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.
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.
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.