Is simply being one of college basketball’s best three-point shooters good enough to get one drafted into the NBA? Well, former Michigan State guard and deadly three-point marksman Bryn Forbes is about to find out in a matter of eight days at the NBA Draft.
Currently, the answer to the question posed in the first sentence above is no; Bryn Forbes will most likely not be selected at the June 23 draft. Forbes is currently not listed in mock drafts at both Draft Express and NBADraft.net. In CBSSports.com’s NBA Draft Big Board Forbes is ranked 103rd among the top 150 draft prospects. He is not even listed in Draft Express’s ranking of the top 100 NBA prospects, though he can be found all the way down at 43 in the website’s ranking of the top 100 seniors.
The mock drafts and projections shown in the above paragraph may not hold out much hope for Forbes to be drafted, but the three-point shooting prowess he exhibited in college could attract team in desperate need of three-point shooting somewhere near the end of the second round.
If you paid even a lick of attention to the Big Ten and Michigan State basketball last season, it was impossible to miss how impressive Forbes’ three-point skills were throughout his career. His offensive statistics simply speak for themselves. Last season, he shot 48 percent from long range on 233 shots, hitting 112 three-point field goals (good for first in the Big Ten and ninth in the country). Forbes added to these numbers with an incredible true shooting percentage of 66.7 and an effective field goal percentage of 64.
Simply put, Bryn Forbes was an awesome long-distance weapon for Michigan State squad that led the country in three-point field goal percentage. His three-point shooting prowess was such a lethal part of his game that Forbes led the Big Ten and offensive rating, ranking second in the NCAA in that category also last season.
Another important strength Forbes exhibited his college career was his ability to avoid turnovers. Per 40 minutes, he only averaged 1.2 turnovers a game. He coupled those low per 40 minute turnover numbers with an equally strong turnover percentage of 7.3—good for second in the Big Ten in 2015-16. Forbes’ great outside shooting and low turnover numbers certainly give him a lot of potential value, though he is not without a handful of crucial flaws.
His most notable weakness is his size. At 6’3", 175, Forbes small stature is the biggest reason many NBA team will not take the risk on him, despite his NBA shooting stroke. An article in the Lansing State Journal described Forbes as NBA shooter but posed the question about whether he is an NBA player. The same article also stated that if Forbes were 6’6", he would likely be a first-round draft pick. Against bigger, more athletic perimeter defenders in the NBA, it remains very murky if his shooting can transfer over as a pro because of his undersized frame.
It also does not help Forbes’ NBA Draft case that he is an incredibly one-dimensional player. While he is a great shooter, he is nonetheless prototypical catch-and-shoot three-point specialist. 108 of 112 of his field goal makes last season were in catch-and-shoot sets, and 96.4 percent were assisted. Unlike other shooters that succeed in the NBA, Forbes doesn’t have the ability to create his own shot. His one-dimensional nature is further borne out by the fact that he only attempted 3.8 pointers per 40 minutes during his Michigan State career. Essentially, Forbes is an exceptional three-point shooter and not much else.
He also has not shown much as a passer throughout his collegiate career. Per 40 minutes, he only averaged 1.8 assists with and assist percentage of 9.2.
It would be quite surprising to see Bryn Forbes drafted next Thursday given how much his lack of size will likely cause NBA executives to look away. Nonetheless, it would be a realistic expectation to see him receive an invitation to the NBA summer league. If so, Forbes could make an NBA team as a reserve or work his way through the D-League to the NBA. In the modern NBA where three-point shooting is the hottest commodity his outside shooting skill set is just too good to go quietly.