Nassir Little: On-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.
Little has a solid handle with a small but effective array of moves. He is capable of attacking the basket with either hand and gets a very low center of gravity especially for his size, but is very stiff. He has almost no shake which hurts him when trying to create separation in space. He can be turnover prone, especially with his back to defenders and his handle can be loose in traffic. Outside of this season, he has shown a much wider array of moves and can probably do more than we have seen.
One of his weaker areas, Little is a one-read passer. He tends to get blinders on when he has the ball, putting his head down and going toward the rim without looking for corner shooters. Situations where he does pass usually arise out of the scripted offense. He can miss reads within the teams offense and does not have a tremendous amount of passing equity off the dribble, where he struggles even more when making decisions on the move. He doesn’t have the ball a lot and when he does, he is most comfortable as a scorer. He needs massive improvement in this area to get to NBA baseline level for wings.
Shooting off the dribble
Another skill which seems to have atrophied from his pre-NCAA days, Little has still shown the strength and body control to take threes and mid range jumpers off the dribble. He is good at attacking a closeout or taking advantage of a switch but he cannot create space for himself. The elevation and balance on his pull up allows him to shoot over top of contests and has shown some touch, but has been pretty inconsistent with bad misses which usually go long. He tends to cock the ball back too far when taking shots off the dribble, causing him to push the ball too much.
Finishing off the dribble
Little gets to the rim well and uses his length and frame to finish with contact. He can be a smart cutter who is always looking to get behind the defense and finish. He can use one- and two-dribble moves to gain a lot of ground and to lose defenders. One of his best offensive skills. He can be a little too invested in taking his man off the dribble when he might be better served moving the ball around. If he can learn to strike a balance and use his athleticism and strength without becoming a black hole, he can add tremendous value.
Finishing in the post
Little has had good opportunities to show off his post game this season, predominantly playing the four for UNC. He uses the rim to evade shot blockers well and is a good leaper off two feet but does not reach his apogee quickly, leading to a decent number of blocked shots in the post. He is good at contorting his body and finishing through contact, but can have trouble finishing once the help side defender comes over. He could be a switching teams nightmare, backing down guards in the post and finishing at the rim with strength, or work them in the mid post shooting over top of them.