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Blazers rookie Nassir Little reveals why he entered NBA draft amid doubts

Nassir Little, Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers drafted Nassir Little with the 25th pick in the 2019 NBA draft. Despite having an up-and-down freshman season off the bench at North Carolina, Little was still projected to be a first round draft choice, which he wound up being.

In a sit-down interview with Justin Myers on The Bridge, Little discussed about the decision process and what ultimately led him to enter the NBA draft:

“I’m trying to be the best NBA player. I think if I would have stayed, I would have just been a better college player… I think Nassir three years in the NBA would be better than Nassir four years in college.”

He’s not wrong, though. Perhaps, Little could have gained more reps as a starter in college had he returned to North Carolina for at least one more season. He could have entered the NBA at some point in the future as a more polished and experienced player.

However, as he alluded to, the NBA game is way different than the college game. It would definitely be better for him to get acclimated to the 82-game grind right away and learn from guys like Terry Stotts, Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.

Little is a high-upside forward with great length and athleticism. He possesses a pretty clean-looking jumper, though he hasn’t really been able to consistently hit shots under pressure. Defensively, his long frame can be disruptive and he has enough foot speed to play on the perimeter as well.

Obviously, his game is still pretty raw and he only showed flashes of what he can do at the college level. He may not be ready to help the Blazers right away at this point, but there’s no doubt the potential is there for Little to be a great two-way player in the NBA someday.