NBA Scouting Reports, Northwest Division (Part Five)

NBA Scouting Reports, Northwest Division (Part Five)
Oct 24, 2008, 05:23 pm
Continuing our series of articles filling out our database with scouting reports of every single NBA player, we look at the last team in the Northwest division, the Oklahoma City Thunder.

As a reminder, we are not currently profiling rookies or sophomores, but you should be able to find in-depth scouting reports on every player of note by following the links on their profiles or using our search engine above.

Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons
Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers
Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Bobcats and Miami Heat
Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards
Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies
New Orleans Hornets and San Antonio Spurs
Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
Sacramento Kings
Phoenix Suns
Denver Nuggets
Utah Jazz
Portland Trailblazers
Minnesota Timberwolves

Oklahoma City Thunder

Nick Collison

Overview: A productive and efficient power forward who lives under the radar, but could be a valuable contributor for most playoff teams. Possesses good height for a power forward at 6-10, and a nice 7-1 ½ wingspan, which allows him to see some minutes at the center position at times. Very strong, and makes an effort to fight for position in the post. Runs the floor hard. Isn’t very quick or explosive. Gets by on good fundamentals and hard work. Solid midrange jumper, but is better around the basket. Shows great footwork and nice touch in the post. Isn’t athletic enough to score consistently at the rim. Passes the ball better than most power forwards. Very sound offensively. An outstanding rebounder who dedicates himself on the glass offensively as well as defensively. Makes an effort to contest shots around the basket, but commits a lot of fouls due to his lack of athleticism. Had a tremendous career at Kansas. Won the Big 12 Conference Player of the Year Award as a senior in 2003. High quality player, but probably won’t get a whole lot better than he is right now. Would probably be more valued on a contending team alongside veteran players.

Offense: A fundamentally sound offensive player who lacks the natural tools to be a dynamic scorer. Gets his touches as a skill player in the post, but also has a hustle player by his own initiative. Displays a nice looking shooting stroke, but struggles mightily with his consistency from the midrange. Won’t do much damage off the dribble and simply isn’t a threat to put the ball on the floor to score. Quality post game. Displays good touch with both hands and over both shoulders. Looks to use his hooks rather than his turnaround. Likes to face up, but is only effective from the left block where he doesn’t spend much time. Knows how to get open under the basket and finish despite his lack of athleticism. Good touch, uses the glass well and knows how to use the rim and his body to get his shot off. Works hard without the ball and has excellent hands. Simply knows how to play good basketball. Has a great feel for the game. Solid passer. Has the timing to grab a few offensive rebounds each game, and always sets solid screens. Does the little things.

Defense: Has good fundamentals and is very competitive, but lacks the athleticism to make an impact against elite level-big men. Doesn’t have the foot speed to stay in front of quicker players in the high (and sometimes low) post, making him fairly foul prone. Struggles stepping out and guarding the pick and roll. Isn’t explosive enough to block shots. Will give fouls when he’s beat. Needs to learn to be more stingy with his fouls. Would be more effective next to a great shot blocker. Plays one-on-one defense like a veteran. Won’t fall for fakes. Rebounds at an outstanding rate. A smart defender, but is somewhat limited against certain matchups.

Kevin Durant

Jeff Green

DeVon Hardin

Mickael Gelabale

Overview: An athletic French swingman who suffered a serious injury in his sophomore season and has yet to show what he’s able to do at the NBA level. Known mostly for his defense and versatility. Has prototypical size for a small forward, but has a very lanky frame. Owner of a big wingspan. Displays great lateral quickness defensively. Shows a decent first step in half court sets and good speed in transition. Clearly a role-player offensively. Can knock down shots inconsistently with his feet set from the outside. Can finish the break. Lacks the ball-handling skills to create his own offense. Relies on hustle to score most of his points. Brings a lot to the table defensively. Works hard, and does a good job staying in front of his man and contesting shots. May not ever be a dynamic offensive player and needs to hone his complimentary skills. Ball handling needs serious improvement. Still very much an unproven commodity at the NBA level. ACL tear was a major setback that may see him end up returning to Europe.

Offense: A limited offensive player who doesn’t bring a lot to the table at this point. Gets more than a third of his touches in spot up situations, but also makes contributions in transition and by working off the ball. Displays a fundamentally sound jumper that still needs work to become consistent. Can shoot the three, but doesn’t often. Has improved his ability to make shots with his feet set. Nice touch around the basket. Will take a few jumpers off the dribble and connect at a passable rate. Not a good ball handler by any stretch, but knows his limitations and doesn’t try to do too much. Decent passer. Does a good job as a complimentary player. Runs the floor extremely hard and can finish when he gets a lead pass. Moves well in the half court offense and will duck in for some easy baskets when he sees a chance. Not a very talented offensive player, but has some decent qualities.

Defense: A versatile defender who gives the effort necessary to add value to his game. Possesses the lateral quickness to keep up with most ball handlers. Capable of creating turnovers and blocking shots with his athleticism. Doesn’t show great anticipation, but has nice recovery speed. Won’t get bullied on the block by most players. Will contribute some rebounding. Could become a nice stopper in limited minutes down the line.

Desmond Mason

Mason was already profiled as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks. Follow his profile link to read his scouting report.
Johan Petro

Overview: A young French center who has great natural physical tools, but doesn’t have the fundamentals or feel for the game to take advantage of them at this point. Tall, long, and extremely well built. Moves well for a center. Possesses decent vertical explosiveness. Relies on his athleticism to be effective at this point in his career. Has some unpolished offensive tools to work with, but does not know his limitations in the least bit. Shows decent touch around the rim on occasion. Shoots a very poor percentage from the field. Good shot blocker, with the potential to be great. Could improve immediately by cutting down on fouls. Lack of experience makes it hard for him to be consistent defensively. Possesses the tools to be a good defender. Pretty raw in all areas of the game. Needs to bring more intensity and effort to both games and practice to begin to get to where he needs to be. Has been known to mail it in at times. Lets his emotions get the better of him on occasion.

Offense: A very raw center who is still struggling to find himself on the offensive end. Gets about half of his touches in the post and from spot ups, with the other half coming from hustle plays. Not efficient in the least bit relative to his height. Displays a decent jumper for a player his size, but tends to fall in love with it. Will try and put the ball on the floor to score at times, but struggles badly doing so. Does most of his post damage on the left block where he can turn over his left shoulder and go to his right handed hook shot. Has gotten better in that regard, but is still working on his touch. Will use his athleticism effectively to grab some offensive rebounds and be the beneficiary of good passes from his teammates. Finishes at the rim at a decent rate, but not a good enough one for an athlete of his caliber. Needs to expect more from himself. Shoots a great percentage from the foul stripe. Doesn’t have a lot of polish outside of that. A poor passer who can be a bit of a black hole at times.

Defense: Has the size, length, athleticism and strength to be a good defender, but is very green on the defensive end. Will get fakes off his feet from time to time. Very foul prone. Decent rebounder. Needs experience and seasoning in practice, but may lack the natural feel to get all that much better at this point. Could become a very good shot blocker down the line. Needs to learn how to read offensive players better.

Luke Ridnour

Ridnour is currently a member of the Milwaukee Bucks, who were already profiled prior to him being traded

Overview: A talented point guard who does a great job getting his teammates involved, but may be quite good enough to start for a winning team. Decent height for the point guard spot, but lacks strength significantly. Has a decent first step, and is capable of beating his man off the dribble on occasion. Lack of strength and explosiveness hurts him when he tries to finish. Doesn’t jump high enough to make plays at the rim. Doesn’t get to the free throw line at a great rate. Possesses average shooting touch from the outside. Does not make many 3-pointers. Smart offensive player. Makes good decisions when deciding between passing and shooting. Good at setting up teammates. A bit too turnover prone. Poor defender. Put together a nice career at Oregon. Won the PAC 10 Player of the Year Award as a junior, his last season in college. Doesn’t look to score as much in the NBA as he did in college. Good team player. Trying to turn over a new leaf in Milwaukee, after struggling in his role as a starter in Seattle.

Offense: A talented distributor who can also do some scoring from the perimeter. Gets over half of his offense as the point guard in pick and roll situations, where he reads defenses well and displays nice timing and court vision. Doesn’t look to score as often as he does to set the table. Displays nice shooting mechanics, but is a fairly unimpressive 3-point shooter both in terms of quantity and consistency. Much better from mid-range. Will do most of his damage pulling up off the dribble. Loves to turn the corner on the pick and roll and hit a teammate rolling for easy baskets. Isn’t able to finish these plays very well on his own, making him somewhat limited offensively. Doesn’t finish well at the rim due to his lack of strength and explosiveness. Not strong enough to take contact and get the ball on the rim. Gets to the free throw line at an average rate, but shoots a great percentage once there. Nice short range floater. Much prefers to drive right to get in the lane. Good ball handler in the open floor, but does not have the quickness to dribble himself out of trouble if trapped, making him very turnover prone throughout his career. Possesses very good court vision and passing ability regardless. Can score, but is valuable because of his status as a pure point guard. May struggle to establish himself as a starter on a winning team due to his lack of individual shot-creating ability coupled with his high turnover rate and below average 3-point stroke.

Defense: A mediocre defender who doesn’t have the lateral quickness necessary to be an impact player. Will get beat off the dribble from time to time. Lacks the strength to avoid being posted up inside. Shows very impressive hand quickness and anticipation. Will create some turnovers, but that doesn’t compensate for his lack of impact in other areas. Needs to show better intensity and do a better job staying on his man.

Saer Sene

Joe Smith

Smith was already profiled as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Follow his profile link to read his scouting report.
Robert Swift

Overview: A young center and former top-10 pick who can’t be labeled as anything but a bust so far, largely due to constant injuries. Good size and length for his position, and has packed a lot of weight onto his frame. Doesn’t have great quickness or explosiveness. Uses his body well around the rim, which is the result of good footwork rather than size, since he lacked strength for so long. Displays pretty good touch from in close. Grabs a decent amount of offensive rebounds. Doesn’t have a very good jumper. Still raw on the offensive end due to his experience level. Has developed into a decent defender. Length makes him a good shot blocker, but he shows good timing too. Still has upside after declaring for the draft out of high school. Showed some really nice sparks in his second year with the Sonics, but has barely played at all since. Injuries won’t help his development. Whether he will ever come close to reaching his full potential is anyone’s guess.

Offense: A raw big man who shows some potential in different areas but has been seriously set back by injuries and a lack of playing time over the past few years. Gets quite a bit of his offense as a hustle player, but will get his fair share of chances in the post as well. Doesn’t possess much of a jump shot, and operates almost exclusively at the rim. Shows the willingness to operate with his back to the basket. Struggles to convert attempts around the hoop at times due to a noticeable lack of explosiveness. Will fight for position under the basket, and has gained enough weight to have a fighting chance at getting an easy look. Doesn’t have great polish on his post game, but shows a nice right handed hook. Has some craftiness to his game and will make an intriguing play from time to time. Will grab his share of offensive rebounds. Has lost two very important seasons to injuries. May not be able to progress as quickly offensively as he was going to. Could take his time off to develop his jumper. Needs to come back ready to work.

Defense: An adequate defender who doesn’t have the experience to show his true skill. Will come up with quite a few blocks. Has the length to make an impact by contesting shots. Doesn’t show great anticipation or timing just yet. Commits a ton of fouls. Needs to work on the fundamentals of post defense. Still susceptible to fakes. Decent rebounder. Could develop into a nice defender down the line. Will experience his share of growing pains.

Earl Watson

Overview: A valuable asset at the point guard position due to his quickness, playmaking and all-around versatility. Tough to stay in front of due to his first step and speed. Lack of size hurts him a bit, but is tough and extremely crafty to make up for that. Possesses a 6-7 wingspan, which comes in very handy. Can do some damage in transition. One of the best in the league at racking up assists. A very solid shooter with his feet set or off the dribble from mid-range. Works hard on both ends. Picks up a decent amount of rebounds for a point guard. Put together a nice career at UCLA, and has steadily improved in the NBA. Was known as a great defender, which is something he has gotten away from a bit recently. May be a bit under the radar at this point due to his lack of playoff success. Brings some nice skills to the table in Seattle, but could be a tremendous role player on a contender.

Offense: Gets most of his offense as a ball handler in pick and roll and transition situations. Does a decent amount of scoring, but is also one of the league’s top-10 point guards statistically. Possesses a consistent shooting stroke with his feet set, particularly from mid-range, but also from beyond the arc. Won’t take many threes, but definitely can, as he proved earlier in his career. Will punish defenders who go underneath the screen on the pick and roll. Takes the vast majority of his jumpers off the dribble. Hits pull ups with very good consistency. Likes to attack the rim when he puts the ball on the floor. Isn’t always able to finish due to his lack of size and strength, but is very crafty around the hoop. Does a very good job turning the corner on pick and rolls and breaking his man down off the dribble. Won’t go to the line very often, and shoots a surprisingly low percentage considering his shooting touch. Good ball handler with his right hand, but is a bit too turnover prone at times. Struggles going left. Brings a lot to the table as a distributor. Seems to have improved year by year in that regard with added maturity and experience. Does a good job drawing defenders and deferring to teammates. Great passer off the pick and roll. Pretty unselfish and creative when he has to get the ball to his teammates.

Defense: An average defender who lacks the size and strength to make an impact on many nights. Capable of putting good pressure on the ball, but doesn’t appear to put as much effort into this end of the floor as he once did. Lack of size makes him susceptible to post-ups and pin-downs, and allows bigger players to shoot over the top of him with ease. Struggles fighting through screens at times. Displays very quick hands in the passing lanes.

Kyle Weaver

Russell Westbrook

D.J. White

Chris Wilcox

Overview: A tremendous athlete who finds a way to be effective despite possessing a very unrefined all-around game. Has decent size for the power forward position at 6-9 ½ in shoes, with a nice 7-1 ½ wingspan that allows him to see small minutes at center in a pinch. Shows a very strong frame featuring wide shoulders. Probably one of the most athletic big men in the league. Gets off the floor quickly when finishing around the basket or rebounding the ball. Runs the floor well for a player his size. Primarily uses his athleticism to make an impact on both ends. Can do some damage from the block. Still has a lot of room to improve offensively, but it’s questionable at this point whether he will be able to do so. Can be effective on the defensive end as a shot blocker. Had an up and down collegiate career at Maryland, playing on the NCAA Championship winning 2002 team. Has carried the underachieving tag for quite a while, and hasn’t shown enough interest in shedding it. Has improved since entering the League, but remains a pretty raw player. Physical tools and scoring ability make him a nice asset for Oklahoma City, but it’s questionable whether he’ll ever achieve his full potential.

Offense: A relatively efficient scorer who is more effective with his athleticism than his skills. Not a prototypical NBA power forward offensively due to his lack of skills facing the basket, which limits his team to a certain extent. So athletic that he can often score regardless. Gets almost two fifths of his offense in post, but will also make plays off of his hustle. Near automatic finisher around the basket—one of the league’s best. Displays a streaky jumper with range out to about 15 feet, and is very limited beyond that. Cannot shoot off the dribble. Struggles to put the ball on the floor as well. Not a great back to the basket player—struggles to create his own shot in the post. Gets most of his touches on the left block. Tries to score over both shoulders, but doesn’t find much success over either. Needs to polish a single move and then work from there. Always seems to be in a bit of a hurry and attacks the rim at some unusual angles when posted up. Decent passer off the block. Is exponentially more efficient working off the ball. Will duck and get some easy baskets off of cuts, offensive rebounds, and dump passes. Dunks everything at the rim with his impressive leaping ability. Tough to stop when he is already at the basket. Will get sent to the line pretty frequently, but could still improve his percentages from there. Needs to improve his skill-level both facing and with his back to the basket to show that he can be a starting power forward on a contending team.

Defense: Possesses the tools to be a terrific defender, but doesn’t always play with great focus. Has the athleticism to defend the low and high post with some effectiveness. Will struggle with stronger players. Has been very foul prone throughout his career. Displays quick hands and a quick second jump. Won’t block many shots, but will challenge some at the rim. Solid rebounder. Has great potential on this part of the floor, but is still developing consistency and gaining the experience to use his tremendous natural tools.

Damien Wilkins

Overview: A solid athlete who shows decent versatility, but isn’t efficient enough offensively to be a role-player at a very high level. Has good size and strength for his position. Shows pretty good speed running the floor and nice lateral quickness on the defensive end. Settles too much for jumpers on the offensive end. Has a very streaky jump shot, and needs to continue improving his consistency and range. Does a very good job on the defensive end. Was not all that special of a college player, but made the League regardless after impressing in the NBA pre-draft camp. Spent time at North Carolina State before transferring to Georgia. Proved himself early in his career in Seattle, and was offered a very nice contract by Minnesota as a restricted free agent, which was subsequently matched. Probably not a big part of Oklahoma City’s future plans. Son of former NBA player Gerald Wilkins and nephew of NBA legend Dominique Wilkins.

Offense: An inefficient offensive player who gets almost a quarter of his offense from each of fast breaks, spot ups, and isolations. Relies too much on his jumper and does not attempt to attack the rim. Displays a streaky shooting stroke with poor consistency from three point range. Not good enough with his feet set considering his role offensively. Does more of his damage off the dribble. Uses his quickness to get separation and pull up. Doesn’t have great touch. Struggles to create his own shot or change directions with his dribble, and finishes at a pretty mediocre clip around the rim. Free throw percentages have wavered dramatically throughout his career. Very good passer for a swingman, but not dynamic enough a ball-handler to be much of an offensive option.

Defense: A very good defender who has the explosiveness to make an impact on the perimeter. Possesses the lateral quickness to keep his man out of the lane. Displays good intensity and discipline. Won’t take many unnecessary risks. Displays good strength when he has to deal with contact. Solid rebounder. Not a play maker, but the type of defender that makes it tough for his man to score.

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