NBA Draft profile: Tony Snell

NBA Draft profile: Tony Snell
June 14, 2013, 11:30 pm
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New Mexico Lobos guard Tony Snell (21) during the game against the UNLV Rebels in the championship game of the Mountain West tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center.

(Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

On June 27, the Wizards will take part in the 2013 NBA draft. Currently the owner of picks 3, 38 and 54, the franchise could go in almost any direction with those selections - including trading them - as Washington attempts a sincere playoff push.

Washington's primary needs, some of which can be addressed during free agency, include adding overall scoring punch, finding a power forward with perimeter touch, a long-term answer at small forward, plus backups for John Wall and Bradley Beal. Between now and the draft, we’re going to identify some of the players the Wizards might target whether the team stays pat or moves around in the first round with analysis from coaches, scouts, beat writers and national analysts.

Up next, New Mexico forward Tony Snell. Check below for a running of list of all our draft profiles.

Tony Snell, New Mexico

Draft Express overall ranking: No. 39

Height/Weight: 6-7, 198 lbs 

Key stats: 12.5 points, 2.9 assists in 2012-13  

The player: Stepping his overall game as a junior, the Lobos' second-leading scorer helped direct New Mexico to the Mountain West regular season title, a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament and a 29-6 overall record. The catch-and-shoot threat draws comparisons to Wizards' forward Martell Webster. Snell knocked down 39 percent of his 164 attempts from beyond the 3-point arc last season, including a game-winner with 1.8 seconds to lift the Lobos past George Mason at the Paradise Jam in November. Scored over 20 points seven times including a season-high 27 against the Patriots, but his production lagged at times on both ends of the court despite his athletic gifts as evidenced by low rebounding totals (2.6 rpg) and infrequent free throw attempts. Regardless, Snell is reportedly moving closer if not into the back-end of the first round, but remains a possibility early in the second. 

The fit: With the draft coming before free agency and Webster entering this summer without a contract, the Wizards will ponder finding an alternative in either the first or the second round. Snell would provide additional perimeter pop, which Washington must add this offseason. Even if the plan is to bring back Webster, Snell could watch and learn as a rookie before moving into a larger role once Trevor Ariza's contract runs out after this upcoming season. 

The issue: As mention earlier, Snell's stat line frequently did not match his abilities. Per DraftExpress.com, Snell "seemed to lack a degree of assertiveness and toughness. Some of this can be attributed to a lack of advanced ball-handling skills and his role in a balanced offense as more of an off-the-ball shooter... also seemed to lack an attacking mentality, and he too often settled for contested jumpers as a junior." Despite his height and a 6-foot-11 wingspan, Snell ranked last among small forward's in DE's Top-100 prospect list with 3.4 rebounds per-40 minutes. He grabbed just one in 35 minutes against Harvard in New Mexico's stunning NCAA Tournament loss. 

The analysis (as told to CSNwashington): 

Paul Hewitt, George Mason head coach: "The way [the Lobos] ran their offense, they way they got him off those pin downs created some very good shots for him. I don't think he's a guy that can go get his own [shots] but within a framework of an offense, he's pretty good. He knows how to come off screens. I wouldn't say he's a great shooter, but he's a good shooter. He needs to play with a good play point guard and you need to set some screens for him. If you have that, he's good because he's a guy that can space the floor. He's long, but I didn't see him much as a post-up guy. I don't remember his defense jumping off the page at me. He should be a guy on the defensive end of the floor because his length should give people problems." 

Ed Isaacson, NBA Scout, NBADraftBlog.com, NBCSports: " He's an interesting player. The Steve Alford system at New Mexico was very structured so we really didn't get a chance to see a lot of things you would have hoped from Snell. He's one of those guys that is very good at getting open. What people like about him are his length, potential on defense, his ability to hit shots. When he chooses to play tough D, he can be very good. He's also vocal, a very good leader. It's going to be tough for teams to pass him up in the first round, though his value may not be there."

The summation: Because of his offensive style and the Wizards' current roster makeup, targeting Snell at No. 38 is logical, especially if Washington passes on Georgetown's Otto Porter Jr. or UNLV forward Anthony Bennett with the third overall selection. Whether Snell is there is another story. Entering this weekend, he has yet to work out on the Wizards' home turf. Even though the team workouts and interviews are often just a small piece of the evaluation process, how Snell performs in those situations with other teams could be the difference between hearing outgoing NBA commissioner David Stern or deputy commissioner (and future boss) Adam Silver call his name on draft night. If the Wizards decide Webster's price tag is likely out of their comfort zone and they can wait on Snell's development, they might be rooting for a Silver kind of night.

NBA Draft profiles:

Otto Porter Jr., SF, Georgetown

Lorenzo Brown, PG, NC State

Alex Len, C, Maryland

Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV

Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA, SF/SG