NBA Scouting Reports, Southeastern Division (Part 2)

NBA Scouting Reports, Southeastern Division (Part 2)
May 09, 2008, 09:13 am
Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit
Milwaukee and Indiana
Atlanta, Charlotte and Miami

Orlando Magic

Carlos Arroyo

Overview: A scoring point guard who has increasingly learned to defer to others, particularly in 07-08. Decent size for the point guard spot. Pretty strong. Very quick first step. Not explosive vertically. Ball handling skills accentuate his athleticism. Brings a lot to the table as a distributor when he sets his mind on it. Has a decent jumper as well, mostly from mid-range. Has a flair that most other players don't bring to the game. Plays with creativity and has a passion for winning. Had a very productive career at Florida International, but went undrafted. Proved more in international competition for Puerto Rico than he did as a collegiate. Really a force to be reckoned with on that level. Can do some nice things in NBA, but is more of a complimentary player than a star, largely due to his deficiencies on the defensive end. Very active in Hispanic American community. Twin, Alberto, is a professional basketball player in their native country.

Offense: A talented player who can score and get his teammates involved effectively. Gets almost four fifths of his offense as the ball handler in pick and roll situations. Possesses a solid shooting stroke and can function as a pretty consistent catch and shoot player inside the arc. Much more efficient off the dribble. Great pull up shooter. Not a 3-point shooter. Very good ball handler, although has a tendency to over-dribble at times. Knows how to create separation with his crossover. Rarely takes the ball all the way to the rim, shows very good touch on his finger roll, but isn't explosive enough to make it there with consistency. Shoots a good percentage from the free throw line, although he rarely gets there. Functions primarily as a distributor in his latest reincarnation under Stan Van Gundy. Does a good job driving and dishing. Good at getting his teammates involved. Solid assist to turnover ratio. Gets the ball up the floor in a hurry. Shot-selection is often questionable—settles for too many contested pull-up jumpers.

Defense: A fairly poor defender who lacks the physical tools to guard starting NBA point guards. Combination of size, strength and lateral quickness is fairly average. Not focused or intense enough to compensate for that. Doesn't always recover to the ball as well as he needs to. Will make an effort to board long rebounds. Will take some risks, but isn't a play maker. Needs to show more consistent intensity.

Tony Battie

Overview: A veteran center who can make an impact as a role player due to his size and activity level. Lost the 2008 season with a torn rotator cuff. Good size and length for the center position. Strong frame. Decent mobility and explosiveness for his size despite his age and history of injuries. Has never been known as much of an offensive threat. Brings a lot to the table on the defensive end due to his size and rebounding ability. Needed a few seasons at Texas Tech to develop the offensive skills he shows today. Had a breakout junior season before declaring for the draft. Was a very serviceable complimentary player from day one in the League, although never quite lived up to his status as a top-5 pick. In the NBA at this point for his defense mainly.

Offense: Not overly skilled or productive on this end. Gets almost one third of his offense in post up situations, but also does the little things like rebounding on the offensive end and working off the ball. Displays a pretty consistent midrange stroke for a player his height. Good catch and shoot guy from the free throw line in. Will even take jumpers off the dribble, but only if he has a wide open look. Not a great ball handler, but can put the ball on the floor if he has to. Likes to turn over his left shoulder into his right handed hook. Does a good job protecting the ball and going into his move as soon as he receives the ball. Quality offensive rebounder due to his size. Does a good job moving without the ball and setting screens on the perimeter. Rarely gets to the free throw line.

Defense: A quality defensive player who knows how to use his size to make some plays. Does a good job defending the post, and while he isn't a lock down guy, he never fails to get a hand up. Moves his feet well, but doesn't over commit when stepping out to guard the perimeter. Isn't a great shot blocker, but will challenge some shots when the play comes to him. Displays sure hands in the paint, will get some steals and rebound at a respectable level. Will commit some smart fouls, but isn't overly physical.

Keith Bogans

Overview: A strong shooting guard who has consistently fallen into situations where he has gotten a great deal of playing time. Undersized for his position, and not tremendously athletic to make up for that. Good strength for a shooting guard. Not a very skilled or creative offensive player, but plays very good defense to make up for that. Shows a willingness to compete on every possession on that end. Made that very clear during his days at Kentucky. Didn't always put up great numbers, but was a consummate team player for Tubby Smith. Was the SEC Player of the Year as a senior in 2003. Has become a very good role player with the Magic.

Offense: Almost exclusively a 3-point shooter at this point in his career, but is pretty effective in this role. Not very effective off the dribble. An average ball-handler at best. Doesn't make many mistakes with the ball, nor will he be very aggressive with his dribble drive. Makes smart passes, but isn't a playmaker. Likes to go left, and is very effective when he does. Doesn't get many looks at the rim, and rarely gets to the free throw line. Isn't asked to function as much more than a spot up player, but is solid all around.

Defense: A very solid defender who uses his strength to his advantage. Does a good job getting into position to deny dribble penetration. Won't get pushed around on the block or by a ball handler trying to get a step. Has a hard time defending taller swingmen. Doesn't take many risks as a half court defender. Shows a willingness to get on the floor when he can grab a loose ball. Always turns with the shot and looks to box out and secure the rebound. Not a playmaker, but the type of solid defender that coaches love to bring off the bench.

Brian Cook

Overview: A jump-shooting power forward who plays almost exclusively facing the basket. Decent size for his position, but not very athletic. Conditioning needs improvement. Adequate physical strength. Makes a living as a jump shooter, but brings some other things to the table on the offensive end as well. Still a little bit too one-dimensional. A poor defender due to his lack of athleticism, which makes it tough for him to contribute offensively when his jumper isn't falling. Developed his scorer's mentality during his four seasons at Illinois. Won the Big 10 Player of the Year Award as a senior. Hasn't experienced much success in the NBA just yet. Could be a nice role player in the right setting. Father, Norm, played parts of two seasons in the NBA.

Offense: Gets almost half of his offense as a spot up shooter. Will also step out to the perimeter and work the pick and pop and run off of screens for open jumpers. Functions almost exclusively as a shooting specialist, which he is very effective at. Very smooth stroke for his size. Can shoot the three with some consistency. Good foul shooter as well. Can't do much damage off the dribble. Not a very good finisher due to his lack of athleticism. Somewhat one dimensional, but he plays his role well. Doesn't turn the ball over, but doesn't make an impact on the offense glass either.

Defense: Has a tough time defending his position due to his lack of athleticism. Doesn't display the foot speed necessary to keep up with the more athletic power forwards in the game today. Displays average strength on the block, but isn't strong enough to defend traditional back to the basket players. Needs to bring better energy to defensive end to maximize what he does have rather than being the foul prone liability that he tends to be right now.

Keyon Dooling

Overview: A scoring combo guard who is extremely difficult to guard one-on-one. Physical stature leaves him between positions. Pretty lanky. Could stand to add some extra muscle. Very athletic. Good leaper. Outstanding first step and straight line speed. Nice lateral quickness as well. Makes a living by putting points on the board off the bench. Can really score when he gets going. Doesn't have the point guard skills necessary to play the position he was built for. Has the ability to be a great defensive player when he wants to. Showed a lot of explosiveness and potential during his time at Missouri. Still rather young for his experience level. Needs to be given a defined role to help him progress.

Offense: A solid offensive player who gets about half of his offense running the pick and roll, but is also asked to function as a spot up shooter and take his man one-on-one. Finds a lot of offense in the mid-range area, mostly on pull-up jumpers, and is a pretty solid shooter from this range. Loses effectiveness the further back he gets. Very streaky from behind the arc. Pretty dynamic scorer when he gets a chance to feature his skills. Drives left way more often than right. Decent passer as well, but much more focused on his own offense. Great first step. Nice touch around the basket. Can finish plays effectively even when he can't get all the way to the rim. Has the quickness to get there in most situations. Explosive at the basket. Goes to the line a good clip and shoots a great percentage. Gets a little bit too aggressive at times with his dribble and with his shooting. Not very disciplined in that regard, which limits his effectiveness. Can be a great asset when he is dialed in.

Defense: A very good defensive player who can lock down when he wants to. Has the quickness to stay in front of point guards and the length to slide over and guard the shooting guard position. Has a hard time dealing with taller and strong players. Does a very good job hawking ball-handlers. Won't take risks like he used to, which really makes him a better team defender. Will still reach when he feels like he can get a hand on the ball. Commits some fouls that he doesn't have to. A very talented defender who has the developed the intensity required to use his physical assets.

Maurice Evans

Overview: A steady role player on the wing who has the athleticism to score some points around the rim and get into his man on defense. A little on the short side for his position. Very good athlete. Plays above the rim. Shows a solid first step and tremendous speed in transition. Can do some scoring from the midrange and off the dribble. Makes a living as a defender. Has the physical tools and attitude to be considered a defensive specialist. Experienced quite a bit of success during his time at Wichita State and Texas, but didn't show the offensive acumen necessary to get an NBA contract initially. Spent some time overseas to polish has game, which helped him out considerably. Has become a very good role player, thanks to his work ethic, smarts and extremely high character.

Offense: A capable offensive player who gets about a third of his offense in spot up situations. Does the little things to make plays on the offensive end. Shows a constantly improving shooting stroke with range that extends past the three point range. Was once considered a big weakness, but is now a strength. Not quite as effective shooting off the dribble. Lacks a mid-range game. Gets to the basket at a decent clip, and is a capable finisher at the rim thanks to his excellent athleticism. Doesn't get to the free throw line very often at all. Average ball handler. Average passer as well. Not turnover prone. Runs the floor hard and moves well without the ball. Not a glamorous offensive player, but a nice option as a role player.

Defense: A physical defender who has become a good option due to that characteristic. Uses his physical strength extremely well when preventing penetration. Displays solid quickness when sliding over to help out his teammates as well. Will do the little things asked of him, which helps maximize his physical tools. Can't use his strength to his advantage against taller and more dynamic swingmen. Better suited to defend shooting guards than small forwards. Won't take silly risks. Very sound, and definitely an asset.

Adonal Foyle

Overview: A veteran center who has good size and bulk, but took a lot of flak for never living up to his last contract. Good size for the center position. Has lots of weight on his frame. Not a dynamic athlete. Great shot blocker. Pretty solid rebounder as well. Brings almost nothing to the table on the offensive end. Had an outstanding collegiate career. Garnered the Patriot Conference Player of the Year Award as a sophomore and junior. Holds the NCAA record for most blocked shots. Never lived up to his draft position. Has become very active off the court. One of the true good guys in the game. Leaves a mark on every community he works with. More of a locker room presence at this point in his career.

Offense: Gets most of his offensive touches by working hard off the ball. Won't get many plays called for him. Doesn't show any jump shooting ability. Won't put the ball on the floor. Turns over his left shoulder almost exclusively when he's in the post. Doesn't show a very good left hand. Very susceptible to fouling; struggles mightily from the charity stripe. Finishes at the rim at only an average clip since he struggles to connect when defenders react to his moves quickly. Doesn't show very good touch and has to get very close to the rim to be consistent. Great offensive rebounder. Provides a big body in limited minutes.

Defense: A former defensive specialist who used to be one of the better shot blockers in the game. Still gets the opportunity to make an impact, albeit in limited minutes. Comes into the game looking to protect the rim. Has the length to alter shots on the weak side. Looks to challenge shots aggressively leading him to get called for a lot of fouls. Knows how to throw his weight around to keep his man off the block. Decent rebounder. Won't play enough minutes to be a dynamic option, but is a nice defensive role player considering how much he does play.

Pat Garrity

Overview: A shooting specialist who has seen his role shrink after suffering through a series of injuries. Good height for a shooter. Lacks physical strength and athleticism. Has become even less mobile in recent seasons due to injuries. Needs to find the stroke that made him one of the League's best shooters early in his career. Doesn't bring a lot to the table outside of his shooting anymore. Showed quite a bit of versatility at Notre Dame. Can't do the things he did back then. Provides a nice presence in the locker room, but won't see much court time until he finds his stroke again.

Offense: Functions almost exclusive as a spot up jump shooter. Possesses a very sound shooting stroke, but hasn't shown the consistency he did early in his career. Not connecting from three point range at anywhere near the level he used to. Good spot up shooter when he can get significant reps. Won't put the ball on the floor to score. Not a capable finisher due to his lack of athleticism and strength. Needs to find his stroke in practice and translate that onto the floor to improve his current level of play offensive. Very one dimensional at his point. Won't turn the ball over, but won't grab any offensive rebounds either.

Defense: A defensive liability who lacks the foot speed to keep up with athletic players. Will get beaten off the dribble by most power forwards. Doesn't have the strength to defend traditional back to the basket players. Has a hard time keeping his man away from the rim. Can't rebound at a high rate since he has a hard time getting and maintaining position. Won't be in games to make defensive stops.

Dwight Howard

Overview: An emerging superstar who is starting to do the things it takes to maximize his physical gifts. Great size, length, and physical strength for the post. Has packed on a ton of muscle. Can push around just about anyone on the block. Incredibly quick and mobile for his size. Probably the most explosive leaper for his build in the world. Marvelous physical specimen. Starting to dominate the post like he was meant to offensively. Rebounds at an otherworldly pace. Only scratching the surface of the player he will be in a few years. Was highly decorated as a prep player at South West Christian HS. Won the Naismith player of the year award in 2004. Will only get better with time. Has one All-Star appearance under his belt with many more to come. Clearly possesses Hall of Fame potential. Backs up his game with very strong character. An asset to the league.

Offense: An emerging offensive force that still has room to grow as a scorer. Gets over half of his touches in the post, but creates his own chances by dominating the offensive glass and working without the ball. Gets position with ease. Simply too strong to keep off the block. Doesn't show much of a jumper, but has the raw form to add that to his game should he have to down the line. Takes what the defense gives him in the post and then some. Can score effectively over both shoulders. Still working on his left hand, but it is coming around. Doesn't fade away from the rim on his moves anymore. Simply spins, faces, and finishes. Has the quickness and footwork to leave defenders behind him and finish easy baskets in the paint. Dunks absolutely everything around the rim. Too explosive and strong to keep away from the basket. Can simply push his way to the rim at times. Very susceptible to fouling. Needs to improve his free throw shooting. Goes to the line at an incredible pace, but doesn't hurt opponents for it enough. Still developing in some ways. Has grown an incredible amount and will still get better. Eats space inside. Grabs offensive rebounds at an elite rate. Needs to learn how to pass out of double teams and not turn the ball over as often as he does currently. Simply fantastic for his position and unreal for his age.

Defense: A very good young defender who is a game changer due to his athleticism and strength. Can keep players off the block much better than he could a few years ago. Has the quickness to step out and defend the high post without a lot of trouble. Has improved his one-on-one defense, and will continue to get better as he gains experience. Is already a threat to rotate over to the weak side and send shots from unsuspecting offensive players in the stands. Blocks shots with authority, and can really protect the rim with his length and incredible athleticism. Becoming one of the best defenders at his position in the League. Still commits a few too many fouls, but that comes with his role as a game changer. Dominates the glass with his ability to rebound outside of his area. Very sure handed. Will come up with steals by virtue of his strong hands and reaction time.

Rashard Lewis

Overview: A very talented small forward with the height to make some plays down low and the perimeter skills to play exclusively out on the wing. Great size and length for the perimeter. Solid athlete for his height. Smooth first step and leaping ability. Became a great jump shooter over time. Dynamic offensive player. Wasn't an overnight success in the League. Needed three seasons in the League to begin to blossom as a player after declaring for the draft out of Alief Elsik HS. Came into his own as a star a few seasons later. Has made one All-Star appearance in his career and will have plenty of opportunities to return due to his age.

Offense: A tremendous scorer who can put the ball in the net in a number of ways. Gets more than two fifth of his offense in spot up situations, but will also get chances to go one-on-one, run the break, and use his height advantage in the post. Possesses a tremendous shooting stroke for a player his height. Has a quick release and very good range. Takes a lot of threes, but is rather efficient from deep. Solid midrange and short range shooter as well. Uses his height to get off shots that most players can't. Likes to drive right and get to the basket. Has a smooth first step, but isn't a great ball-handler. Doesn't get to the free throw line at a great rate. Capable scorer in the post. Gets quite a few touches on the left block and shows an ability to knock down turnarounds over either shoulder. Very versatile scorer. Creates numerous mismatches. Decent passer, but doesn't create much offense for his teammates. Average offensive rebounder. Great offensive threat who is even more efficient when playing next to other good offensive players.

Defense: A solid defender who has developed the ability to defend both forward positions with respectable effectiveness. Doesn't always make a great effort, but has the athleticism and length to compensate in most situations. Has many of his mistakes erased by Dwight Howard. Average rebounder. Will use his length to deflect passes when he is out defending the perimeter. His wingspan also helps him contest shots more effective than most players at his position in one-on-one situations. Not going to wow anyone with his defensive production, but is definitely more committed to defense than he was early in his career.

Jameer Nelson

Overview: A diminutive point guard who has the smarts, strength, and court vision to create opportunities for teammates and score for himself. Undersized for the point guard spot. Compact build. Pretty quick and fast, but not a freak. Solid as a point guard and a scorer. Doesn't let his size limit him as much as it has similarly sized players—a testament to his toughness and heart. Proved himself time and time again at Saint Josephs. Won the Naismith Player of the Year Award as a senior in 2004. A very solid player who could be even better next to the right backcourt partner.

Offense: A talented point guard who is doing a better job getting his teammates involved. Gets more than half of his touches running the pick and roll, but will also push the ball in transition and get some opportunities as a spot up shooter. Displays a compact jumper with decent consistency. Can shoot the three ball at a decent clip. Decent midrange game. Does more damage attacking the rim than pulling up off the dribble. Great ball handler. Likes to drive right. Very hard to stay in front of due to his quickness. Will finish at the rim at a mediocre clip due to his lack of size. Gets creative with his floaters and lay ins. Tries to get to the line, and shoots a few foul shots each game. Shoots a good percentage from the charity stripe. Makes a living as a distributor, even though his lack of size makes it tough for him to see the entire floor at times. Ability to turn the corner consistently makes him a threat to draw the defense and draw and dish at all times. Does quite a bit of playmaking, but could stand to look for his shot less often to improve his overall efficiency, something he is slowly improving on.

Defense: A ball hawk whose size makes him susceptible to switches. Does a very good job defending ball handlers the length of the floor and denying penetration. Fights through screens and has the quickness to recover in most scenarios. Has a tough time contesting jump-shooters due to his lack of size and length. Possesses clearly defined defensive strength and weaknesses. Does what he can do well. Gives a very solid effort, but doesn't cause many turnovers. Grabs every long rebound he possibly can in an effort to spark a transition opportunity.

Hedo Turkoglu

Overview: An oversized small forward who has a great feel for the game and a consistent jump shot. Tremendous size for the perimeter. Solid first step and quickness for his height. Has a very advanced offensive game. Great shooter. Very coordinated for his size. Decent defensively. Quickly transitioned his skills to the NBA game after leaving Turkey. Starting to fulfill his potential with the Magic alongside Dwight Howard.

Offense: A talented offensive forward who has come into his own in Orlando. Gets a quarter of his offense as a spot up shooter, but also contributes as a ball handler in pick and roll situations and in one-on-one settings. Displays a very smooth shot. Knocks down threes with solid consistency, especially for his height. Good catch and shoot guy. Just as good off the dribble. Takes a ton of pull up jumpers and hits a lot of them. Great decision maker when choosing to pull up or take the ball all the way to the rim. Solid handle for a player his height. Uses his height to shoot over smaller defenders. Finishes at the rim at a solid clip. Capable of posting up smaller defenders as well. Great passer. Will get a little too aggressive with his passing sometimes, and turn the ball over. Decent offensive rebounder. Becoming a very tough player to defend. Has found the consistency to match his IQ and skills.

Defense: A solid defender who plays smart, but is a bit of a tweener. Will create turnovers by reading ball handlers and anticipating their passes. Has the length to deflect passes that most other players wouldn't get to. Can effectively defend both forward positions, but has a much harder time stopping power forwards. Lacks the physical strength to control the block. Always gets a hand up when his man tries to take him one-on-one. Good rebounder. Not the most dynamic defender, but shows the intensity and intelligence to mask his lack of great lateral quickness at the small forward position.

Washington Wizards

Gilbert Arenas

Overview: The former 2001 2nd round pick, (32nd overall) has established himself as one of the premier scorers in the league. The quirky guard is famous (amongst many other things) for the implementation of the “Gilbert Arenas Rule” present in the CBA. This rule allows teams to match any offer a 2nd round pick may receive from another team. Arenas is an outstanding shooter, capable of taking over games with an array of jump shots. He also gets to the free throw line at a fantastic clip.

Strengths: Arenas builds his game off his fantastic shooting ability. He is one of the most effective players in the NBA in ISO situations, due to his perimeter accuracy and his unpredictable offensive attack. Arenas mixes up his drives very well and doesn't favor one side of the court, so getting a handle on how he's going to attack is extremely difficult. He has good explosive strength going to the basket, finishing well after contact or elevating after turning the corner on his man. He also gets to the free throw line incredibly well, which makes him extremely difficult to guard.

Arenas has defensive ability when he commits to it, which is virtually never. His size and length complement his excellent quickness and make him a difficult guard to beat to the basket or pull-up in ISO unchallenged, but he rarely has the inclination to show it. Arenas is extremely prone to being drawn into personal duels between himself and the opposing team's star, so his shot-selection and defensive intensity may be determined by the challenge.

Weaknesses: Arenas gets the most criticism for his quirky nature and unpredictable style. He's a scoring PG all the way, though he has the court vision to make plays for others and shows them at times—just not enough. But his ability to score the ball and be so dominant doing so can be a detriment in the games where he goes cold. Arenas tends to shoot himself out of slumps, and during those times the team's offense really suffers. His teammates are often forced to stand around and watch him pound the ball incessantly, which makes his team's offense fairly predictable. His shot-selection could stand to improve considerably.

While Washington has enjoyed good success overall with Arenas at the helm, their defense has never been better since he's been absent. He has a tendency to gamble too much and just doesn't seem interested enough in putting the effort in on this side of the floor.

Andray Blatche

Overview: Blatche really began to establish his value during his third season. Injuries to teammates opened up additional playing time for Blatche and he took advantage early. Blatche plays three positions, but is ideally suited for the power forward spot where has the perfect combination of size and quickness to create problems for his opponent. He is a do-it-all type on the offensive end, not really establishing any type of go-to game. Defensively, Blatche has great tools, but hasn't really learned how to use them to full effect.

Offense: Blatche is a jack of all trades, master of none type right now. Part of his inconsistency comes from the way his role and position changes so frequently, as the Wizards tried to find him minutes in the rotation when everyone was healthy. Blatche prefers to set up his offense off the dribble and take his man to the basket. In the post, Blatche can be pretty creative, but he has no defined go-to move, so his finishing consistency is poor. Overall, Blatche has the ability to use the whole court, but he needs to pick a few main options and build his game off of them. When he has it going he is extremely difficult to guard, although he is somewhat turnover prone.

Defense: Blatche has great instincts around the basket and when playing the passing lanes, which enables him to pick up steals and blocks. Blatche relies a little too much on his length and athleticism to defend, which really hurts his defense against wings and centers. Blatche doesn't have the body weight to play strong, physical bigs in the post so he relies on giving ground and trying to time the shot. He's easily backed down and susceptible to fakes. Out on the perimeter Blatche stands too far upright and gives his man too much space. He needs to use his length better on the perimeter by crowding his man and creating a wide base, because he's too long to cut off drivers consistently.

Caron Butler

Overview: The 10th pick in the 2002 draft. Came out after his sophomore year at Connecticut and had some problems establishing himself in the NBA until finally settling in with the Wizards. Most famous for being traded by Los Angeles for former 1st pick Kwame Brown. Butler made the All Star team in 2n and 3rd seasons with Washington. He is quickly becoming one of the pre-eminent small forwards in the game as a two-way threat.

Strengths: Butler's passing and shooting game have each improved substantially over the past few years and have been at their best this season. Butler's overall usage in the offense has increased, partly due to injuries to other teammates, but he's proven to be even more effective with an increased role. Butler has dramatically improved his perimeter game as well, increasing his 3 point accuracy and volume to the point where he is a viable threat, while still maintaining his trademark excellent mid-range jumper. Butler has developed his total floor game to the point where he is a threat to score anywhere on the floor, whether it be in the post, beyond the arc, or off the dribble. His ability to make plays with his passing gives Butler a complete ability to impact the team offense.

Defensively, Butlers size, strength and quickness make him a tough matchup for most small forwards to deal with. He denies dribble penetration very well and uses his body to good effect when trying to disrupt opponent's drives. He's active and aggressive with his hand and foot action on nights when he's feeling challenged, though he isn't 100 percent consistent with it against every player. Butler rarely gets posted by opposing small forwards and has the strength and aptitude to situationally defend some power forwards, which he does on occasion.

Weaknesses: While Butler has improved his shooting efficiency, he's still not as consistent a threat from the perimeter as he needs to be in order to become a true superstar scorer. Surprisingly, Butler's pull-up game off the dribble is his most effective shot. Set shooting from mid-range and beyond the arc should be considered passable, but not his greatest strength. Opponents that protect the drive and challenge the one or two dribble jumper are making the smart play. Butler has a tendency to have some poor shooting games because he will take the shots given to him from the perimeter even if he's not on that night. Its Butler's role in the offense to be aggressive with his shooting, so an improved non-dribble ISO game would really ratchet up his game.

Defensively, there isn't a lot that Butler can't do, especially at the wing, where he is effective against both positions. The main problem Butler has is consistently focusing on shutting down his man nightly. Butler's overall floor stats on the defensive side of the ball are rather pedestrian overall. When Butler is focused on a key matchup he can be tenacious, but it isn't always the case. The fact that wing counterpart DeShawn Stevenson typically takes the best opposing wing also feeds into this as Butler will sometimes range around more on defense as a help man and allow some easier off-ball scoring from his primary assignment. It should be noted that Washington's interior defense is more limited with interior help when Antawn Jamison is manning the 4, so team defense also contributes to the problem.

Antonio Daniels

Overview: Although he'll never quite live up to his status as a top-5 pick, Daniels has been a very solid all-around player for some time now. He has never really developed a reliable jump shot that could be considered an offensive weapon, but he hits enough to keep defenders honest. Daniels best attribute is his ability to drive the lane, get to the line, and make free throws. He is a solid ball-handler who makes smart decisions with the ball despite not being a pure playmaker. He's exactly the type of big, steady, heady, unselfish guard you want playing next to a gunner like Gilbert Arenas.

Strengths:Daniels really does an excellent job at managing his assist/to ratio. He has consistently been a league leader in this regard, averaging an impressive average of between 3 or 4/1 for quite some time. Daniels has never been the type of PG to handle all the playmaking responsibilities for his team, but in a equal-distribution offense with multiple ball-handlers, Daniels fits in well.

His size and athleticism at the PG position can be a real asset against most opposing 1's. Daniels is very adept at driving the lane, preferring to take it all the way to the basket after getting by his man, and drawing a great deal of fouls in the process. He uses the pick-and-roll with frequency and is one of the better players in the league at making the proper decision with the ball.

Defensively, Daniels has slipped a little in his man defense over the last couple of years, which could be a byproduct of the hand-checking rules the NBA implemented recently. He maintains in good fundamental defensive position most of the time and will come up and pressure lesser ball-handlers at mid-court as well as give greater space to quicker players. Recognition of an opponent's strengths is evident in his defensive approach. Does a lot of doubling off his man and dropping below the pick, even on good shooters, which is likely a byproduct of Washington's defensive schemes.

Weaknesses: Daniels is simply not a good shooter. He can make floaters in the lane or finish around the rim off glass, but his ability to shoot off the dribble is very poor in pure pull-up situations. Even as a set shooter, Daniels doesn't possess the ability to hit shots with regularity, which keeps his offensive game limited to driving the lane, cutting to the basket, or getting into transition. He's capable of big offensive nights, but his one-dimensional offensive game limits his reliablilty in this regard.

Defensively, Daniels could do a better job at protecting against the shot off of pick-and-roll situations. Better communication from him at the point of attack would also help him in ISO situations as he must give more space to quicker ball-handlers in order to stay in front of them, which limits his ability to challenge pull-up shots.

Brendan Haywood

Overview: Haywood has really worked hard to develop his game. His first 6 years in the league were fairly consistent and pedestrian, but Haywood took a step up in play going into his 7th season. His overall offensive game has grown in consistency and volume as he is now considered a reliable go-to option with his back-to-basket game. Haywood's ability to face-up on the pivot and finish post moves off the dribble has really been a nice addition to his offensive game. Defensively, Haywood has been the anchor of Washington's interior.

Strengths: Haywood has been extremely valuable in the pick-and-roll game, being a good finisher going to the basket. He has shown a tremendous increase in agility, a direct result of the noticeable improvement in his strength and conditioning routine. Haywood's move away from bulk and brute strength has greatly improved his quickness around the basket. His versatility around the basket is still a work-in-progress, but he has many more moves in his repertoire now. He is an excellent offensive rebounder. Haywood's free throw shooting has also substantially improved, making him a much more reliable option near the basket.

Defensively, Haywood remains a solid shot-blocker, a stat that has not increased much despite his improved mobility on the court. His on-ball defense in the post is a staple of his Haywood's game. He moves his feet well and doesn't get baited into going for too many shot-fakes. He typically relies on his length to challenge shots. He has a great combination of size and quickness, which makes it difficult for opponents to back him down or go around him on the face-up.

Weaknesses: Haywood must improve his face up shot from inside 15 feet as he is getting more attention from defenders when on the block. Haywood has improved his repertoire on the interior, but must continue to work on the efficiency of those moves, especially the fall-away jumper in the lane. He's really not someone a team can throw the ball to and ask to create a shot for himself. Defensively, Haywood is somewhat limited by the personnel around him. Haywood is typically the only player with size on the interior, as Washington favors mobility at the 4. As such, Haywood often gets caught rotating to the strong-side which leaves some lanes open for passes to cutters or a stationary weak-side dunk.

Antawn Jamison

Overview: Drafted in 1998 by Toronto and swapped for ex-teammate Vince Carter on draft night. Jamison went on to become a 2-time All Star for the Washington Wizards. Jamison came into the league as an undersized PF with limited perimeter shooting ability and has developed into a hybrid forward with range out to the 3-point line.

Strengths: Jamison is one of the most creative finishers around the rim in the NBA. He has an assortment of finger rolls, floaters, and runners off the dribble that make him nearly impossible to defend once he's turned the corner. Jamison's back-to-basket game is also extremely effective, especially considering his diminutive size as a power forward. Though he's developed into a very solid featured offensive option, Jamison remains one of the more productive player's off-ball. He has a knack for creating offense off of transition, cuts, and offensive rebounds, making it easier to run plays for other members of the team. He's an incredibly versatile player, which allows him to exploit a large variety of mismatches as they appear on the floor. He's a prolific, and quite underrated scorer. He also has a superb feel for the game and rarely turns the ball over. Defensively, Jamison does a very solid job against the face-up power forwards that are starting to dominate the position.

Weaknesses: Jamison is a very capable scorer and rebounder, but he's never been regarded as a franchise player. A pretty complete offensive player overall, Jamison doesn't have a great left hand has trouble finishing that direction. Jamison is versatile defensively because of his size and athleticism, but he's not considered a great defender on the perimeter or in the post. Against pure post forwards Jamison has trouble denying position and can't effectively challenge shots. His defense against small forwards is average and limited mostly to other hybrid forwards.

Roger Mason Jr

Overview: Mason has put in the work and made himself one of the best values in the league as a hired gun. His shooting from the perimeter, both set and off the dribble, is amongst the best in the league. Mason takes most of his shots from 3-point land, but has become deadly using the pick-and-roll game to get off one and two dribble attempts.

Strengths: Mason is an excellent scorer off the bench. He has just about every shot necessary to impact a game offensively when he's got it going, mostly from the perimeter. He is one of the better shooters in the league at making challenged jump shots. Washington likes to use him as a big guard for his size on offense, which makes it easier for him to get off clean looks at the basket.

Defensively, Mason is a pretty solid man defender-especially when matched up against back-up PGs. His length and size are a problem for opponents and he keeps them working on the other end of the court because of his constant motion. Mason is good at pressuring jump shots and doesn't give his man a lot of open looks. Washington uses him very effectively in his role, which increases his effectiveness on that end of the court.

Weaknesses: Mason isn't much of a driver, so when his shot isn't falling he doesn't give you much offensively. He rarely gets to the free throw line. He isn't a playmaker for others, so the offense really has to find him in order to impact the game. He can also be somewhat of a chucker, forcing shots even when he's not hitting.

Mason's high energy approach to the game limits the length of time he can be effective defensively. The longer he goes in a game the less aggressive he becomes on that side of the ball. Surprisingly, he doesn't get taken advantage of that frequently as his initial intensity usually softens his opponent's aggression.

Dominic McGuire

Oleksiy Pecherov]

Darius Songaila

Overview: Songaila has established himself as a solid and versatile role player in the league, mainly thanks to his toughness and basketball IQ. He can operate as a face-up power forward and can be dangerous at times with his jump shot. Can also be tricky in the post, using shot-fakes and footwork to free himself for good looks at the basket. Gets used situationally against every frontcourt position.

Strengths: Songaila is most dangerous from the elbow to the baseline, 17 feet and in. He's developed a fairly reliable mid-range jumper and does not lose effectiveness when guarded, which speaks to his rhythm shooting tendencies. Songaila has solid footwork in the post and likes to face-up against opponents. He'll use spin moves and up-and-under tricks to get off difficult hook shots or bank shots off the glass, and is very crafty moving off the ball. Very good body control and good hands allows him to finish a lot of one-handed shots around the paint area. He's an excellent passer, which helps make up for his other shortcomings.

Defensively, Songaila makes a strong effort defending the 4. He's fairly strong at keeping his space and moving his feet to stay in front of drivers and uses his body to good effect when in the post. He's willing to throw his body around to draw charges or commit hard fouls.

Weaknesses: Songaila is a below average player offensively, not bringing much in the ways of versatility or efficiency on this end. A streaky set shooter at times, really relies on putting the ball on the floor to get a feel for the basket. Doesn't possess outstanding range either so his creativity on offense is limited primarily to within 17 feet of the basket, though he does hit a decent amount of catch-and-shoot opportunities around the FT line extended when moving into the shot. His lack of size and explosiveness gets exposed at times finishing at the rim, as he's susceptible to having his shot blocked. He rarely gets to the free throw line.

Defensively, Songaila is prone to excessive fouling. He's undersized, and doesn't have the athleticism to necessarily compensate for that. His limited perimeter foot speed forces him to rely on physical defense with his body and he is whistled frequently for contact fouls on drives. While he uses spacing well to protect on drives, he is a liability when defending a face-up opponent who forces him to play tight on the jumper. Songaila has to pick his battles on the defensive side of the ball, sticking to his strengths. He's not a great rebounder for his position.

DeShawn Stevenson

Overview: Stevenson has found his niche as a 3-point/defensive specialist. His efficiency has increased as his role has become more defined. Stevenson is excellent at hitting kick-out shots or driving to the basket off of good ball-movement and can get into scoring streaks that are difficult to defend because of his quick release. Stevenson is typically relied upon to cover the best wing of the opponent, but is much better at guarding shooting guards than he is small forwards.

Strengths: Stevenson is at his best shooting set shots from 3-point land or using one or two dribble drives to his left. Quick ball swings and cuts to the basket allow Stevenson to finish at the basket well and he is much better at using the whole court when he has space to make his initial move. Stevenson has really improved as a playmaker. His ability to create baskets for others without turning the ball over has made him a more dangerous offensive player.

Defensively, Stevenson is a ball-hawk. He picks up his man early in the half court, identifies his assignment well in transition, and gives very little space for his man to put the ball on the floor. Stevenson takes pride in his defensive work and looks well prepped on opponents' tendencies. Despite lacking ideal length, he holds opponents well-below their average efficiency most of the time.

Weaknesses: Stevenson could use some work on his overall recognition of his shooting strengths and weaknesses. While he has honed in on his most basic skills, there is some fine tuning work to be done when it comes to his decisions in ISO. Stevenson settles for no-dribble jumpers too frequently when guarded and he is not very adept at hitting them. A greater focus on making a quick move or getting rid of the ball would maximize his efficiency. His FG% was extremely poor in 07-08, at 38.5%. Although he's very athletic, he's not a great finisher around the basket, and doesn't get to the free throw line at a great rate. Stevenson doesn't have great size, and his mediocre ball-handling skills often leave him out of control by the time he gets to the rim. He's not crafty enough to compensate at this point.

Defensively, Stevenson struggles with larger wings. He doesn't have the size or length to be physical with larger opponents who have strong games off the dribble, so his ability to lock down against some match ups is limited.

Etan Thomas

Overview: Thomas is a very efficient two-way player with the versatility to play both power forward and center. Though undersized, he is extremely aggressive and uses his powerful frame to back his man down, throw his elbows and shoulders around, and create space to get his shot off. Defensively, Thomas uses the same type of physical, frenetic, style to intimidate his opposition. He's an excellent rebounder on both ends of the floor. Was forced to sit out the 07-08 season with a heart problem, but is scheduled to return in 08-09.

Offense: Thomas is effective in the post, using simple hook shots to score around the basket most often. He doesn't have incredible footwork and is almost completely lacking any use of a jump-shot, but he is extremely effective at using his body to create space and has good finishing ability once he's free for the score. Thomas is a strong player in the team offense as well. He uses basket cuts, pick-and-rolls, and offensive rebounds to get his points. Very intelligent on the court, usually makes the right read and understands his role, even if he's a bit turnover prone. He gets to the free throw line at a decent rate, but shoots a very poor percentage once there.

Defense: Thomas is a harassing style of defender, a long, strong and athletic big man who aggressively bodies up on his man in the post or presses up on him when facing up. He's not afraid to give the hard foul and he keeps active with his help defense. Thomas is a pretty solid weak-side shot-blocker and is solid on the defensive glass. Isn't as comfortable when pulled out onto the perimeter, but gets away with a lot of body contact on drives, so he's good at keeping face-up forwards shooting instead of driving. He's slightly undersized for an NBA center.

Recent articles

10.0 Points
2.8 Rebounds
10.8 Assists
13.2 PER
1.6 Points
2.5 Rebounds
0.6 Assists
7.2 PER
1.3 Points
2.4 Rebounds
0.3 Assists
1.1 PER
7.5 Points
2.8 Rebounds
0.3 Assists
20.7 PER
6.0 Points
0.0 Rebounds
1.0 Assists
-3.3 PER
4.9 Points
1.0 Rebounds
0.4 Assists
9.0 PER
0.0 Points
0.0 Rebounds
0.0 Assists
0.0 PER
2.1 Points
1.4 Rebounds
0.4 Assists
3.2 PER
6.2 Points
5.9 Rebounds
0.6 Assists
18.4 PER
4.5 Points
1.8 Rebounds
1.0 Assists
10.7 PER
3.0 Points
1.3 Rebounds
5.0 Assists
4.6 PER
5.4 Points
1.4 Rebounds
0.4 Assists
14.4 PER
20.7 Points
7.3 Rebounds
3.0 Assists
25.3 PER
17.5 Points
12.0 Rebounds
7.0 Assists
32.6 PER
3.7 Points
1.3 Rebounds
0.6 Assists
11.3 PER
0.0 Points
0.0 Rebounds
0.0 Assists
0.0 PER
5.1 Points
2.2 Rebounds
0.9 Assists
8.1 PER
3.8 Points
2.5 Rebounds
0.3 Assists
7.8 PER
12.6 Points
3.4 Rebounds
8.7 Assists
17.6 PER
3.3 Points
2.8 Rebounds
0.3 Assists
12.1 PER
5.0 Points
2.1 Rebounds
0.8 Assists
7.5 PER
3.0 Points
0.9 Rebounds
0.8 Assists
8.3 PER
17.7 Points
8.5 Rebounds
6.5 Assists
16.2 PER
6.0 Points
1.0 Rebounds
0.0 Assists
15.9 PER
7.3 Points
2.8 Rebounds
1.0 Assists
22.9 PER
2.6 Points
2.4 Rebounds
0.8 Assists
10.9 PER

Twitter @DraftExpress

DraftExpress Shop