SB Nation is posting scouting reports of each prospect in the 2013 NBA Draft. Learn more about San Diego State swingman Jamaal Franklin.
NAME: Jamaal Franklin.
SCHOOL: San Diego State.
AGE ON DRAFT DAY: 21 years, 11 months.
POSITION: Shooting guard.
MEASUREMENTS: 6'5, 191 pounds, 6'11.25 wingspan, 8'7.5 standing reach.
|2012 - Jamaal Franklin
RELEVANT ADVANCED STATS: 21.6 assist percentage this season. Franklin is as good a playmaker as you will find from the wing position in the draft.
SB NATION BIG BOARD POSITION: No. 16.
NBA CEILING: Andre Iguodala.
NBA FLOOR: Marquis Daniels.
JONATHAN TJARKS' ANALYSIS
In his freshman season, Jamaal Franklin was an understudy to Kawhi Leonard, averaging eight minutes a game on a 34-win team that made the Sweet 16. That team graduated three seniors and lost Leonard to the NBA, but the Aztecs haven't missed a beat over the last two years, thanks mainly to Franklin's development.
As a sophomore, Franklin was the Mountain West Player of the Year. As a junior, he lead San Diego State in points (17.5), rebounds (9.5), assists (3.3) and steals (1.4). His shooting percentages (41 percent from the field, 22 percent from three-point range and 78 percent from the free-throw line) were the only black marks on an otherwise eye-popping statistical profile.
In that respect, he's similar to Leonard, who fell in 2011 due to concerns about his outside shooting. While Franklin isn't as big as his former teammate, he has the chance to be as dynamic a player from the wings as Leonard is from the forward positions.
At 6'5 and 190 pounds with a 6'11 wingspan, he has incredible length for a shooting guard. That length, in combination with the ability to do things like this, allows him to play much bigger than his size, crashing the boards and wreaking havoc as a help-side defender.
Franklin has a nose for the basketball and a good feel for the game. San Diego State ran a lot of offense through him this season. He's the rare wing player with the ability to create good looks for his teammates.
Were it not for his shaky jumper, Franklin would likely be a lottery pick. His inability to space the floor will be a tricky fit on many rosters, but on the right team, his ability to impact the game as a scorer, passer, rebounder and defensive player could make him one of the steals of the draft.
DRAFT EXPRESS SCOUTING REPORT
OTHER SB NATION SCOUTING REPORTS
Franklin is aggressive. To say the least. Here's a small forward who had no problem driving the lane, taking the shot from afar and putting on some showmanship while in the process of leading the Aztecs in scoring, rebounding, assists, and steals; becoming the only player in the nation to do so at the time. He started every game this past season, and averaged 33.1 minutes a game. So it's tough to argue against his endurance and energy.
Are there worries about Franklin in the NBA? Sure, everyone has their flaws. Franklin turned the ball over plenty, usually trying to make some ridiculous play. When it worked it was pretty, when it didn't, well it could look awful at times.
Ball defense has been a tad questionable (a career turnover stat of 2.5 times per game looms large), so one can probably expect this part of his game to be worked on most.
If improvements on the defensive side translate to fewer opportunities to shoot the ball, so be it. But in his defense, Franklin found himself all over the court at times, providing blocks and defensive rebounds from whichever position he was asked to play. That kind of versatility will go far and can only be improved upon with relentless practicing.
The argument in favor of Jamaal Franklin is based around my above discussion of stats that correlate well between NCAA and NBA and those that don't. Franklin's combination of 11.3 rebounds and 4 assists per 40 is freakish, while his field goal percentage is embarrassing. Thankfully for Jamaal, the rebounding and passing will almost certainly follow him into the pros, but the poor shooting may not. Add to this that Franklin has hit 80% of his free throws the past two seasons and thus his shot isn't necessarily broken, and you have a really intriguing late-lottery prospect.
Franklin is one of my favorite prospects in this draft not only because he wears long sleeves on the court, but also because of how hard he plays and his versatility. Unfortunately, that doesn't necessarily mean great things for his potential draft stock. The inability to improve upon his long-range shooting really leaves doubts in my mind as to whether or not he can play shooting guard in the NBA. But if he learns that shot, then he has potential to be a Paul George -lite type of player who tenaciously D's up and can shoot from distance. His best-case scenario is probably that or a Tony Allen -type player who uses his athleticism, basketball IQ and crazy motor to become a defensive dynamo on the perimeter. But because he still can't shoot, he could easily turn out to be an Alonzo Gee-type player that is a slightly above-average defender who can't shoot and scores inefficiently. Pretty big range of possibilities for Franklin.
For more coverage, visit SB Nation's NBA Draft 2013 section.