Nassir Little: Off-Ball Offense
Our scouting grades represent the composite opinion of at least three different scouts. Each category is graded based on how we view a player’s current ability level relative to NBA players at the same position (guard, wing, forward or big). A grade of 1 indicates replacement level, a grade of 5 indicates NBA average, and a grade of 10 indicates historically elite. Our composite scouting notes help provide context for our grades.
Movement & positioning
Little can be a mixed bag when it comes to positioning. He is a threat which must be accounted for because of his strength and ability to finish through contact, but doesn’t threaten defenses with his jump shot. He can be an effective cutter and can seal his man off and make a play, but usually he is the beneficiary of some diagrammed plays which get him the ball on the move instead of creating his own looks through instinctual cuts.
He uses his body well in screen situations, though he hasn’t gotten to really open up his game on this front. He has only seen a limited number of attempts as a pick-and-roll roll man, but showed knowledge of brush screens, slips, and pick-and-pop actions in that limited sample. It’s very possible screening will be one of his strongest uses at the next level because he is a capable screener, a good cutter and a player who can warp defenses off the dribble in pick-and-pop actions.
Shooting off the catch
Little doesn't seem to be comfortable stepping into his shot (for an extensive breakdown of his mechanics, see HERE). He has added a lot of strength between his senior season in high school and his freshman season in the NCAA, which might contribute to his long misses. But he also doesn't seem to be able to find his rhythm, usually hesitating before going into his shooting mechanics. One area where he has been able to find a little success shooting in is the paint, shooting floaters while defenses try to play off of him. Improving as a shooter starts simply: using the offseason to adjust his mechanics and rhythm to account for his size.
Shooting off movement
Little has shown the strength and body control to take threes and mid range jumpers off movement, but he still misses long. He tends to cock the ball back too far when taking shots off the dribble, causing him to push his shot too much. His lower body and balance are good, he will just need to reconstruct the top of his shot to find more success.
Finishing off movement
Little gets to the rim well and uses his length and frame to finish with contact. He is a smart cutter who is always looking to get behind the defense and finish. Nice lob target because of his leaping ability and intelligent cutting. This could be the money area for him at the next level, especially with a much more spread out game. Despite lacking exceptional burst, he does have a pretty good top speed which should allow him to excel finishing off movement by building momentum and playing above the rim.