WALTHAM -- Considering how much the Boston Celtics value positional versatility, it wasn't much of a surprise they brought in Florida senior forward Dorian Finney-Smith for a workout.
"I think I fit well. The way the NBA is adjusting, I'm the perfect guy for that," said Finney-Smith. "I can guard multiple positions, I can be a stretch four, or I can play the three. They're switching a lot more and I think I can do that."
Finney-Smith has the size to defend forwards, at 6'8" with a 7-foot wingspan, and the lateral quickness to contain wings. Finney-Smith could play a role similar to a Celtic like Jonas Jerebko, but the Gator projects as a better rebounder, which gives him an edge in small-ball lineups.
However, he still needs to increase his agility, as well as his low post technique, but the tools are there for him to become a multi-positional defender.
Players like him are in demand in today's NBA, and a team like the Celtics can take the time to patiently mold him. But it takes ‘buy-in' for a player to accept that path, and the 23-year-old fifth-year senior seems to have an understanding of who he is.
"I'm not like these young cats. I know I ain't gonna be no lottery pick or something like that. I know I gotta grind," he said. "I know the type of player I am. A lot of guys come in and try to prove to scouts what they can do, but I know who I am. I'm a great defender, a great rebounder, and I'm a great passer."
In addition to those mentioned skills, Finney-Smith can also stretch the floor. He was a 38.8 percent three-point shooter over the last two seasons, and though he regressed as a senior, he still has a chance to improve with a few minor changes to his mechanics.
Finney-Smith brings the ball back and flings it at the rim, so establishing a one-motion release might help him find more consistency from long range. This would also open up other areas of his game.
The NBA will provide more space for driving lanes, so he could develop into a threat attacking closeouts as a small-ball power forward. He takes long strides with his dribble and has good instincts cutting to the rim. But he'll need to improve his footwork and tighten his handle to avoid getting called for charges.
As a likely second-round pick, Dorian Finney-Smith has major steal potential because it's so easy to project him into a clearly defined role as a versatile defender and spot up shooter. With five second-round draft picks, the Celtics will be well positioned to select him if they choose to.
Check out my full scouting report of Dorian Finney-Smith below.