Scouting Jamaal Franklin
As we approach the 2013 NBA Draft, we are reaching out to local experts to help us scout some of the players the Hawks may take in the first round. We had Jeremy Mauss from the Mountain West Connection help us scout San Diego State guard Jamaal Franklin.
What are his strengths? Weaknesses?
Franklin’s biggest strength is his athleticism, strength and that he is very versatile. Standing right around 6’5″, he played a combo forward including playing the power forward position. His wing span, which is a shade under seven feet and being physical, allowed him to play the power forward position in college and do it well. Being physical and having to matchup against larger opponents will definitely help him in the league as he will be a shooting guard. He also has a great knack for getting to the basket which can help in driving with the ball, getting open for easy buckets and sneaking past others to get a rebound.
His athleticism is a strength and weakness, because sometimes Franklin just plays too fast and can get out of control when pushing the ball on fast break. He also needs to be more consistent on his outside shooting. His three-point shooting hovered just above 30 percent from the closer college line, and he shot in the low 40 percent range overall.
What did he add to his team in college? What do you think he’ll bring to an NBA team?
He played three positions which allowed the Aztecs the best possible lineup, and also created mismatches against other teams. Being able to grab nearly 10 rebounds per game for a guy of his size helped the team get so many chances. Plus, his defense is underrated and something he has worked on. This past year he averaged just under a block per game and almost two steals. Franklin was a leader of the team and always wanted to be the guy to have the ball with the game on the line.
Being a guard that can rebound as well as Franklin can is a huge plus, and he is not afraid to attack the basket or mix it up down low. He is athletic enough to come into the NBA right away and handle the defensive duties of matching up against most shooting guards. That is because he had to play against bigger players during his three years at San Diego State, plus his seven-foot wing span will allow him to get a hand on the ball or in the opponent’s face. Franklin can find ways to score and does not necessarily need to have the ball in his hands to score, and that is where his slashing capabilities to the basket will help out to get the ball near the hoop.
What kind of style is he best suited for?
With his type of athleticism, Franklin is suited well to an up-tempo type of offense, or a motion oriented offense to allow him to play off the ball to get open in creative ways.
What sets him apart from other draft prospects at his position?
He can rebound extremely well since he played out of position at San Diego State, so he had to hit the boards when he was assigned to one of the forward positions. Once again, that near seven-foot wingspan is a big deal when matching up on defense, as well as help defense, too. Most guards in the draft have not had to play as physical as Franklin did in college. On either side of the ball, Franklin had to work hard to get shots off and conversely match up with forwards who tried to post him and try to take advantage of the size difference.
What NBA player would you compare him to?
Shawn Marion comes to mind as the two are very athletic, and Marion is a very good rebounder for his size.
What’s your favorite memory of him at San Diego State?
This is somewhat out of the blue, but I would say it would be in their NCAA tournament game against Oklahoma when he attempted what was looking to be a sweet reverse dunk. The attempt actually turned into a layup as they ball bounced around a few times before falling in.
Here’s what some of the national mock drafts are saying about Antetokounmpo:
ESPN.com Analysis: Atlanta is somewhat set in the backcourt, but I think Franklin, who also can play some small forward, might be worth the gamble. His infectious energy and athletic ability should give the team a real shot in the arm.
NBA.com Analysis: The Mountain West Conference Player of the Year will have to show he can handle the transition from college forward to primarily a shooting guard in the pros.
YahooSports.com Analysis: Franklin is a freakish athlete and led his team in scoring, rebounds, assists and steals. And he can even play defense and created more shots for himself last season. If he lands in the right situation I see him as a sleeper pick for Rookie of the Year.
Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated