He became one of the most hyped prospects before last season when he scored 52 points combined in the McDonald's All-American Game and Jordan Brand Classic. But Little couldn't find any rhythm at North Carolina, where he came off the bench to play just 18.2 minutes per game. Scouts still detected talent through the inconsistency. And now Little will be out to prove he was underused and that the NBA is a more suitable place for him to develop.
Weight: 224.2 pounds
Pro comparison: Thaddeus Young
At 224 pounds with a 7'1" wingspan, Little is impressive physically, even if his 6'6" height makes him seem undersized for a forward. He's at his best from the small-ball 4 spot, which allows him to capitalize on his quickness from face-up position. Little was productive during his limited action, having averaged 21.5 points and 10.1 rebounds per 40 minutes. He was effective at running the floor and crashing the offensive glass. Little flashed spot-up jumpers, pull-ups, post-ups and drives sporadically throughout the season. He's a capable scorer from every spot and situation—he just isn't proficient in any of them.
Little only made 26.9 percent of his 52 three-point attempts and 26.8 percent of his pull-ups. He lacks the height and moves to be a featured post scorer, so his shooting development is important. Little isn't a threatening creator or playmaker in the half court, as he finished his freshman season ranking in the 31st percentile out of isolation with just 24 assists through 36 contests. His feel for knowing what play to make with the ball is weak.
Little has a tremendous defensive physical profile that should buy him time while he learns NBA concepts. He should be able to guard both forward spots with his diesel frame, length and foot speed. However, Little was beaten too easily off the dribble last year. He lacks great instincts, totaling just 19 steals and 19 blocks all year despite having such advantageous tools and athleticism. On a positive note, Little brings toughness, which could hold value even if he struggles to consistently make the right reads.
Given his limited impact at North Carolina, the coaching staff will presumably take it slow with Little. He's a good candidate for the G League, which would help him build his reps and confidence. He'll need to become a more consistent shooter to justify a regular rotation role, given that he'll play almost exclusively off the ball. Otherwise, he should be good for second-chance points and easy baskets in transition and on cuts.
Projected role: Versatile role player
Little seems too far behind to possess any realistic star potential. Assuming he makes enough strides with his scoring, shooting and defense, he should be able to mirror Thaddeus Young as a versatile role player and complementary offensive option.