Paul George (Fresno State, sophomore)
6'7, 200 lbs., Age: 20
George is a long and lengthy small forward at 6'7 with range extending past NBA three point line. While known for his shooting, George's speed and long stride create havoc on the fast break. Defensively, his length creates problems for both shooting guards and small forwards, prevents players from shooting over him, and allows him to play the passing lanes.
While known for his shooting and range, George uses his athletic ability to excel in transition finishing at the rim or taking pull up jumpers. He attempts to shoot mid-range jumpers off the dribble, but this aspect of his game needs work still.. Although underutilized, he can post up shorter guards/forwards with his length and either shoot over them, or pass the ball to an open shooter.
Defensively, George creates problems with his uncanny quickness and length. He is hard to shoot over when in position and as a team defender, generates sneaky steals by playing the passing lanes. However, George must improve strength and stamina in order to fight through picks or go around them more quickly. At times, he also needs to play with more discipline and maintain his position.
How will George's Game Translate to the NBA?
Overall, George has two particular skills that really translate in the NBA. His ability to shoot from anywhere and his athletic ability to play in transition and defense. He is still very raw, but with added strength, his game emulates the retired, Sean Elliot. If he does not get close to reaching his talent, his floor is a Trevor Ariza type player. George should at least be a solid role player at the next level.
Compared to James Anderson and Xavier Henry, he already has the shooting, and the added skill of being taller, longer, and more disruptive on defense. Since George is only scratching the surface of his potential, I feel that he could go anywhere from around pick 10-25. When G.M.'s start seeing more of his game in workouts, I feel his draft status will rise.
How does his game fit for the Bulls?
Even though, George is a natural small forward, I feel he has the athleticism to defend shooting guards in stretches. His game fits better next to Rose than Deng and he would be one of my favorites to pick at 17 if available. The Bulls need three point shooting and defense on the perimeter, and George might provide both while still having some upside down the road.