Nick Smith Jr
The Arkansas Razorbacks shooting guard has a similar play style and statistical profile to Keyonte George, but he is a more shifty offensive player with a lot of different ways to score.
Smith was a former #1 overall recruit coming out of high school in 2022, so he has been on the radar of the NBA scouts for a long time. The injury-plagued freshman season that saw him play only 17 games caused his stock to fall leading up to the draft.
Despite the knee injury he suffered, Smith was still able to show his diverse arsenal of scoring moves. He is very hard to stop as an offensive player with a nice floater game, impressive pull-up ability, and shifty ball-handling skills.
However, he also has questions about his efficiency at the next level. He only shot 39.6% from inside the arc, 33.8% from downtown, and only 74% from the free-throw line. He was not an efficient scorer from anywhere on the court. The three-point and free-throw percentages are especially concerning.
If Smith is not a plus shooter, the value he brings to the offense craters. Especially since he struggles to get to the rim consistently, having to resort to runners and floaters. He prefers to go to his right and finish with his right hand. Whether he will be a good enough finisher around the rim remains to be seen.
Smith has a nice frame, he can fill out and get stronger. He can improve his shooting. He is going to look good on the court, regularly creating impressive highlight plays with his artistic style. Yet, it is hard to see him become an efficient shot-creator. His ceiling of a Jamal Crawford or Lou Williams style of player doesn’t warrant an 8th-overall pick selection.