There is a reason why Derrick Byars was named SEC Player of the Year in 2007, and he didnt take very long to show why here at the Showcase. Byars has quietly been having an excellent season in the D-League with Bakersfield, both individually and from a win/loss standpoint. As a 6-7 wing player with a terrific frame and length, Byars is always going to draw NBA interest. Beyond that, his skill-set continues to improve as well.
Byars is one of the best shooters the D-League has to offer, connecting on a ridiculous 49% of his 3-point attempts this season, on over 5 attempts per game. He is excellent with his feet set, and can get his shot off against most defenders relatively easily thanks to his terrific size. Hes also pretty effective pulling up off the dribble, as well as posting up and fading away for a turnaround jumper. Off the ball, he is extremely smart finding open spaces from which to cut to the basket and get easy looks at the rim. The fact that his team plays unselfishly and really knows how to space the floor definitely helps in this regard.
Just an average ball-handler at best, Byars is pretty limited in terms of creating his own shot from the perimeter. He has good strength but isnt a great athlete, although he could certainly be considered above average at this level. Hes an unselfish player, though, who feeds off his teammates and looks content being a role-player, which is obviously what he would be if called up by an NBA team.
Defensively, Byars had a very positive showing here at the Showcase, as he has excellent physical tools to get the job done, but also displays nice fundamentals. His length allows him to contest shots effectively, and he slides his feet pretty well when defending the ball. He isnt a very fiery or intense guy, though, and is surprisingly a relatively average rebounder, not always showing the type of hustle you might expect. This passivity seems to be something that shows up in his entire game, and might be what is holding him back from truly breaking out.
Byars isn't going to wow most people with an incredbily versatile skill-set or phenomenal athleticism, but he is a solid player with good tools and two very important NBA-level skills. Teams looking for a role-playing wing player who can step into a rotation, make shots and defend either the 2 or the 3 will probably give him a long hard look.