of attacking the basket. To reach his full offensive potential, Smith must work on becoming a more adept finisher and absorbing contact, which will come with increased strength.

Defensively, Smith shows promise but has yet to emerge as an elite defender. Like many young prospects, his ability to add muscle and increase his strength will determine his ultimate ceiling on both ends of the court.

While Smith leans more towards scoring than distributing at this stage of his career, he has displayed glimpses of playmaking ability with 29 assists this season. However, his turnover count of 27 underscores the need for him to find alternative ways to impact the game when his shooting is off.

Despite his underwhelming season, Smith's leadership qualities and exceptional skill set make him a natural leader on the court. It comes as no surprise that he is poised to be a top pick in the upcoming 2023 NBA Draft. Nonetheless, NBA teams will take into account his health concerns, as his knee issues limited his playing time to just 17 games this season. Smith's draft stock may be affected, but he could prove to be a steal for teams willing to take the risk.

In his high school senior year at North Little Rock High School, Smith was instrumental in leading the team to a remarkable 27-3 record and clinching the Arkansas Class 6A championship. He consistently filled the stat sheet, often flirting with triple-doubles. Playing alongside another exceptional talent in his freshman class, Kel'el Ware, Smith made a lasting impact. Although Ware will transfer before the 2024 NBA Draft, their partnership showcased immense potential. Smith capped off his high school career by winning the MVP award at the prestigious 2022 Jordan Brand Classic, where he displayed his offensive prowess against the nation's top talents.



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