NBA Scouting Reports, Southeastern Division (Part 1)

NBA Scouting Reports, Southeastern Division (Part 1)
May 06, 2008, 11:56 pm
Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit
Milwaukee and Indiana

Atlanta Hawks

Mike Bibby

Overview: A veteran point guard who can distribute and shoot equally well. Has decent size and bulk for the point guard position. Deceptively quick and fast, although not quite as athletic as he once was. Not a great leaper, but has the touch to finish creatively. A solid offensive floor general. Can run the point, but is also a tremendous scorer. Doesn’t bring a lot to the defensive end. Was a similar player during his two years at Arizona. Won the Pac 10 Player of the Year Award as a sophomore. Developed steadily to his current level of play, but has had trouble staying healthy. One of the best at his position when healthy. Father, Henry, had a fine NBA career and coached collegiately at Southern Cal.

Offense: A talented scoring point guard. Will score off of his spot up ability, take his man one-on-one, and run the pick and roll. One of the best shooting point guards in the game. Very consistent from three point range. Makes and takes a ton of attempts. Will knock down jumpers off the dribble with great consistency as well. Likes to take a rhythm dribble when the defense closes out on him too hard. Would shoot a much higher percentage if he displayed better shot-selection. Not much close range game. Doesn’t get to the rim at a very high rate due to his lack of explosiveness and ability to hit shots from the outside. Will finish creatively at the rim, and displays good touch on his finger roll, but isn’t athletic enough to be effective. Great free throw shooter when he can get to the line, which isn’t much these days. Solid ball handler and passer, although a bit too turnover prone. Loves to create offense in transition. Displays very good court vision. Won’t always give the ball up due to his ability to hit shots from the outside.

Defense: A mediocre defender who doesn’t bring much to the defensive end. Isn’t quick enough to stay in front of many starting point guards in the game today. Will make an effort to deny penetration periodically, but isn’t consistent. Much more interested in playing offense. Goes after long rebounds with an intent to turn the ball up the floor and run the fast break. Doesn’t have the length to contest every shot his man takes. Will make a good play on the ball occasionally. Needs to improve his effort, or at least look to deny penetration to help his teammates out.

Josh Childress

Overview: A long, lanky swingman with a solid all-around skill set. Does not excel in any one particular aspect of the game. Possesses solid athleticism, but his great work-ethic and feel for the game makes this less conspicuous. Has put on some weight since coming into the League. Remains very skinny, which makes him a bit injury prone. Owns a huge wingspan. Displays high-character off the floor, something that became very clear during his collegiate career with the Stanford Cardinals. Won the PAC 10 Player of the Year Award in 2004. Inability to add significant bulk has limited his durability and effectiveness around the rim. Versatility, smarts and finesse make him a valuable asset. Is a restricted free agent this offseason, and should find a number of suitors around the League.

Offense: Has a very smooth offensive game, but is the owner of one of the League’s most awkward jump shots. Displays a major hitch in his jumper and releases it with minimal elevation. Knocks it down consistently enough not to not have to fix it. Scores efficiently, which is the result of great shot selection. Shows a deceptive first-step. Is able to attack the rim off the dribble, and sets his man up by moving well off the ball. Isn’t the most efficient finisher due to his lack of vertical explosiveness. Does a good job of using his length and crafty footwork to beat defenders to the rim or get to the line. Doesn’t pull up off the dribble very often, since he connects with those kinds of shots at a pedestrian rate. Shows range out to three-point range, but his form gives him a very small margin for error, which is represented in his three-point percentage. Finds his offense in transition situations and drives off the dribble, both of which embody his desire to run the floor and his capacity to handle the ball well. Has good court vision, passing ability, and decision-making skills. Doesn’t play all that much point-forward since Joe Johnson fills that role. Won’t light up the scoreboard, but is a consistent contributor that gets his baskets in the flow of the offense. Provides a steadying presence on the floor in Atlanta, despite his age, and is a valuable asset in half-court sets.

Defense: Atlanta’s most fundamentally sound defender. Doesn’t have ideal foot-speed, but has tremendous defensive intangibles and a great wingspan. Reads ball-handlers extremely well, and creates turnovers by getting into passing lanes. Length and effort make him a very good perimeter defender. Lacks the bulk to defend strong players in the post, but makes an effort to deny entry passes by working hard to take away angles. Gets beat off the dribble periodically, but doesn’t give up anything easy at the rim. Does a good job of rotating with the ball. Isn’t reckless when closing out his man off of skip passes. Still manages to block a few shots due in large part to his long arms and good timing. Has great timing and knows how to get his team extra possessions.

Speedy Claxton

Overview: A lightning quick backup point guard, who excels in transition, but doesn’t have the offensive skill set to thrive in half court settings. One of the fastest players in the League. Able to run the ball up the floor, but doesn’t get a chance to in Atlanta’s methodical offensive system. Is limited physically, lacking size and strength. Has had a long line of injury problems that may end up defining his career. Still able to do some nice things on the floor when he is able to freelance and use his speed advantage. Had a very impressive career at Hofstra. Won the American East Conference Player of the Year Award as a junior and senior. Bounced around the League throughout his six year career, battling injury problems throughout. Won the NBA Championship with the Spurs in 2003. Enjoyed some success playing in up-tempo offensive systems.

Offense: Can do some positive things on the offensive end with the ball in his hands. Isn’t a very efficient scorer due to the inconsistency of his jump shot. Possesses decent form on his jumper, but its follow-through changes periodically due to the degree of elevation he has to achieve to shoot over defenders. Doesn’t always set his feet when shooting off the dribble. Has the range to step out to NBA three-point line. Never surprising to see him miss some shots badly because of his mechanics. First step makes him a threat to get into the lane at all times. Can finish around the basket when he has space. Makes his living as a lead guard. Shows the ability to create offensive opportunities for his teammates on a regular basis. Can break his man down consistently off the dribble. Has the athleticism to draw additional defenders with and without screens. Turns the corner with little trouble when executing the pick and roll. Makes good decisions when forced to pass. Sees the floor well. Is a handful in transition solely because he can get out in the open floor and make things happen. Possesses an extra gear that makes him tough for backpedaling defenders to contain. Has much better vertical explosion off one leg than off of two, a telling sign of the kind of threat he can be when pushing the ball up the floor. Unfortunately, is asked to act as a jump shooter in Atlanta, playing away from his biggest offensive strength.

Defense: Size is a hindrance defensively, but is a prototypical ‘water bug’ point guard. Pressures the ball as well as almost any player in the League. Uses his speed to make ball-handlers change direction multiple times before initiating offensive sets. Can be posted up and shot over by taller guards. Does a good job of getting his man out of rhythm. Is a work horse on the defensive end. Creates turnovers with his ball-hawking abilities.

Al Horford

Joe Johnson

Overview: A versatile small forward who has developed into a legitimate all-star player. Isn’t a freak athlete, but is very smooth and fluid and has an advanced feel for the game that allows him to more than effectively display his skill set. Wasn’t an overnight success. Put in two solid seasons at Arkansas before leaving for the League. Found himself in an ideal situation with the Phoenix Suns from 2003-2005. Blossomed into one of the best young swingmen in the game after being traded to the Hawks. Very intense demeanor on the court. Doesn’t make a lot of highlight reel plays, but shows the poise of a veteran and is the face of the retooling Atlanta franchise.

Offense: Has developed into one of the League’s best scorers. Scores in almost every way imaginable; score efficiently off of pick and rolls, dribble drives, post ups, and spot up jumpers. Almost impossible to guard one-on-one. Versatility makes him a tough matchup as well. Has beautiful form on his jumper. Has range and consistency both off the dribble and with his feet set. Displays good elevation and doesn’t have a very hard time getting his shot off over defenders. Can knock down shots off balance and with a hand in his face. Jumper makes him a formidable scorer from the perimeter by itself. Gets quite a bit of his offense around the rim. Has hesitation moves and crossovers that are extremely difficult to defend considering his length and impressive first-step. Prefers to go left, but is actually a more efficient scorer going right. Gets to the line at a decent clip, where he shoots a great percentage. Does quite a bit of ball-handling and acts as a point-forward on a pretty regular basis. Court vision and savvy make him an extremely versatile mismatch when doing so. Can dribble through pressure. Turns the ball over periodically, but handles such a heavy load offensive that it’s a bit surprising he doesn’t do it more often. Draws defenders to create opportunities for his teammates. Can push the ball and get up the floor on the wing equally effectively.

Defense: Plays very solid defense. Maintains a good stance, but doesn’t overexert himself. Makes the effort not to give up anything easy. Doesn’t create many turnovers considering the amount of time he spends on the floor. Isn’t the type of defender that is going to harass his man physically. Will get low and use his foot speed to deny penetration. Willingness to work on the defensive end allows him to get his hand on the occasional pass. Won’t take too many risks when playing passing lanes. Mixes it up on the glass from time to time, and rebounds at a decent clip. Usually wants to look for the outlet pass or run the floor when his man doesn’t crash the glass.

Solomon Jones

Acie Law

Zaza Pachulia

Overview: An atypical European post player who is more eager to play physical around the rim than shoot from the outside. From the Republic of Georgia. Has good size and bulk, but relatively pedestrian athleticism overall. Works hard, which overshadows many of his weaknesses, especially on the defensive end and as an option down low. Has nice fundamental skills on the low block. Really looks like a seasoned veteran in the post. Doesn’t have an amazing skill-set, but makes up for it with consistency and intensity, which is something that can’t be said for many NBA centers. Has seen his role shrink substantially with the addition of Al Horford. Hasn’t been as efficient as he has been historically because of that. A team player regardless and a very positive character in the locker room.

Offense: Doesn’t have the physical assets to dominate his man down low, but his craftiness allows him to put points on the board. Plays to his strengths. Understands that he isn’t going to overwhelm anyone with his athleticism or foot speed. Uses fakes to create angles and get shots up on the glass. Has good footwork. Doesn’t overpower defenders with his drop step. Creates open looks for himself none the less. Able to pivot around the defense and use his body to shield the ball to help him hide the fact that he isn’t explosive around the rim. Is solid but unspectacular as a jump shooter, showing good touch, but lacking a consistent release point. Tends to lean to the side when he shoots, which makes his shot look awkward. Shoots a good percentage from the line, so the elimination of that lean could do him some good. Doesn’t show a lot off the dribble. Can hit turnarounds with decent consistency after putting the ball on the floor. Maintains his position underneath allowing him to grab offensive rebounds and accumulate tip-ins. Has his limitations offensively, but shows the savvy or a seasoned veteran, which allows him to put up decent scoring numbers.

Defense: Limited physically, making it hard for him to make an impact on the defensive end. Susceptible to quicker post players. Lack of athleticism allows players to take advantage of him around the rim. Not incredibly big either for the center position. Does a decent job of denying entry passes. Isn’t a defensive stopper by any stretch of the imagination. Blocks an occasional shot, but isn’t explosive enough to get to many shots in the paint. Bodies his man and forces him into taking bad shots. Is a formidable matchup due to his toughness, but not one that will shut down scorers with go-to-moves. Tends to just box his man out and let his teammates grab rebounds.

Jeremy Richardson

Josh Smith

Overview: An elite run-jump athlete who is still polishing his other skills. One of the League’s most explosive leapers, and his length and height make him one of the game’s most impressive highlight-reel dunkers. Possesses ideal size for a small forward, and has improved his strength during his time in the NBA. Very fast for a player his height. Extremely versatile triple-double threat who makes an impact all over the court. Declared for the draft out of acclaimed basketball prep school Oak Hill Academy. Has had some issues in the locker room accepting coaching and maintaining positive body language on the court. Is still relatively young and inexperienced which may have created some of the problems he had in the past; his maturation as both a person and a player in the future will be an important step in the development of the Atlanta franchise. His maturity will no doubt have an impact on how he is perceived in restricted free agency this offseason.

Offense: Improved on the offensive end during each of his first three seasons as a pro. Came into the League with a smooth albeit raw left-handed stroke, and has developed it into a somewhat consistent weapon, although he still has a tendency to fall in love too much with his outside shot, and display very questionable shot-selection. Has improved considerably from his first year in the League, but is still inefficient in Atlanta’s half-court offense. Is much better in one-on-one and transition situations. Gets roughly thirty-percent of his offense in spot-situations, where he tends to either shoot right away or take the ball to the basket driving in either direction. Utilizes his athleticism extremely well. Frequently elevates over taller defenders when attacking the rim. Aggressiveness gets him to the line at a very solid clip. Has a very nice hook shot he likes to go to around the paint. Could definitely stand to improve his free throw routine. Plays on the ball for the Hawks at times. Is an above average passer for his size. Tends to turn the ball over when he puts it on the floor against experienced defenders. Ball-handling skills and shot-creating tools definitely need work. Attacks the offensive glass. Still needs to mature in other areas such as reading defenses and moving off the ball.

Defense: Arguably the best young defender in the NBA. Shows the uncanny ability to translate his athleticism into big plays. Few players show as much dedication running down plays and preventing transition baskets as Smith. Has made a number of highlight reel blocks in his career in which he ran down a ball-handler to send what seemed like an easy layup attempt into the stands. Shows the ability to not only dart into passing lanes for deflections, but also to rotate from the weak-side to block shots in half-court settings. Impressive dedication to rebounding. Shows an acumen for crashing the boards that isn’t common amongst wing players. Doesn’t do the best job boxing out, but compensates with unreal length and jumping ability. Able to recover even when he over pursues his man when closing out due to his huge strides and explosive quickness. Commits quite a few fouls, but it comes as no surprise for a player as aggressive as he is.

Salim Stoudamire

Overview: A pure left-handed shooter who makes a living behind the arc. Lacks ideal size, strength, and athleticism by NBA standards, and has struggled with conditioning problems in the past. Has everything you look for and them some in a shooter. May not see his role expand much during his career unless he develops better point guard skills. Isn’t a great locker room presence and has had his share of problems in the past. Considered somewhat moody and aloof. Had some problems at Arizona, but put up some ridiculous shooting numbers as a senior. Shooting consistency will determine the interest he receives when he enters free agency this offseason. Cousin of Memphis point guard Damon Stoudamire.

Offense: The most distinguished feature of Stoudamire’s game is the elevation, consistency, and quickness with which he shoots his jumper from the perimeter. Gets more than one-third of his offensive from spot up opportunities on the perimeter, which is indicative of how he has embraced his role as the team’s shooting specialist. Nearly 60% of that one-third are no-dribble jumpers. Drives right the vast majority of the time when he decides to put the ball on the floor. Pulls up significantly more often then he attacks the rim, as he doesn’t have the athleticism to finish in traffic. Isn’t a point guard by any stretch, but shows some nice court vision on occasion. Possesses only average decision-making skills. Won’t handle the ball in clutch situations. A tremendous free-throw shooter and an asset to have in crunch time.

Defense: Largely undistinguished defender. Limited by his size, quickness, poor wingspan, and lack of effort. Shows decent anticipation when attacking passing lanes. Seizes opportunities to take the ball the other way, but doesn’t look to make plays himself. Becomes a liability on the defensive end when matched up with physically superior players, as he often does at the 2-guard position. Isn’t quick enough to cover some point guards and isn’t tall or strong enough to defend the shooting guard position. Usually gets the easiest defensive assignment on the floor, which hides some of his weaknesses.

Mario West

Marvin Williams

Overview: A blossoming young forward who is starting to live up to the potential that made him a top-2 selection. One of the top players in the HS class of 2004. Won the NCAA title at North Carolina in 2005 under Roy Williams. Has solid athleticism to go with good size. Still has room to add weight to his frame. Starting to turn the corner, and appears to be working hard to improve his game. Struggled initially to find a position on the floor and did not have the aggressiveness you would expect from a player drafted so high. Worked through that and appears to be on the verge of becoming the special player many thought he would be.

Offense: Has improved his jump shot significantly since entering the League. Shoots no-dribble jumpers in two-thirds of his spot-up situations; a telling sign of where he is most comfortable at this point. Gets most of his other touches from one-on-one dribble drives and in transition, but seems extremely content hoisting shots from the perimeter when defenders give him space. Able to shoot an above average percentage on mechanics alone. Kicks his legs from time to time when in rhythm, which makes him look less fluid. Could stand to take that out of his game and improve his footwork. Needs to improve both his consistency and aggressiveness to reach his potential. Asked to post up periodically. Shows some decent moves down low. Tends to avoid turning to the baseline when posted up on the right side, but shows the ability to score over both shoulders at a decent clip from the left block. Doesn’t crash the glass as hard as he should given his athleticism. His future remains on the perimeter, and he needs to improve his ball-handling skills and range in order to take advantage of his physical assets. Wouldn’t hurt him to cut down on his turnovers and look to assert himself off the dribble more frequently either. Has shown the ability to get to the line at a high rate. His ability to shoot a good percentage will make his development as a slasher that much more worthwhile.

Defense: A tweener? Doesn’t translate his physical talents to the defensive end as well he translates them to the offensive end. Has a tough time defending the post. Is susceptible to bigger more experienced post players. Can make an impact defending the perimeter. Ability to contest shots on the perimeter, coupled with the fact that he doesn’t take a lot of risks shows how solid a defender he is. A little bit too upright in his stance, which makes it tough for him to stay in front of quicker small forwards. Commits some unnecessary fouls, but that shouldn’t be a problem as he acclimates to his competition. Rebounds the ball at a good rate.

Charlotte Bobcats

Derek Anderson

Overview: A prototypical veteran swingman who doesn’t excel in any one aspect of the game. Has had a difficult time staying healthy in recent years. His explosiveness isn’t what it once was, but he is still a passable athlete by NBA standards. Provides a nice locker room presence, and is still capable of handling rotation minutes. Was a part of the 2006 Miami Heat team that won the NBA Championship, though he didn’t play in the Finals.

Offense: Functions as something of a spot up shooter at this point in his career, and has adapted to his new role surprisingly well. Doesn’t have the smoothest stroke, but he has become a very reliable outside shooter. Not only does he shoot a good percentage when spotting-up, but also connects at a respectable clip pulling up off the dribble when driving right. Finishes better around the rim with his right hand than with his left. Doesn’t make explosive moves to the rim like he used to. Still manages to find ways to finish when he makes a move to the rim. Solid ball handling ability. Moves the ball well within the flow of the offense. Ability to shoot a high percentage from the free-throw line, coupled with the fact that he does a great job protecting the ball makes him an ideal mentor on a team with young talent, or a contributor on a team looking to make a playoff run.

Defense: Has a tougher time on defense now than he did before he began suffering chronic injuries, but still puts up a fight on the defensive end. Has never been one to use his athleticism to block shots, but he was very good at denying dribble penetration early in his career. Doesn’t have the explosiveness to keep up with younger guards, but has become a very cerebral defender. Instead of relying on his physical assets, he tries to stay in front of his man by anticipating his moves and passes to create turnovers. Tends to reach when he gets beaten off the dribble, which is more a result of him preventing his man from getting to the rim than him initiating unnecessary contact.

Earl Boykins

Overview: The smallest player in the NBA, and the second smallest in league history after Muggsy Bogues. Incredibly quick and strong, which combined with his size and extremely entertaining style of play has made him a bit of a novelty amongst fans in recent years. A prolific scorer at Eastern Michigan, spent some time in the CBA, but has been in the NBA for most of his career, and has made some decent money for himself. Declined a player option worth 3 million dollars to test the free agent market in 2007, after averaging 14 points per game with Milwaukee, but got burned badly by the decision, ending up signing for the minimum halfway through the season. Had a very bad season in 07/08.

Offense: A very dominant ball-handling point guard. Very crafty player with a natural swagger and feel for the game, who can put up big scoring numbers when he gets hot. Struggles to see over the top of the defense--relies very heavily on the pick and roll to open up the floor for him due to his diminutive size, but does a good job finding open teammates spotting up from mid-range in the process. Does a solid job executing half-court sets, but has a tendency to over-dribble at times. Makes questionable decisions on occasion, attempting very risky passes and displaying poor shot-selection. Shoots jumpers far more often than he takes the ball to the basket, but is a streaky all-around shooter, especially from behind the arc. An excellent ball-handler with either hand. Does a better job finishing in traffic than you might think, mostly due to his strength, toughness and fearless nature. Has a nice floater in his arsenal.

Defense: One of the worst defenders you’ll find at the point guard position in the NBA. Offers little to no resistance to most normal sized points, as they can get their shot off virtually whenever they please against him, and can also brush him off on penetrations and easily get to the basket. Every bump and screen seems to seriously affect him. Lack of size and length makes it nearly impossible for him to contest shots, while additionally he can be easily posted up and shot over inside the paint. Very pesky getting in the passing lanes, but this hardly makes up for his shortcomings, which explains how little interest he received in free agency in 2007.

Matt Carroll

Overview: A great shooter who lacks prototypical athleticism, but has carved a niche for himself as a shooting specialist. Put together a nice career at Notre Dame, playing especially well during his senior campaign. After going undrafted in 2003, he spent time in the D-League before making a name for himself in 2005 with the Bobcats. Despite his shortcomings athletically, he shows great character, is a hard worker, and does more than most expect from a pure shooter.

Offense: One of the best spot up shooters in the game, since he is extremely consistent from the outside when catching with his feet set. Has a compact, accurate stroke, and has improved his ability to shoot off the dribble in recent seasons. Maintains his form when he is shooting on the move, but is nowhere near as consistent a shooter off the dribble and off screens as he is from a standstill. Doesn’t make a lot of unnecessary trips into the paint, where he isn’t a very efficient finisher. Even when he dribbles off of screens, he tends to pull up for jumpers almost exclusively. Few players in the League shoot a better percentage from the line than he does, which would pay bigger dividends for him if he could draw more fouls. One of the most positive aspects of his game is his ability to take care of the basketball. Pretty good ball handling ability. He may not create shots for his teammates, but he doesn’t turn the ball over frequently either, as he sticks to his strengths.

Defense: Lack of lateral speed makes him a liability against quicker guards on the defensive end, but he is able to use his length to avoid getting taken advantage of too frequently. Doesn’t create many turnovers, but works hard to stay in front of his man and grabs an occasional rebound. His effort level alleviates some of his physical shortcomings, and only augments what he does on the offensive end. Still a liability in one-on-one situations, which limits the amount of minutes he can play.

Jermareo Davidson

Jared Dudley

Raymond Felton

Overview: A lightning quick point guard who is still trying to recapture the individual and team success that he experienced as a collegiate at UNC, and made him a top-5 pick. Won an NCAA championship at UNC as a junior in 2005. His quickness, strength, and explosiveness are ideal even by NBA standards, though his physical stature is only average. Has quickly become a quality NBA point guard, and has the potential to get even better, even though he’s been hurt by Charlotte’s lack of stability from the sidelines. Future success largely depends on whether Larry Brown will try to rein him in, or allow him to play the type of up-tempo basketball that best suits him.

Offense: Operates primarily off of the pick and roll, but also gets some of his shots from spot up and isolation situations. A great pick and roll point guard due to his ability to turn the corner, create passing lanes, and find the open man. One of the best point guards in the League at throwing full court bounce passes. The most impressive aspect of his point guard skills stem from the way he pushes the ball in transition. Very good at getting to an open area, receiving the outlet, and advancing the ball up the floor in a hurry. Capable of turning regular possessions into fast break opportunities. Few players can match his agility, ball handling, and court vision on the move. A poor shooter from behind the 3-point line, which is the #1 thing he will have to improve on to become more than just an average NBA point guard. Could still stand to improve his finishing ability around the rim, which is hampered by his poor size. Tends to drive left when he attacks the basket, and usually gets all the way to the rim. Absorbs contact better than most point guards. Shoots a pretty decent percentage from the line, but could always improve in that aspect of the game. Seems to get going too fast at times, leading to turnovers, but is starting to control tempo like an NBA floor general. It would probably serve him well to improve his midrange game to diversify his offensive repertoire.

Defense: A great ball-hawk, pressuring his man the entire length of the floor and being a general nuisance when his man has the ball. Great lateral quickness. His ability to jump into passing lanes allows him to create some turnovers, though he tends to avoid taking unnecessary risks. A smart defender considering his experience level, and much of his ability can be contributed to his time at North Carolina. Shows a willingness to go after long rebounds, but would just as soon get ready to receive an outlet pass. Size will always be a hindrance in this area, though, as opposing guards can easily see the floor and get shots off against him.

Othella Harrington

Overview: A hefty veteran big-man who has had trouble with injuries throughout his career, and is probably on his last legs in the NBA. Harrington is still physically strong, but doesn’t have much explosiveness left after his last knee surgery. Rebounds the ball pretty well, and can use his strength to score some point on the inside. Career at Georgetown was solid and extremely consistent based on those two factors alone.. Though he doesn’t play many minutes, he has solid character, and is willing to go the extra mile for his teammates on the court.

Offense: Gets almost half of his albeit limited touches in the post, where he goes to his left hand almost exclusively to finish. Shows decent elevation on his turnaround jumper for a veteran, but doesn’t connect on his shots at a very impressive clip. Other touches come from cuts and offensive rebounds, which is indicative of his very small role. Does a good job using his bulk to set screens, and generally take up space down low. One negative aspect of his game is the number of turnovers he commits considering his limited minutes.

Defense: Tends to commit too many fouls on the defensive end, which is the result of his physically aggressive nature and the lack of athleticism he suffers. Can provide some minutes down low on occasion, but he no longer has the foot speed to contain many of the players he matches up against. Is slowly being worked out of Charlotte’s rotation, but will still see some minutes until Charlotte’s younger post men are ready to handle a bigger workload.

Ryan Hollins

Sean May

Overview: A former collegiate star who has suffered a series of serious injuries early in his career, which makes him difficult to get an accurate read on just yet. Strong enough to play in the low post, but doesn’t have the athleticism or size to translate all of his skills into production. Had a prolific college career at UNC. Won a National Championship with the Tar Heels in 2005. Showed some terrific sparks of potential when healthy, but a knee injury in October of 2007 put him out of commission for the entire season, and his rehab will determine how good he can become. Conditioning has been a major question mark—does he have the desire to commit himself to slimming down and staying in optimal shape? Can he stay healthy?

Offense: Charlotte uses him as a do-it-all post player. Gets his touches on post ups, rolls to the hoop, basket cuts, and offensive rebounds in descending order. Has range out to the NBA three, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see that part of his game more polished when he returns from injury. Tends to turn over his left shoulder by a small margin, but he scores over both equally well. Ability to use his body to shield the ball and finish hooks with both hands makes him a very formidable matchup in the paint. Has tremendous hands, skills, and even makes an occasional hustle play. Does a good job finding cutters when posted up. Good decision making skills. Can put the ball on the floor from time to time. More coordinated than most players his size, and usually smarter and more fundamentally sound too.

Defense: Does a good job using his size to box out, but doesn’t have the size or athleticism to stop bigger/faster post players. Had a hard time adjusting to the speed of the game, and his injury won’t do him any favors over the long term. Uses his body well to box out, but can be outmatched by more athletic rebounders. Lack of lateral quickness makes it difficult for him to do much as a perimeter defender, and he subsequently struggles guarding the pick and roll.

Jeff McInnis

Overview: A backup point guard who can still do a lot of nice things for a team that needs dynamic minutes at guard, but who’s attitude has kept him from reaching anything close to his full potential, and has seen him quickly wear out his welcome on every team he’s played for. Has great size for the point guard position allowing him to slide over to shooting guard periodically, and has the speed and quickness to keep up with smaller lead guards. Put together a nice collegiate career based on those factors at North Carolina. Cut by Charlotte mid-season and replaced by Earl Boykins.

Offense: Gets most of his offense off of pick and rolls, where he often finds the open man after defenders hedge him. Another quarter of his shots come from spot up opportunities. Possesses one of the quickest shots in the League, but has struggled to remain consistent throughout his career. This helps him get some shots off from the midrange that would usually get blocked. Prefers to pull up for jumpers in half-court settings, and only goes to the rim when he has a clear lane. That is the primary reason he doesn’t make many trips to the line. Shoots a decent percentage from the stripe. Does a better job distributing than he did early in his career, but he sometimes looks for his own offense rather than differing to others. Solid ball-handler. Plays under control. A very good offensive rebounder for a point guard.

Defense: Has quick enough feet to make his size a factor in passing lanes. Possesses the quickness to pressure some, but not all point guards. Does a decent job of denying dribble penetration and closing out shooters, but could still stand to increase his effort level. Can be as solid as he wants to be defensively. Tends to reach a bit too often, but not to the point that he sells out.

Nazr Mohammed

Overview: A veteran center who found new life in Charlotte. Possesses good size and length for the center position. Pretty physically strong, but can’t push around more compact players. Very good quickness and leaping ability for a player his size. Capable of making some plays on both ends to his combination of size and mobility. Put together only a decent career at Kentucky. Needed a few years in the NBA to figure things out. Has shown flashes of solid production in the past. Brings some nice things to the table in Charlotte that he couldn’t provide elsewhere. Still not overly skilled.

Offense: Gets a quarter of his shots off of post ups with another one fifth coming from each of cuts, offensive rebounds, and pick and rolls. Has a decent stroke for a player his size. It isn’t pretty but it seems to work. Almost brings the ball to his opposite shoulder before pushing it up and then out. Gets decent rotation despite some jerky mechanics. Tends to turn over his left shoulder when post up, and also tends to fade away when shooting close to the basket. Doesn’t show a lot of post skills in terms of fakes and pumps. Gets most of his points moving away from the rim when he has to create his own shot. Finishes a mediocre clip when not working one-on-one. A better midrange option than he used to be. Capable of putting the ball on the floor to move to the open spot in the high post. Makes some bad decisions when passing out of the post, but not too many for it to be a major issue. Needs to work on his free throw shooting.

Defense: A very solid defender who does a good job on the block. Will get a hand up on players driving to the basket. Still doesn’t display great fundamentals. Will reach in and commit some unnecessary fouls. Needs to learn to go straight up. Pretty good shot blocker and rebounder. More than capable of helping out on the defensive end with his athleticism and intensity.

Adam Morrison

Emeka Okafor

Overview: A big, physical, athletic young post player who is starting to play a defined role. Not only strong enough to defend the post, but has the athleticism to step out and defend the midrange as well. Can take care of business on both ends. Something he showed at UCONN by winning the Big East Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Awards as a junior. Won the NCAA Championship with UCONN in 2004. Former second-overall selection has faced some injuries early in his career, but has overcome those setbacks to begin to fulfill his potential. Turned down a 55 million dollar extension offer in 2007, something he’s been criticized for considering his uneven production.

Offense: Gets almost half of his offense from post ups, with the rest coming from pick and rolls, cuts off the ball, and offensive rebounds. Loves to turn over his left shoulder, and does a good job of shielding the ball and finishing with contact. Shows a decent right handed hook, but needs to diversify his offensive game with fakes and shots with his left hand. Has nice form on his jumper, and has consistent range out to about thirteen feet. Will miss open looks from time to time, but has improved his touch considerably. Not turnover prone in the least. Extremely stingy with his dribble, and doesn’t put the ball on the floor unless he is going to get into position to score. Major offensive weakness is his free throw shooting. Has made some improvements on the offensive end, but is still fairly mechanical at times. His ability to maintain position and grab offensive rebounds makes him a valuable addition regardless of how many touches he gets in close. Not the most talented offensive player around, but is effective regardless.

Defense: Few players in the League play better post defense than he does. Uses his hands extremely well for a post player, and is the type of player than can change shots and create turnovers. Rebounding ability is exceptional. Gets loose balls outside of his area on a regular basis. A legitimate weak-side shot blocker. The leverage he uses on the defensive end, and the way he moves with his man’s fakes is special.

Jason Richardson

Overview: A former Slam Dunk Champ who came into his own as a scorer in Golden State and is now the go-to-guy in Charlotte. One of the League’s highest leapers and his physical assets rank him amongst the NBA’s best. Has developed into a great scorer, largely due to the improvement in his shooting touch from the outside. Started working on that part of his game during his distinguished career at Michigan State. Won a NCAA Championship with the Spartans in 2000. Will be looked to for leadership early in his tenure with Charlotte. A consummate professional with a great work ethic and an excellent personality.

Offense: Possesses a mechanical looking jumper that is extremely consistent. Shows great footwork when spotting up on the perimeter. Always shoots the same shot. Gets roughly twenty percent of his offense from each of spot up situations, transition opportunities, and isolations. Not an advanced ball handler, not one to dance with the ball and create for himself at will, but uses his dribble to get into position to score. Drives equally with both hands, but is much more efficient when going left. Struggles pulling up for jumpers when dribbling with his right hand. Doesn’t always square his shoulders when driving that way, leading to misses. Needs to just go right at the rim, take contact and get to the line. Was never considered a great overall shooter in terms of percentage, but has improved remarkably from behind the arc, and from the foul-line. Few players can match Richardson’s open court antics, and he is truly a handful anytime he gets an open path to the rim. Shows good court vision and is a decent drive and dish player as well.

Defense: Uses his tremendous explosiveness to dart into passing lanes, but doesn’t use his athleticism as well as teammate Gerald Wallace. Doesn’t have to guard the opposition’s best player on any given night, which masks some of the mental mistakes that he makes. Shows good anticipation when blocking shots, which he only does from time to time. Does a good job cleaning the glass for his position.

Gerald Wallace

Overview: A tremendous athlete who is one of the League’s premier perimeter defenders. Plays multiple positions for Charlotte, sometimes as a Shawn Marion-esqe power forward even. Possesses great strength, quickness, and leaping ability and shows a true dedication on the defense end. Uses his athleticism to make an impact on the offensive end. Won the Naismith Player of the Year Award as a senior at Childersburg HS. Spent only one season at Alabama before going pro. Still developing on the offensive end. Does the little things as well as anyone in the game.

Offense: Gets a quarter of his offense from spot up situations, with a combined thirty percent coming from isolation and transition opportunities. Uses his athleticism extremely well on the offensive end, elevating over defenders when he attacks the rim. Seldom pulls up for jumpers off the dribble, partially due to his ball-handling skills but also because of how easy it is for him to beat his man to the basket. Doesn’t have bad form on his jumper, but he doesn’t always set his feet as well as he should. Shoots the ball from the opposite shoulder, but puts good touch on the ball from the outside. Has improved in the aspect of the game significantly since entering the League. An average shot-creator, but sometimes gets too aggressive attacking the rim. A little turnover prone. Shows good court vision and passing, and needs to keep his head up at all times to avoid dribbling into traffic.

Defense: Simply one of the best defensive players in the League. Works extremely hard, and doesn’t take plays off. Leaping ability makes him one of the best weak-side shot blocking guards in the game, and he has the speed and quickness to play in passing lanes. Can create turnovers, but doesn’t take unnecessary risks, and gets his steals and blocks in the flow of the game. That’s what makes him such an impressive player.

Miami Heat

Blake Ahearn

Joel Anthony

Marcus Banks

Overview: Super athletic guard who hasn’t developed the basketball IQ or skill-set necessary to capitalize on his potential. Has bounced around the league a fair amount since being drafted by Boston in 2003. Had a breakout season in Minnesota and landed a contract he will likely never live up to from Phoenix. Was not a fit there at all, largely due to his shortcomings as a perimeter shooter. Traded to Miami, but hasn’t had a chance to show what he can do quite yet.

Offense: Incredibly quick, with a thick, stocky build. Thrives in transition and puts tremendous pressure on the defense. A very good ball-handler. Can create his own shot and blow by his man, but doesn’t do a great job reading defenses and making plays for others. Decision making is questionable, prone to mental lapses. Runs into brick walls, and struggles to find a rhythm between being too aggressive or too passive. Pounds the ball excessively at times. Can find the open man, but is not what you would call a floor general. Outside shot is extremely streaky, which makes defenses sag off him and hurts the team’s offensive flow. Has great elevation on his jumper, though, and seems to have made some strides in that area. Must not fall in love with it, as he tends to do at times. Has talent, and can put points on the board, but needs to mature and find the right situation.

A ball-hawk who can really lock down when he puts his mind to it. Puts tremendous pressure on the defense, gets in his man’s grill and stays in his shorts until he gives the ball up. Has great strength, length and lateral quickness, and the mentality to capitalize on it. Not smart enough on this end of the floor, though. Needs to do a better job reading screens, not gambling, and fouling less. Uses his hands a bit too much.

Earl Barron

Overview: A big bodied young center who has been forced to contribute in Miami due to injuries. Very tall, and pretty long as well. Good bulk, even by NBA standards. An average athlete, but gets off the ground decently. More known for his midrange game than his abilities at the rim. Fairly skilled for his position. Shows a nice, soft jumper with range out to just past the free throw line. Able to catch and shoot pretty well. Doesn’t do a whole lot in post up situations. A little bit on the soft side. Solid rebounder offensively, but doesn’t grab too many on the defensive end. Doesn’t show ideal anticipation when trying to block shots from the weak-side. Very foul prone. Had a half-way decent career at Memphis, but nothing that would indicate that he’d develop into an NBA player. Has spent time in the NBADL, as well as in the Philippines. Shows glimpses of what he can do against lesser competition, but hasn’t been able to figure out how to stay on the floor at the NBA level, despite his above average skill level. A lot of that has to do with his defensive ability.

Offense: Gets about a third of his touches in spot up situations, with another two fifths coming off of cuts and offensive rebounds. Displays a consistent midrange shooting stroke, which is without question his best offensive weapon. Takes some contested shots that he probably shouldn’t. Runs the pick and pop frequently. Proves to be a capable finisher at the rim as well. Works well off the ball, which helps him score a few easy baskets at the rim. Needs to do a better job absorbing contact. Lacks some toughness in that regard. Doesn’t show much back to the basket game. Won’t put the ball on the floor very often. An average passer.

Defense: Doesn’t have the strength to maintain position on the block, and lacks the lateral quickness necessary to step out and defend players that like to face up in the post. Usually asked to defend the center position, but struggles as a weak-side defender. Has a hard time containing bigger, strong post players. Doesn’t show good discipline when contesting shots. Will reach over the top and get called for a lot of fouls. Decent rebounder, but nothing to write home about. Not a defensive playmaker.

Mark Blount

Overview: A veteran center who doesn’t always show the aggressiveness that earned him his current contract, and just doesn’t seem to bring it every night. Good size and length for the center position. Pretty strong down low. Fairly athletic, but isn’t as fluid as he used to be. Does a good job of getting open from the midrange in, which is a nice tool for a player his size. Capable of stepping out and hitting a midrange jumper. Has tried to increase his range throughout his career. Can do some things with his back to the basket, but doesn’t assert himself in that way. Doesn’t grab rebounds at a suitable rate—has very bad hands and doesn’t always attack the glass. Has come a very long ways in his career considering where he started. Bounced around the minors and most certainly paid his dues. Hasn’t always played up to his contract in the NBA once he earned it. Has tools and talent for sure.

Offense: Gets about a third of his offense from spot ups with another fifth coming from pick and rolls. Displays a somewhat smooth stroke with range out past the three point line. Solid catch and shoot player, especially for his size. Likes to come out to the perimeter and run the pick and pop. Doesn’t put the ball on the floor to score. Will do some damage as a finisher at the rim. Will score in the post with some efficiency, but gets most of his short range touches by moving off the ball. Doesn’t always deal well with contact, and struggles to connect when he is actually sent to the line. Not a great offensive rebounder or passer. Needs to keep his effort level high. Capable of stringing together some big games from time to time, but lacks any real consistency.

Defense: A decent defender who can be solid when he wants to be. Spends most of his time defending the center position, but will slide down and defend power forwards sometimes as well. Struggles to stay in front of quicker players, but can. Will get in a deep stance when he’s going to play good defense. Average rebounder due to his poor hands. Doesn’t always go straight up. Needs to show the intensity and dedication that he used to earlier in his career.

Daequan Cook

Ricky Davis

Overview: An extremely explosive scorer who can put points on the board in bunches from the perimeter. Good size and strength for the shooting guard position. One of the most explosive players in the game. Very fast and effective in the open floor. Quite a showman when given the opportunity. Pretty good ball handler and passer, but gets careless at times. Has improved his jumper substantially since entering the League. Pretty good range now. Good rebounder at times. Capable of locking down on defense, but not consistent in that regard. Very quick hands on that side of the floor. Spent only one season at Iowa. Took a few years to develop on the NBA level for that reason. Broke out with the Cavaliers in his fifth year pro in 2003. Brings an attitude to the court. Very confident and plays with a swagger. More mature than he used to be, which was once one of the biggest knocks on him. Will be one of the top targets around the League in free agency this summer. Basketball IQ looks questionable at times. Doesn’t seem to know his limitations, and was labeled as a bad apple earlier in his career. Not very clutch. Has frequently found himself in losing situations.

Offense: A prolific scorer when he can touch the ball frequently. Gets about a third of his touches as a spot up shooter, but will also score a lot of point in transition and in one-on-one situations. Displays a compact shooting stroke that he has improved dramatically over time. Shows vastly improved footwork as well. Will knock down three pointers with good consistency. Good when spotting up or pulling up off the dribble. Capable ball handler. Likes to drive left to set up his jumper, but is effective attacking in either direction. Will make some highlight reel plays at the rim. Explodes to the rim when he gets a step. Impressive finisher. Will absorb contact and shoot a decent percentage at the line. Runs the floor well, and will get himself open by working off the ball. Will make some questionable decisions as a passer, but isn’t a bad drive and dish guy. Brings a lot to the table when he can have plays run for him with regularity. Shot-selection can be very questionable at times.

Defense: A mediocre defender who has shown that he can be a very good one when it matters. Has the lateral quickness and strength to effectively defend both wing positions. Can stay in front of his man when he wants to. Won’t close out hard when he isn’t focused. Decent rebounder for his position. Doesn’t have a lot of success defending taller opponents. Can really be a presence when he brings consistent intensity.

Udonis Haslem

Overview: A solid power forward who is largely a self-made player. Not very tall for the NBA power forward position, but is smart and plays extremely hard. A fair athlete, but that’s not what got him here. Uses his body well, and tries to outwork his matchup to be effective. Possesses a very solid midrange jumper, but has lost consistency in this part of his game. Finishes decently at the rim, thanks to his excellent timing and smarts. Goes after every miss on the offensive end. Rebounds the ball well on the defensive end as well. Plays with leverage, and always contests shots when he can. Was an outstanding compliment to Shaq before he aged and got traded. Had a lot of success as a prep at Miami Senior HS and as a collegiate at Florida. Was a good player with the Gators from day one, and was one of the best players in the SEC by the time he was a senior. Started and finished college incredibly overweight, and therefore wasn’t drafted. Has played for a successful team on every level. Won an NBA Championship with the Heat in 2006. Needed a season playing overseas to lose weight and earn his place in the League. Brings the durability and toughness that coaches (like Pat Riley) love. Terrific intangibles. Extremely clutch for a complimentary player.

Offense: Gets most of his touches as a spot up jump shooter, but will work hard to get shots in transition, off of cuts, and from second chance opportunities. Displays a solid midrange shooting stroke that he developed only in the last few years, but could still stand to work on his follow-through and consistency. Won’t do a lot of damage off the dribble, but is starting to develop this part of his game too. Doesn’t take many contested shots. Finishes at the rim at a solid rate. Likes to seek out contact at the rim. Very crafty in that regard. Shoots a good percentage from the line. Doesn’t make a large offensive impact himself, tends to work off of his teammates and pick up the scraps. Crashes the glass well. Will turn the ball over when he gets in too deep underneath. Solid passer. A 4th or 5th option type, but has no problem with that role.

Defense: An excellent defender who gives consistent effort, but seldom has an easy matchup. Has the lateral quickness and defensive footwork to effective defend the high post. Terrific on the pick and roll, which is what made him such a great compliment to Shaquille O’Neal. Hedges screens with great timing, and then flies back to cover his man. Does a good job using his body to deny penetration. Contests his man’s shots, but isn’t a presence rotating over from the weakside, due to his lack of size. Will grab a lot of rebounds. Always puts a body on his man when a shot goes up. Scraps for loose balls. Plays an effort based, intelligent style of defense.

Alexander Johnson

Stephane Lasme

Shawn Marion

Overview: One of the most athletic players the NBA has to offer. Incredibly versatile. Rebounds, defends, scores points, is lethal in transition, and was an outstanding compliment to Steve Nash until he basically forced his way out of Phoenix. Possesses endless amounts of energy, and seemingly never leaves the floor. Most effective at the power forward position, despite standing just 6-7. Has a great wingspan. Struggles to come to copes with what he is—which is one of the best role players in the NBA. Extremely well compensated over the years, but has always transmitted a sense that he is getting the short end of the stick. Will his game hold up as his athleticism begins to decline?

Offense: Very adept at moving off the ball and finding spots to receive a pass and explode for a finish. Doesn’t miss around the basket. Runs the floor like a deer. A great target for lobs. Has one of the league’s most awkward shooting forms—flings the ball at the rim from well in front of his chest, but sees decent (although not incredible) results as a spot-up shooter. Somewhat limited offensively--needs a great point guard to create shots for him. Lacks the ball-handling skills needed to create his own shot or pull-up off the dribble. Doesn’t always seem to know his limitations. Relies very heavily on his athleticism to make plays, which worked extremely well for him playing next to Steve Nash. Decision making can be poor at times.

Defense: Extremely active and very effective thanks to his superb physical tools. Has excellent lateral quickness and recovery speed, but is also very strong for a player his size. Capable of defending multiple positions on the floor, either on the perimeter or battling inside. Very good at getting in the passing lanes and igniting fast breaks. Also an excellent shot-blocker thanks to his superb length, timing and explosiveness. A very good rebounder as well on both ends of the floor. Has a tendency to get lost at times, misplacing his man, rotating to the wrong spots, overextending himself, and gambling excessively. Will get beat at times, or even a take a play off.

Alonzo Mourning

Overview: A once dominant center who has shown truly inspiring perseverance time and time again. One of the hardest competitors in the history of the game. Overcame debilitating kidney problems to become one of the best backup centers in the game. Left his last game like a warrior, walking off the floor with the assistance of teammates after tearing his patellar tendon and refusing to be carried out on a stretcher. Was once one of the most mobile and athletic centers in the game. Put on quite a bit of weight as his career went on, and lost some of his athleticism, but never lost the mean streak that made him a great defender. Very fine back to the basket game. Could shoot it from the midrange as well. Dominated on both ends. Blocked shots with authority. Patrolled the paint for rebounds. Still capable defensively. Doesn’t have the same offensive game he once did, but is still very efficient. Was one of the most decorated prep players of his generation. Won the Naismith Player of the Year Award in 1988. Translated his success in high school into a dominant collegiate career at Georgetown under John Thompson. Holds the NCAA record for most blocked shots in a career. Won every major award in the Big East Conference as a senior. Came into the League and dominated immediately. Won an NBA Championship with the Heat in 2006. Six time All-Star and two time defensive player of the year. The fact that Mourning came back after the 2006 season is a true testament to the type of competitor, player, and person that he is.

Offense: Gets more than half of his offense with his back to the basket in the post. Used to show some midrange game, but not anymore. Proves to be a tough guard one-on-one in the post. Likes to turn over his left shoulder. Shows a very impressive right handed hook shot. Can score some points in the paint. Will get position easily due to his size and strength and always appears to be in attack mode when he gets the ball. Truly a bully inside. Will force his way to the rim if he has to. Doesn’t have the soft touch he used to, but still has good touch at the basket. Possesses a truly imposing will. Will dunk the ball with authority when he gets the chance. Sets great screens and always look for the ball when rolling to the basket. Great offensive rebounder. Will turn the ball over when he gets stuck under the rim, but is far from a liability. Once great, but still very good.

Defense: Used to be one of the best defenders in the game. Remains a very solid option, especially for a backup. Will block his fair share of shots and isn’t afraid to challenge a known finisher. Brings that mentality on every possession. Rebounds at a very high rate. Fights for position on the block, and shows the strength required to force his man off the block consistently. Doesn’t have the foot speed to consistently defend any other position than center. Used to be able to effectively cover both post positioned. Provides a tremendous defensive presence, even at this point.

Kasib Powell

Chris Quinn

Dwyane Wade

Overview: One of the game’s best shooting guards due to his mixture of skill, athleticism, and unparalleled body control. A little short for a shooting guard, but compensates with a strong build and an incredible wingspan. Jumps out of the gym. Very hard to guard in many situations due to his first step. Floats and finishes with contact the way Michael Jordan used to. Durable in terms of his ability to take contact, but gets hit hard so often that it is hard to see him not missing some games. Shoots the ball pretty well from the perimeter, but doesn’t take many threes. Does most of his damage at or around the rim. Finishes with both hands. Gets to the line consistently. Capable of setting up his teammates and running the point from time to time. Has a nice handle, but turns the ball over frequently due to his dominant ball-handling style of play. Rebounds relatively well. Does a solid job defensively when he wants to. Was ineligible as a freshman at Marquette, but blew up in his final two seasons there, leading his team to the Final Four. Won the Conference USA Player of the Year Award and Defensive Player of the Year Award as a junior. Needed a season to fully adjust to the NBA. Quickly became a superstar. Three time All-Star. Won an NBA Championship alongside Shaquille O’Neal in 2006. Still on the rise as a player when healthy. 2007-2008 was largely a wash for him, so it will be interesting to see how he bounces back.

Offense: One of the most dangerous offensive players in the League even when he isn’t at one hundred percent. Gets almost half of his offensive on the pick and roll, but also gets some one-on-one chances and some opportunities on the fast break. Makes a living by turning the corner. Doesn’t have the tightest handle, but is a great ball handler. Will lose the ball at times on his drives to the rim, but usually is able to split the defense at explode to the rim. Loves to make spectacular layups in traffic. Has the best body control in the game. Will throw the ball in from angles that other players can’t even imagine. Takes a ridiculous amount of hard fouls. Gets thrown to the ground more than probably any player in the League. Could save himself a lot of problems by developing a consistent floater. Displays nice form and consistency on his jumper, but doesn’t have three point range quite yet. Shows tremendous footwork in the midrange. Knows how to get off shots when he is well defended. Incredibly confident, but not selfish in the least bit. Averages a ton of assists, and gets to the free throw line like a machine.

Defense: Plays tremendous defense when healthy and motivated. Will make game changing plays by reading passers and anticipating drives. Creates a lot of turnovers by being active with his hands. Makes some spectacular shots as a shot blocker. Doesn’t always seem to give 100% on this end, likely to conserve energy. Rebounds at a solid rate, but isn’t asked to crash the glass as hard as some of his teammates since he plays on the ball periodically. Will contest shots, maintain a solid stance, and defend with his feet rather than his hands.

Jason Williams

Overview: A talented point guard who can handle pressure, knock down open shots, and use his creativity to find teammates. Pretty average height and build for a point guard. Durability is still an issue. Once known for his very good quickness. Able to change directions seamlessly even when handling the ball. Very good ball handler to the point that he is flashy. Not nearly as turnover prone as he used to be. Sets up his teammates at a high rate with his drive and kick abilities. Shot selection has improved over time, but still prone to mental lapses too often. Capable of knocking down threes and midrange shots off the dribble with respectable consistency. Creative finisher inside. Sells out on defense too often, but has been less aggressive in recent seasons. Played only two of his four seasons in college after redshirting at Marshall and then sitting out a season as a transfer at Florida. Made a name for himself early in his NBA career with his flashy highlights. Has matured on and off the court in recent seasons. Won an NBA Championship with the Heat in 2006 Inconsistent from game to game, you never know what to expect. Injuries have taken a toll.

Offense: A talented offensive point guard who now displays the substance to go with the style he has always had, but no longer has the athleticism he once did. Gets more than half of his offense running the pick and roll, but has proven to be capable of knocking down spot up shots on streaky percentages and creating his own offense in transition as well. Makes a living with his point guard skills. Really knows how to get his teammates involved. Tremendous ball handling and passing ability. Will turn the corner quickly and keep his head up when getting into and making passes out of the lane. Flashy, but not as flashy as he used to be. Doesn’t turn the ball over near as much as he used to. Not a terribly efficient scorer, but is a decent catch and shoot guy with range out past the three point line. Won’t finish at the rim due to his lack of size, strength and explosiveness.

Defense: A mediocre defender who will take a lot of risks that he doesn’t need to. Lacks discipline, size, strength and lateral quickness. Struggles to stay at home when he sees at opportunity to swipe at the ball. Gets quite a few steals, but needs to be more picky about when he decides to get aggressive. Rebounds pretty well for his position, but tends to get into position to receive the outlet rather than going after rebounds.

Dorell Wright

Overview: A lanky young wing finally got the minutes necessary to develop his game. Very tall and lanky. Has added quite a bit of muscle to his frame in recent seasons, but still has room to grow. Is more rangy than quick, but shows some pretty explosive leaping abilities on the run. Capable of putting the ball on the floor to score, although he’s not a great shot-creator. Has a solid jumper, but doesn’t show a lot of range or consistency. Doesn’t always make the best decisions with the ball, nor does he have the experience or savvy to work effectively off the ball to score. Good shot blocker for his position, but is a fairly mediocre defender overall. Still pretty raw in terms of skills, but has the potential to grow as a player. Toughness, and basketball IQ are average at best. Declaring for the draft straight out of high school may have deprived him of some key fundamentals. Garnered national recognition out of South Kent Prep School, leading him to leave for the NBA right away. Won an NBA Championship with the Heat in 2006, but played only one minute total during their run. May find a bit of interest in restricted free agency this summer.

Offense: Gets almost half of his touches in spot up situations, but also gets the opportunity to use his athleticism and get out in transition. Displays a solid shooting stroke, and has developed into a solid catch and shoot guy. Doesn’t have great range, nor does he show great consistency off the dribble. Does most of his damage from the midrange. Isn’t a great finisher at the rim since he isn’t quite strong or tough enough to capitalize on his athleticism yet. Still working on that part of his game. Needs to learn to take contact and finish. Goes to the line at an average rate and shoots an average percentage. Solid ball handler, but needs to be tighter with the ball. Could be a good passer. Will need more time to reach his potential. Must improve his feel for the game and consistency to get there.

Defense: A fairly poor defender who has the physical assets to be solid, but lacks experience. Will makes some plays in passing lanes and as a shot blocker due to his length and athleticism. Doesn’t always rotate to the ball and recover to skip passes. Has all the raw tools, but not the fundamentals. Rebounds the ball well, but could stand to add some weight and get more involved on the glass.

Recent articles

Twitter @DraftExpress

DraftExpress Shop