|Team: Rockets College Team:
H: 6' 5"|
W: 221 lbs
(28 Years Old)
|RSCI: 40||Agent: Greg Nunn ||
High School: Benjamin Banneker Academy
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
|Height w/o Shoes||Height w/shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Body Fat||No Step Vert||Max Vert||Bench Press||Lane Agility||3/4 Court Sprint||Class Rank|
|6' 4.5"||6' 5.5"||221||6' 11.25"||8' 8.5"||6.5||27.5||33.5||13||11.45||3.25||NA|
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|D-League Showcase- Day One|
January 6, 2009
Forbes had 30 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 turnovers on 12-17 shooting from the field and 6-11 from beyond the arc. He came off the bench for Sioux Falls and gave them a huge spark offensively, creating his own shot repeatedly from the perimeter and getting to the basket for some excellent finishes. He’s not the most athletic player you’ll find (he plays below the rim), but his ball-handling skills, body control and scoring instincts are terrific. He even played some point, doing a nice job probing the defense with his dribble and then finding open players on the perimeter for spot-up jumpers. His perimeter shot was probably the biggest revelation—it’s only one game obviously, but for anyone to hit six NBA 3-pointers is extremely impressive. His release is quick and compact, and he was terrific with his feet set and a second to get his shot off—which he can get all the time against D-League type defenses. All in all, this was an extremely impressive performance, and if he keeps playing this way, it shouldn’t surprise anyone to see him get a call-up. He helped himself as much as any player in day one.
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Orlando Recap: First Team All-NBA Pre-Draft
June 2, 2008
No player has done more for their stock in the pre-draft camps than Gary Forbes. The physically imposing swingman rode on the momentum he picked up from the Portsmouth Invitational to an MVP performance at this year’s Orlando Pre-Draft Camp. While he stood out amongst his peers at both venues, he was one of the few players here that showed an ability to carry his team when it mattered. That won’t be a skill that necessarily will need to translate to the NBA for him, but there is something to be said for stepping up and being a leader in a setting like this one where everyone is trying to earn a job.
There is very little that Gary Forbes didn’t do offensively in Orlando, and he provided one of the most impressive scoring performances in the Camp’s history—averaging nearly a point for every minute he played (21.3 in 23 minutes). In his second game, Forbes put up an incredible 30 in 25 minutes. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Forbes’s performance was the sheer volume of free throws that he accumulated throughout the course of the game, and that Camp for that matter (11 attempts per game). Of the 30 points he scored, 15 came at the line in only 16 tries. He has a knack for attacking angles and getting his man on his shoulder to draw fouls or finish with contact.
Forbes may not be known for his jump shot, but the rotation he puts on the ball is immaculate, and if he can learn to shoot the ball with the same touch from the perimeter as he does from the line, he’ll be a tremendous offensive role player. He only hit 29% of his 3-pointers at UMass, but has definitely shown much more potential in that area at Portsmouth and Orlando. Forbes has already proven himself to be a capable slasher, and while he lacks elite athleticism, he’s got tremendous court savvy and is a very solid ball handler for his size. His instincts are really what separates him from the pack, as he has terrific timing and footwork knowing when and how to attack his matchup, which is how he was able to make a living at the free throw line the way he did in Orlando.
On the other end of the floor, things weren’t quite as pretty for Forbes. His lateral quickness is already underwhelming, and he didn’t do himself many favors with lack of intensity he showed on this end, giving his man too much space and not really getting into any kind of low defensive stance at times. For someone who projects as more of an off the bench type in the NBA, this is something he’ll have to shore up if he wants to get minutes in the league.
Though he’s a year older than many of his counterparts in this year’s draft at 23, Forbes has solidified himself as an early second-round selection, and if he continues to improve his defense and perimeter shooting, may surprise a lot of people with his ability to contribute at the NBA level.
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NBA Pre-Draft Camp, Day Four
May 31, 2008
The day started at 9:15 AM with a game between Team three and Team two, giving us another chance to take a look at camp standout Gary Forbes. The UMass senior was not quite as impressive as he was in the first two outings, but still ended up having a solid game with 17 points and 4 rebounds on 4-11 shooting in 24 minutes. Forbes put more emphasis on showing off his long-range game today, which he did quite successfully by knocking down both of his 3-point attempts. He again made smart decisions with the ball and showed a very advanced ability to create his own shot from the perimeter, looking aggressive as usual taking the ball to the basket, and getting to the free throw line at a great clip once again (this time 10 times). Defensively, he again looked below average at best thanks to his underwhelming lateral quickness. Regardless, he’s clearly the MVP of the pre-draft camp by a fairly large margin, and has helped his stock considerably from being projected as a late second round pick on our board. You would think that he’d have a chance to maybe get some looks in the late first based off what we’ve seen here at the pre-draft camp in years past, but most NBA people we spoke with did not agree with that. We will have to wait and see…
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NBA Pre-Draft Camp, Day Three
May 30, 2008
For Team 2, the best player on the floor (and likely of the day) was clearly Gary Forbes, stringing together one of the best single-game performances (30 points, 7-16 FG, 15-16 FT, 26 minutes) we’ve seen in the last five years of the pre-draft camp. Forbes was incredibly aggressive putting the ball on the floor with either hand and making very strong moves to the basket, being very physical once there and in turn getting to the free throw line at will. His scoring instincts might be the best of any wing player at this camp, as he makes up for his lack of freakish athleticism with phenomenal footwork and body control, being able to quickly read and exploit angles, or move intelligently without the ball, in turn showing a very good basketball IQ that impressed many people here. Although his perimeter shot wasn’t a huge part of his game once again, he knocked down one of his two attempts from NBA range, which leaves optimism in that regard. He’s making a strong push for consideration in the early second round or possibly higher.
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NBA Pre-Draft Camp, Day Two
May 29, 2008
On the other side of the ball, Gary Forbes was clearly the best player on the winning team. He looked extremely instinctive putting the ball on the floor and taking it to the rack, getting to the free throw line repeatedly and finishing impressively around the cup. He also made some excellent passes, showed nifty ball-handling skills, and generally left a very strong first impression. He’s not overly athletic, but he’s extremely smart and crafty, and he just continued to add on what was an excellent performance last month at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. We’ll be watching him in the drills tomorrow to see how he shoots the ball from the perimeter.
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All-Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, First-Team
April 15, 2008
One of the reasons why we like Portsmouth is because it gives us an opportunity to see good players outside of the cozy confines of their college team and system. Sometimes we like what we see, and sometimes we don’t. A player who did one of the better jobs of changing our opinion of his pro prospects was UMass’ Gary Forbes.
Standing just a shade under 6-7, with a nice build at 216 pounds, good strength, an excellent 6-10 ¾ wingspan, and solid, although not freakish athleticism—Forbes was well equipped to overwhelm virtually any defender that was thrown at him on the wing. The fact that he’s tough, aggressive, an excellent ball-handler and has a very advanced scoring instincts clearly did not hurt. Forbes can go either left or right with excellent body control and loves to use crafty spin moves and hesitation dribbles to keep his defender guessing about his next move. He’s strong enough to just bully players to the rim at the collegiate level, and gets to the free throw line at a superb rate, but at times isn’t quite explosive enough to finish around the rim. At times he got caught over-penetrating into the lane, looking a bit out of control in the process. Forbes is also a very adept passer as his outrageous 8.7 assists per game in this tournament would indicate—his court vision is strong and he seemed very motivated to create shots for others, which wasn’t always the case at times at the collegiate level—where his shot-selection often seemed questionable. He shot just 41% from the field and 29% for 3 at UMass, dominating the ball on a team that probably needed him to play a bit selfishly at times. Forbes can hit 3-pointers, as he showed at this tournament and by connecting on 1.6 attempts per game, but he’s still way too streaky and will surely need to improve this part of his game if he’s going to stick at the next level.
Defensively, Forbes did not have to guard power forwards like he did at UMass often his senior year, which helped us evaluate his pro prospects more effectively. His size, length and strength are all impressive for a swingman, and will clearly help him at the next level, but his average lateral quickness raises some doubts about whether he’ll be trusted enough on this end of the floor to see many minutes. Shedding some weight, getting smarter and improving his footwork will be a must for him to stick in the NBA down the road, but he has the tools to do so if he commits himself.
All in all, Forbes clearly helped himself with his performance here, even if his work is nowhere near finished to ensure that he’s on a roster in November. He’ll be taking the next step to the pre-draft camp next, where he has the talent to continue to stand out even against stronger competition.
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Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Day Three)
April 12, 2008
In the same game, but on the loser’s side, Gary Forbes has probably established himself as the second best prospect in attendance, again putting up an all-around stat-line of 18 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 turnovers on 7-19 shooting, and playing an instrumental role in everything his team did. He started off the game very unselfishly—something that was a question mark we had about him going into this camp—showing great court vision threading the needle in transition or finding the open man on the drive and dish. A good athlete at this level (although not a freak for the NBA), he is extremely shifty with his hesitation moves and spins, able to go left or right equally effectively and getting to the rim repeatedly thanks to his strength, sharp crossover and aggressive slashing mentality. He is very advanced operating out of the triple-threat, and did a good job finding the open man on the pick and roll as well.
Not known as a particularly efficient player in college (41% from the field, 29% beyond the arc), Forbes again needed a lot of shots to be effective, something that he might not be able to do at the next level. He’s not terribly explosive vertically, which makes it a bit tough for him to finish around the paint when drawing a crowd. He hesitated to shoot at times when left open, preferring instead to drive the ball wildly into traffic, and turning the ball over in the process. To really have a chance to stick at the next level, he must improve on his perimeter shot, as he just isn’t athletic enough to rely so heavily on his slashing game, especially without showing much of a mid-range game pulling up off the dribble, which he has yet to do here. There are also some questions about whether he’s quick enough laterally to defend the shooting guard position in the NBA, or whether he’s better suited playing the 3. He may be able to help himself by shedding some weight from his thick frame. He does show a very nice activity level and solid toughness getting after rebounds.
Forbes has done a good job convincing people that he may be able to carve out a niche for himself in the NBA down the road with his prolific scoring ability, particularly at his size. He should be considered a lock to be invited to Orlando now, and could end up being drafted if he plays well there.
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Day Two: Atlantic-10 Conference Tournament Blog
March 14, 2008
Forbes had an interesting performance tonight, and one that largely played against the picture many scouts had painted of him throughout the season. He started the game slowly, not moving very well in UMass’s offense, but gradually became a factor as he stepped up and led his team on both sides of the ball. He has a very awkward shooting form in which he shoots with an exaggerated motion upwards with his chest sucked in and his arms above his head. He does not get much elevation on his shot, but it goes in more often than not. He also showed a mid-range game, but as with most prospects in the Atlantic-10, Forbes must develop a better handle and feel for the ball before he becomes an effective mid-range shooter.
Towards the end of the game, Forbes relied on an average first step to get into the lane and convert around the rim, where he showed a soft touch.
While he has often been labeled a bit of a ball-hog with his play this season, he only attempted 13 shots tonight and sported a 4 to 1 assist-turnover ratio, which statistically represent how he was looking to incorporate his teammates into the offense. Tonight, however, it backfired, and he needed to take the game over more at the end of the game. Because of his average lateral quickness and athleticism, Forbes does not seem like a great NBA prospect, but his combination of size, versatility, and scoring ability should translate into a contract overseas.
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