Tony snell, 6'7, 200 lbs, SG, New Mexico

Tony snell, 6'7, 200 lbs, SG, New Mexico

With his athleticism Snell seemingly glides easily around the court.  With his wing-span, straight-line speed, lateral quickness, and hops, Snell has tremendous defensive upside at the next level.


While skinny at 200 pounds, Snell possesses great size for a shooting guard.   At 6’7, he has near a 7’0 wing-span, and if he can add a little more muscle to his frame then he’ll be able to fight through the physicality of the NBA.

Off-Court Issues

There are no reported issues off-the-court, but I don’t have enough background into Snell.

Basketball IQ and Will to Want It

Beyond his athleticism Snell shows many characteristics of a solid understanding of the game.  Playing at small-forward last year, he averaged over 3.5 assists a game which shows his understanding of passing angles and unselfishness.  Defensively, at times, Snell showed promise of understanding angles and how to defend.

The question with Snell is his will to want it.  While a very good shooter with great athletic ability, he seemed passive at times in terms of contact.  Is he just a limited ball-handler or is he afraid of constant contact?  To me, he showed some under-rated ball-handling at times, but was just not confident with his handles and ability to fight through contact. 

I am not saying he’s going to be a great ball-handler, but at times, he flashed a great crossover and ability to shoot off one or two dribbles and get past the defense with his first step.  On top of this, with his size/athletic ability, Snell barely averaged 2.5 rebounds a game, a red flag for any player.  He’ll need to improve his aggressiveness at the next level.


Snell’s calling card is his combination of athleticism and shooting with great size as a two guard.  Snell is very fast and will do well shielding players off screens to get open.  He shot 39% from three last season on high volume.  Occasionally, Snell has the ability to take an off-balanced defender and post a few dribbles for a floater or stopping on the dime for a mid-range jumper.  Snell possesses a very nice understanding of the game by averaging over 3.5 assists a game.

Defensively, I think Snell puts in solid effort, but could do more.  While not a slacker, he just does not possess the an aggressive defensive mindset.  At 6’7, with great lateral quickness and straight-line speed, good hops, and a good wing-span, Snell should cause more problems for opposing players.  While he should strictly be a shooting guard at the next level, Snell could cause some issues with his overall defensive ability if utilized correctly.

That said, there are many concerns around him.  While a very smooth player and good shooter, he settles for jumpers instead of getting into the lane.  While not consistently an isolation player, he has shown some handles to getting his mid-range jumper or floater off.  Defensively, he barely averaged over two rebounds a game, and rebounding is one of the key indicators of effort level. 

He seems content being a solid team player while possessing the ability to be more. Will he bring more in the NBA?


Overall, I find Snell to being a very intriguing player.  I do question his toughness and mindset, but he’s unselfish, understands the game, passes well, and puts in effort defensively.

I think what you see in him is an intriguing team player with the talent and ability that leaves you wanting more.  He’s going to give you a solid defensive effort with more potential, a good shooter, a smooth athlete that glides all over the court, and someone that can pass the ball. 

He’s probably a better ball-handler than he shows, but may never give you the rebounding you’d expect with his size and athleticism. 

He has hit big shots throughout his career though.

To me, many casual fans rave about a player such as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope or a solid role-player such as Reggie Bullock.  However, Snell reminds me of Caldwell-Pope in many ways.  Both players settle for a jumper too many times when they could find the crease to get into the lane.  Caldwell-Pope is a better finisher in the lane with better rebounding, while Snell shows more defensive potential, a more natural outside shot, less ill-advised shooting, and a better understanding of the game. 

Bullock is a safer choice than either player due to his ability as a shooter, defender, and know his role.  However, Snell possesses both shooting and defensive ability with the ability to possibly do more.  For this reason, I actually would take a chance on Snell over the other two and especially since Snell is projected to go late-first.

How does he fit with the Bulls?

If the Bulls can gain a late first, Snell is a steal for the Bulls.  Defensively alone, he should be a great asset for Coach Thibs because Thibs likes to have tall defenders at the shooting guard/small forward position.  While Snell must beef up, he provides nice size and good outside shooting at the shooting guard position.  I just don’t think the Bulls will draft him due to concerns about his toughness.  However, if you are going to take a chance on a player, a player such as Snell is intriguing to me.

My impressions

To me, Snell is a good player to take in the late first, or better an unguaranteed early second.  I see at least a player with the ability to defend and shoot while being a good athlete.  If he can hone the rest of his game, you might gain a very good player down the road.


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  • Snell sounds like a very raw Scottie Pippin type player. Haven't had the chance to see him play, but he definitely sounds like the type of player theBulls will need for the iimmediately future especially if Hardaway Jr. gets drafted before #20th pick

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I like him - if he develops he could be a smooth player with some shooting!

  • Haven't watched him play, but he really intrigues me based on all of the draft profiles. With his current skillset and physical attributes, he will be a monster If Thibs can get him to commit to defense and attacking the rack. Of the players we can realistically get at 20, he might be #2 behind Dieng for me.

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    I don't think he will be a monster just because of mind-set. If utilized, then yeah. I do think he is an intriguing prospect Thibs can mold!

  • Reminds me of Will Barton from last years draft.

  • In reply to weareplato: - totally different players. Snell is a shooter that defends and can pass. Not much of a rebounder, has a higher basketball IQ, and plays too much in control (not aggressive enough).

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    People said the same thing about Harden as far as control/aggressiveness, though obviously Harden had a much higher skill level.

  • With the increased luxury tax penalties, it is more advantageous to draft a player in the late 1st round than the 2nd round. Teams want a player locked into low salary for 4-years which only occurs with 1st round picks.

    Look at Omer Asik and Landry Fields. A 2nd round player plays well for 2 years and becomes a free agent commanding a large salary for his 3rd year. A 1st round pick must wait for that big salary increase in his 5th year.

    If Jimmy Butler was taken at 31 instead of 30 he could now be a free agent like Omer Asik was.

  • In reply to Edward:

    If you hit on the player that's true, but if you miss it isn't.

    Teams can also almost always negotiate three year deals with players rather than two year deals at typically much lower prices.

    European players are somewhat of an exception though because they have the option to make more money in Europe.

    A typical college 2nd rounder would sign a 3 year minimum deal (or something similar) if he could.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I was going to say this.

    Typically 2ndRounders are signed for 1-2yrs, but that's just because they're 2ndRounders and teams can do that. But if teams wanted to sign players to 3-4yrs, they can (with the caveat being only teams with cap space can do so).

    That's how the Rockets are able to sign guys like Budinger and Parsons to more than 2yr deals, and Morey was smart about it too, only partially guaranteed those players the extra years.

  • Thanks Kevin. I realize people are intrigued when a guy has legit size 6'7 and athleticism at the SG position. And he can shoot. If the Bulls picked a somewhat unmotivated guy like Snell you'd just have to hope they see something others didn't.

    Myself, I'm just a big production guy and his college stats at New Mexico under Steve Alford leave a lot to be desired IMO. As you know steals and rebounds so often accompany a future NBA success and Tony's numbers honestly are sub par to say the least. And his scoring is beyond non-prolific.

    I would definitely pass on Snell though I realize everybody is looking for the next Paul George or P.G. Jr. And it's probably a moot point because the Bulls recent M.O. is only drafting high energy effort motivated players, and I don't think Tony has shown that therefore The Whiff as in they'll(Gar/Pax) pass.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I understand what you are saying and I somewhat agree. Only thing not completely stopping me from saying he is a bust type player is his team play. To me, he is just not aggressive enough. I don't think Paul George will come out of him, but a possibly good player!

  • This is a big game tonight. I almost wish Doug was doing a separate post as if it were a Bulls game.

    Miami when they are desperate take the double teams and post denial as in roughing up opposing bigs to another level. I hope Pop and his players are ready because they will have to have an offense based upon beating the extended double if it comes to that. I guess James might be playing Duncan. I'm worried the refs will give Lebron a lot more touch fouls tonight and possibly get important star players for the Spurs in trouble as in off the court. If I had to bet it partially due to the refs I'd bet on Miami tonight. If the refs were going to continue calling things the same way then I'd pick the Spurs or say it was 50/50.

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