Category 10 Wings: Offensive Skilled Combo-Forwards

Category 10 Wings: Offensive Skilled Combo-Forwards

(Skills: On Ball Usage/Scoring Versatility Creation: Iso, PNR, Post Up, Off-Ball Shooting, Defensive Size)

Category 10A: Creation for Others Oriented

  1. Chandler Parsons (Senior) #38

Category 10B: Self Creation Oriented 

  1. Danilo Gallinari (International) #6
  2. Rudy Gay (Sophomore) #8
  3. Tobias Harris (Freshman) #19

I. What Sets Them Apart

This archetype consists of traditional 3/4 “tweeners” that are skilled on-ball offensive players, either creating their own offense or adding a creation for others element.  These players extract maximum value offensively by swinging to the 4 spot and being able to generate offense with a skill and agility advantage at that position.  The on-ball skill separates them from category 11 wing fours, who extract almost of their current value from swinging to the 4 but who are largely off-ball oriented players without on-ball playmaking.

Parsons delineates himself slightly from the group here with his ability to playmake for others.  He’s the best passer of the group, usually in a secondary pick and roll setting.  Parsons is less of a post up threat than the other players, rendering him not quite the same go-to scoring threat.  He is an sub-elite shooter, adding off-ball value with the ability to shoot over most wings and it’s rare to find a player his size who is that skilled. He can play over smaller players or get around less mobile 4s with the threat of his shot and handle, but doesn’t get all the way to the rim with high frequency, relying instead on his perimeter shooting skill.

Gallinari is the best pure scorer in the category with a versatile offensive game and the ability to draw fouls at an elite rate.   His game is more isolation based than Parsons’, and while he’s not the same level of shooter his defensive impact is a touch higher due to increased competitiveness. His herky-jerky offensive game using the threat of his shot to gain half step advantages and draw fouls instead of getting all the way to the basket is incredibly unique.

Gay is one of the most criticized players in the league due to a myriad of legitimate reasons, but what he can do is get his shot in versatile ways.  He’s easily the most tunnel-visioned player here, and doesn’t create any offense for others.  Gay’s value would be enhanced playing in a more spaced movement based offense with lesser usage.

Lastly, Harris is similarly a multi-faceted scorer, capable of getting around or though defensive personnel.  He’s a capable floor spacer, handler, and post player exploiting mismatches.  He also adds value with his ability to rebound competently from the 4 spot.

Overall, these players are skilled enough to play the wing, but due to a lack of elite athleticism, mobility and speed, combined with the skill and agility advantage gained at the 4 with plus height, are optimally used as fours. The on -ball handling ability along with off-ball shooting threats render each versatile offensive players who don’t defend in plus fashion.

A.Usage/On-Ball Creation

2015/16 Regular Season Usage Rate & Ass/USG Ratio


  • Each of the four players listed have an above average usage rate, reflective of their all around offensive skill.
  • The ASS/USG ratio stat delineates Parsons from the group as more of a creator for others than the other three, which merits classifying in different sub categories above.
  • Gay’s ASS/USG state is what you’d expect: incredible skewed towards self creation.

2015/16 Regular Season ORPM


  • Gallinari is right on the border of being a +2 wing due to high volume efficient foul shooting. Parsons is the only other plus player by this metric with his overall versatility and shooting.

2015/16 Regular Season Isolation Playtype


  • Almost a 5th of Gallo’s offense comes via isolation, which might surprise the casual fan.  He’s not especially efficient shooting here, but compensates by getting to the line 20% of the time in finishing situations.
  • Gay’s isoing is hurt by a lack of foul-dawing and higher turnover rate.
  • Parsons and Harris both don’t have high possession totals here, but Parsons excels as a shooter and foul-drawer here.

2015/16 Regular Season PNR BH Playtype


  • Parsons is very fluid operating with the ball changing directions, and is very adept as a secondary pick and roll handler when the defense is bent.
  • Gallo again thrives drawing fouls in this capacity, while Gay had a plus season shooting out of these situations.

2015/16 Regular Season Post Up Playtype


  • Harris had a staggering efficiency mark posting up in Detroit, albeit this is only on 35 possessions.  He was always a proficient post up player in Orlando on mismatches.
  • Gallinari is notoriously elite here, again drawing fouls 28% of the time on finishing possessions.
  • Parsons doesn’t really have the girth to play through guys in the post inside.

2015/16 Regular Season Drives Per Game (Wings >6’7″)


  • Gallo and Parsons, the two most adept handlers, sport very respectable secondary handler marks.  Gallo relies on his shot and shot-fakes to create space while Parsons is the more fluid handler.
  • Gay and Harris are very capable handlers in attacking situations, but don’t have the same COD as someone like Parsons.
  • Each of these players are overqualified as handlers attacking closeouts.

2015/16 Regular Season Dribble Pull-Ups (Wings >6’7″)


  • Parsons again separates himself some with his ability to shoot off the dribble, albeit not as frequently as Gay, who sports a respectable percentage in his own right.
  • Gallo had a pretty horrible shooting season last year inside the arc.

2015/16 Regular Season FTr (Inclusive Qualified Non-Bigs)


  • Gallo had the best FTr of any non-big in the league last year, which is how he carved out plus value offensively.

B.Shooting/Shot Locations & Finishing

2015/16 Regular Season Spot Up Playtype


  • Paramount of any non-primary handler is the ability to shoot off ball, and each of these players is a capable shooter.  Parsons is the most proficient shooter, and is deadly at that size shooting over closeouts.
  • Harris is underrated in this regard, and while not of the knockdown variety he is enough of a threat there to garner respect.
  • Gay is just below league average on 3s, but takes and makes enough to double as a dual on/off ball threat.

2015/16 Regular Season Off Screen Playtype


  • While none of these players is a consistent threat to run off screens in the way of a category 12 player, Gallo had some promising marks here last year.

Parsons 2015/16 Regular Season Shot Chart


  • Parsons is a 3 level scorer being proficient from every spot beyond the arc, capable of shooting pull-ups in the midrange area and being an above average finisher.

Gallinari 2015/16 Regular Season Shot Chart


  • Gallinari really struggled inside the arc as a finisher especially, getting to the rim in similar fashion to Parsons, but again carved out plus offensive value shooting the 3 at an above average clip and getting to the line in elite fashion.

Gay 2015/16 Regular Season Shot Chart


  • Gay, somewhat the opposite of Gallinari, is most proficient from midrange, and while he gets to the basket more he’s not an adept finisher. He also shoots below league average on above the break threes.

Harris 2015/16 Regular Season Shot Chart


  • Harris is a three-level scorer who gets to the rim at a reasonable rate with slightly above average finishing but doesn’t do anything really in elite fashion, which properly characterizes his game.


2015/16 Regular Season DRPM


2015/16 Regular Season DBPM


  • Defensive metrics like Harris more than the eye test, where he looks like a misfit not being quick enough for wings and not quite strong enough for fours.
  • Gallinari rates out poorly but on tape is a competitive defender who aggressively uses his frame and size to optimal fashion.
  • Parsons and Gay both aren’t plus defenders, but at least have the size to not get bested inside.

2015/16 Regular Season Rebounding Rate (Qualified ESPN “Small Forwards”)


  • Harris’ quiet positive is his ability to rebound respectively well on the defensive glass especially, allowing him to swing to the 4 spot and hold up on the glass there.  The other 3 are minus rebounders who give something up when playing down positions, especially Gallo.

II. College Indicators/Translations



  • Gallinari wasn’t included here, but his height is similar to Parsons and he has greater length.
  • Each of these players is slightly below average for a 4 but has just enough size to swing there, along with decent frames.  Gay has incredible measurables and athleticism for this kind of player, but just has never put it together mentally.
  • Parsons’ lack of length hurts him defensively despite his size, especially with a lack of plus athleticism.

2.40 Minutes Pace Adjusted


  • Parsons: Parsons doesn’t possesses a primary scorers profile, and outside of plus 2pt%/finishing and assist marks there isn’t a ton that jumps out.  His defensive numbers are ok, as are his rebounding numbers.  His 3pt% was decent on respectable attempts, but a lot of that was undone by outlier negative FT% marks.  Overall, he looked like a versatile and skilled prospect, which at almost 6’10” proved to be the difference.
  • Gallinari: Gallo profiled as more of a primary scorer with one elite mark there and elite FT% on plus attempts.  He threat in two elite steal seasons, but had minus assist numbers and inconsistent 3pt%.
  • Gay: Gay’s combination of positional size, athleticism and defensive numbers his sophomore year were enticing, but his profile was littered with mostly average and inconsistent marks outside of that.
  • Harris: Harris’ scoring was sub-elite at Tennessee, and he did have an outlier positive rebounding number, which has translated into respectable rebounding in the pros. His defensive numbers however were red flag worthy.



  • Parsons: Parsons had a clean efficiency profile with 3 outlier A/TO marks, showing high skill and decision-making at his size and a pass first proclivity.
  • Gallinari: Gallo’s main draw was his foul-drawing, sporting an elite free throw rate in all 3 years internationally. His shooting was more of a mixed bag.
  • Gay: Gay had no positive or negative outliers here, as nothing really stuck out.
  • Harris: Harris was similar to Gay save for his outlier low AST/FGA figure.



  • Everyone but Parsons had above average usage in at least one season, but there were no elite figures.  Parsons never sported an above average usage season, making it unlikely he’d emerge as a primary scorer.

5.Skill Translation:

  1. Parsons:
    • Range Capability
    • Playmaking for Others/Passing Indicators
    • Average At Best Defensive Profile
    • First Contract Translation: Starter
  2. Gallinari:
    • Scoring Profile
    • Elite Foul Drawing
    • Range Capability
    • First Contract Translation: Mostly Starter
  3. Gay:
    • Range Capability
    • Lack of Playmaking for Others
    • First Contract Translation: Mostly Starter
  4. Harris:
    • Respectable Rebounding
    • Range Capability
    • Below Average Defensive Profile
    • Lack of Playmaking for Others
    • First Contract Translation: Rotation

III.Overall Takeaways

  1. Chandler Parsons Size/Skill Lesson: Parsons is certainly an outlier in his own right, but we can take some lessons from his profile.  At basically 6’10” with rare decision-making and passing skill (3 outlier A/TO marks) to pair with a decent handle, that combination of size, skill and intelligence emerged into a max player.  This combination is why I was a fan of Rade Zagorac in the 2016 draft.
  2. Melo Point: Some might put Melo here, and it’s certainly arguable, but I feel his career impact offensively aligns better with category two even though he’s an exception to the two-way player there.

Next Up: Category 11 Wings: “Wing Fours”

Stats provided by NBA.Com, ESPN.Com, Draftexpress.Com, Sports-Reference.Com, Hoop-Math.Com and Basketball-Reference.Com