Nassir Little averaged 9.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last season with North Carolina.

By Charlotte Carroll
June 20, 2019

The Blazers selected North Carolina forward Nassir Little with the No. 25 pick in the 2019 NBA draft.

The 6'6'' 225-pound Little declared for the draft after one season with the Tar Heels. He went to UNC after winning the MVP at the McDonald's All-American game and Jordan Brand Classic

He averaged 9.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, playing less than 20 minutes a night and came off the bench in all 36 games he played in. 

The Tar Heels earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament this season, reaching the Sweet 16 before losing to Auburn.

SI NBA draft expert Jeremy Woo’s breakdown: Little finished the season playing with more consistency and is still a late lottery-caliber talent, although the shine has worn off from his buzzy high school days. From a tools standpoint, he has what it takes to be an NBA wing — he’s strong, agile and will be able to match up on the perimeter. Still, scouts question his overall feel and lack of a pronounced pro-ready skill. Little has been iffy playing off the dribble and shooting from distance, and needs shots created for him. But with his natural athletic ability, he may not have too far to go to become a usable role player. There’s obvious untapped potential here, but Little will have to convince teams he’s worth the bet.

Jeremy Woo's grade: B+

 This is good value on Little, who unsurprisingly took a bit of a fall in the draft—many teams weren’t ever really as high on him as it seemed. I do like this for Portland, who get him on the cheap, at a position of need, and get a low-risk shot at developing him into a viable running mate for their stars. Little is unquestionably an NBA-caliber athlete, but he has a ways to go from a feel perspective. He’s certainly gifted enough to deliver a strong return on a pick this late.

 

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