3. Physical profile
Even as a 19-year-old, Little is physically and athletically ready to play in the NBA right away. He is 6’6”, 224 pounds with an 8’8.5” standing reach and has a 7’1.25” wingspan. Little is also very strong and should be able to hold his own when banging around.
He can play both forward positions and should thrive in a few years as a small ball power forward in today’s style of NBA. For his size, Little is quick, explosive and that helps him out as a rebounder on both ends, being an all-around defender, lob threat and finisher at the basket.
If he wants to see early playing time right away, Littles calling card for the Blazers will be defense and being an energizer bunny every time he is on the court. Little can guard positions 1-through-4 and Portland does not have very many guys who can do that. He will also be asked to run the floor on fast breaks, slash to the hoop, set screens and attack the offensive glass.
Coach Terry Stotts doesn’t usually like to play rookies during the regular season, but most rookies aren’t built like Nassir Little. If he can come in and make an impact on the game right away, Stotts might have no choice but to use him.
According to ESPN, the UNC forward physically compares best to Boston Celtics wing Jaylen Brown. Just like Little, Brown looked the part but did not have a fantastic college season and some people were skeptical about skill and fit in the league.
Now a few seasons in, Brown kept working on his game and has established himself as one of the better young guys in the NBA. Little should look to follow a similar path, work hard and stay patient with his basketball growth because he has the physical traits that can’t be taught.