RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Jamaal FranklinPosted by BHayes on June 10th, 2013
The NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 27, in Brooklyn. As we have done for the last several years, RTC will provide comprehensive breakdowns of 20 of the top collegians most likely to hear his name called by David Stern in the first round on draft night. We’ll generally work backwards and work our way up into the lottery as June progresses. As an added bonus, we’ll also bring you a scouting take fromNBADraft.net’s Aran Smith at the bottom of each player evaluation. This post was contributed by RTC’s Bennet Hayes. He can be found on Twitter @HoopsTraveler.
Player Name: Jamaal Franklin
School: San Diego State
Height/Weight: 6’5”/190 lbs.
NBA Position: Shooting Guard/Small Forward
Projected Draft Range: Mid to Late First Round
Overview: After highly productive sophomore and junior seasons, Jamaal Franklin decided the time was now to depart San Diego State for the NBA Draft. The explosive wing helped key the continued success of Steve Fisher’s program, as the Aztecs earned top eight seeds in the NCAA Tournament in each of Franklin’s three seasons there. There is little that is prototypical about Franklin’s game. He is a scoring wing who struggles to shoot the ball from deep (just 28% from three-point range last season) but rebounds the ball as productively as any big (his 26.4% defensive rebound rate was 10th nationally a year ago). Franklin’s unconventional game will undoubtedly undergo some tweaking at the next level, as whispers of an improved jump shot and the nature of the bigger, more athletic front lines in the league should have him spending more time on the perimeter. Adjustments will be needed to reach his potential, but if Franklin continues to display the hyper-competitiveness and endless motor that fueled his prodigious collegiate efforts, whichever team ends up using a selection on the 2012 MW POY should end up a happy buyer indeed.
Will Translate to the NBA: Pairing Franklin’s natural competitiveness with his athletic ability makes him an NBA-ready defender from the get-go. He also graded out very well in measurements at the combine (despite not participating in any activities due to an ankle injury), and although just 6’5”, his seven-foot wingspan should allow him to see time at both the two and the three in the NBA. And while you can rest assured that Franklin will not be rebounding at the clip we witnessed at San Diego State, that length, combined with his superb bounciness, will make him an above-average rebounder from the wing early in his NBA career.
Needs Work: This one is pretty easy: Franklin could really stand to improve his jumper. Reports out of the combine said that the funky-looking jump shooter we saw in college was looking a lot more consistent, but let’s remember that scouts only had the chance to see Franklin shooting stand-still jumpers due to his ankle injury. His 28% three-point shooting a year ago was the worst of his three years in college, but he also never posted a percentage over 33% while at SDSU. Shot selection could stand to improve as well, but the most significant strain on his shooting efficiency is his flawed form. And while Franklin was effective getting to the rim in college, his off-the-dribble game could stand to improve at the next level too. He is not a fluid dribbler and struggles to take advantage of his plus-athleticism in the halfcourt, so he will have to expand his offensive repertoire if his scoring prowess is to continue at the next level.
Best Case Scenario: Franklin has considerable upside, but his best-case scenario will be limited if he can never find a way to regularly make jump shots. Without the jumper coming around, Franklin’s ceiling would be to carve out a role similar to that of Tony Allen’s in Memphis, as a lockdown defender on one end and a slashing, tough finisher on the other. However, if the jump shot starts dropping consistently and his overall offensive game develops, Franklin’s upside trumps that of many other players being discussed in his draft range. We probably aren’t talking about a perennial All-Star here, but it isn’t too far-fetched to imagine Franklin averaging 15 points a game for a good team, all the while bringing that hard-nosed intensity and fearlessness to the defensive end and the backboards.
Best NBA Fit: Franklin projects somewhere in the 15-30 range right now, where teams seeking an influx of energy and athleticism on the wing will take a hard look at the San Diego State product. The Cleveland Cavaliers at #19 would be the first team in the back half of the first round to fit the bill, and Franklin’s competitiveness and toughness could be a nice fit for a young team seeking an identity. The Brooklyn Nets at #22 could also be a potential suitor for Franklin, as he could provide a cheap and easy substitute for the production of aging (and largely ineffective) swingman Gerald Wallace. Finally, it’s difficult to see Franklin falling all the way to the end of the round, but if he makes it to Phoenix at #30, the Suns could have themselves a great value pick to upgrade their overall athleticism.
Scout’s Take (from NBADraft.net): “Some scouts question how well Franklin’s game translates to the NBA level … Described by detractors as a wild, undersized (6’5″) combo forward that overpowers lesser athletes for mostly garbage baskets… A high-energy defender with alluring physical traits and 2/3 position versatility. He utilizes his length to play passing lanes aggressively (1.6 SPG). Despite being a master of nothing, brings many positive attributes to the floor.”