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Film Don’t Lie: Nick Smith, Keyonte George, Anthony Black

The third 3-player breakdown for 2023 NBA Draft Prospects

2022 Jordan Brand Classic Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

With a new NBA season about to dawn, it is a great time to take one final deep breath of the summer offseason and think about the not-so-immediate future. More specifically, I’m talking about the 2023 NBA Draft prospects. We don’t know how the Detroit Pistons season will unfold. It could be the play-in tournament, or it could be vying for one of the following names. It makes sense, then, to at least be familiar with what the 2023 NBA Draft has to offer.

This will be the 3rd of a multi-part series where I will break down three possible prospects for the 2023 NBA Draft. For my series, I will not be looking at any players that were in college last season, though our own Steve Pelletier may have those breakdowns for you in the future. I will instead focus on a few players taking the nontraditional route to the NBA and the crop of HS seniors.

To continue this series, I will be looking at two Arkansas teammates in Nick Smith and Anthony Black and Baylor combo guard Keyonte George.

For these breakdowns, I will give just a paragraph or two of my overall thoughts on the prospect accompanied by my video breakdown on each. I do want to make a note that with ALL of the prospects in this series, I had varying levels of access to stats, information, and film. I try to highlight and note where I got stats from, if I had access to one game, just HS film, or maybe access to other leagues they played.

I also want to emphasize that these breakdowns are solely my evaluation of these prospects as players but not specifically for the Detroit Pistons. We have no idea how some of the Pistons’ young core will develop or where they will land in next year’s Draft. I simply wanted to give fans and readers of DBB a little insight into who these prospects are right now with the understanding that they have almost a full year of growth ahead of them.

Nick Smith

6-foot-5 - Arkansas - 18 Years Old (Turns 19 on April 18, 2023)


  • North Little Rock HS

I first must admit that Smith is probably the player I am higher on than the consensus right now. I immediately fell in love with his game while watching the film.

Offensively, Smith has the potential to be a three-level scorer as his shot looks good, he has the ability to do it off the bounce and also off the catch at times. What I really liked about his game is he never “settled” for the jumper and would always continue to attack and pressure the defense. He has really good body control in the mid range, though the floater efficiency can definitely improve. The biggest knock on him will be the lack of elite athleticism but he is an extremely crafty finisher around the rim. He is very comfortable operating in ball screens which will be huge for his half court offensive game and he plays with great pace and suddenness with the ball in his hands. The final piece that sold me on him offensively was his willingness and ability to create for others. If there is another question about his offensive game it might be how good he is playing off the ball and what that “fit” might be offensively with fellow freshman and NBA Draft Prospect, Anthony Black.

Defensively, the first thing that stood out to me in both games I watched was that he was matched up with the opposing team’s best player. He is consistently engaged and in a stance on the ball. His overall effectiveness, however, may come back to his athletic profile as quicker and explosive players can get the best of him on drives. Off the ball, I did not get a great feel for his game as he was usually being asked to full deny, guarding the other team’s best player, and so he was not in situations to make rotations, switches, etc.

Check out the Video Breakdown for my Full 2023 Preseason NBA Draft Player Profile

Keyonte George

6-foot-4 - Baylor - 18 Years Old (Turns 19 on Nov. 8, 2022)

STATS (via The Season Ticket) - (14 Games, 27 MPG) 17.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.1 TOPG, 1.3 SPG, 0.2 BPG

  • 50% FGA - 42% 3PA (3.8 Attempts) - 90% FTA (19 total attempts)

Offensively, the jump shot immediately pops off the screen when watching Keyonte George. It is one of the “prettier” shots you will see in the 2023 NBA Draft class. What excites me the most about it is the foundation to be an off-the-dribble and off-the-ball movement shooter. He is able to get his momentum right into his jumper and has very good elevation which allows him to get his shot off even at 6-foot-4. I have not personally witnessed the on-ball creation and rim pressure that others like specifically Rafael Barlowe speak about with George. I know he had a great showing at Global Jam this past summer, but my film study came from his HS games with IMG this winter. That added offensive impact, beyond the shooting, is something I will be very interested to study earlier on in his time with Baylor.

Defensively, I was immediately impressed by George as he was matched up with a player I am very high on in Dariq Whitehead. I thought he really made Whitehead work, although he did make some really tough shots, and even frustrated him at times. I think he has the potential to be a legit defensive stopper for Baylor this season, similar to what we saw from Davion Mitchell, and I am very interested if we see him in that role. One small thing I did note was that his off the ball screen navigation will have to improve if he is going to take on that role defensively.

Check out the Video Breakdown for my Full 2023 Preseason NBA Draft Player Profile

Anthony Black

6-foot-7 - Arkansas - 18 Years Old (Turns 19 on Jan. 20th)

STATS - Played just 15 regular-season games as a senior due to transfer regulations, but averaged 13.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.2 steals

(via inSTAT) - (6 games, 20 MPG) FIBA U18 - 5 PPG, 7.7 RPG (1.8 O Boards), 4.3 APG, 1.8 TOPG, 1.5 SPG, 2.3 BPG

  • 36% FGA - 1/6 from 3 - 5/10 from FT

Offensively, the thing that immediately jumps out with Anthony Black is his passing ability. I love his willingness to kick the ball ahead, across the court and in transition. He is a player who is always seeing the next pass as soon as the ball hits his hands. I am also impressed with the pace and speed at which he plays as he never seemed to get sped up or out of control. The biggest and most immediate concern with Black is the lack of shooting. It was not just about the percentages but also the low volume that immediately stands out. This will obviously be something he will need to improve in his freshman season at Arkansas. I am very intrigued by his floater game which will serve him well in terms of being a threat to score. Speaking of Arkansas, as I mentioned with Nick Smith, I am interested to see how the on- and off-ball reps play out between these two. Even with the high-level passing of Black, I think he flashed some good off the ball movement and offensive rebounding.

Defensively, I really like what Black can bring on the ball and what I believe can be some defensive versatility guarding 1 through 3 at 6-foot-7. Even when he did get beat on the ball he showed an ability to recover and get a couple blocks from behind the play. I mentioned his abilities on the offensive boards and that shows up defensively as well which serves as dual purpose allowing him to start the fast break himself right off the rebound.

Check out the Video Breakdown for my Full 2023 Preseason NBA Draft Player Profile