NBA Scouting Reports, Southwestern Division (Part Two)

NBA Scouting Reports, Southwestern Division (Part Two)
May 27, 2008, 12:50 am
Continuing our series of articles filling out our database with scouting reports of every single NBA player, we look at the last two teams in the Southwestern division, the New Orleans Hornets and San Antonio Spurs.

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 clicking their profiles or using our search engine above.

Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit
Milwaukee and Indiana
Atlanta, Charlotte and Miami
Orlando and Washington
Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies

New Orleans

Chris Andersen

Overview: An athletic power forward with very good mobility and leaping ability, but a limited feel for the game. Mostly effective as a shot-blocker and rebounder. Displays tremendous foot speed and quickness for a player his size. Jumps out of the gym off of one leg, but isn’t as explosive from a stand still. Possesses good length and passable physical strength. Needed to get back into game shape after an extended absence. Can contribute on the boards, finish at the rim, and contest shots defensively. Struggled academically and with commitment issues, had to play in a handful of domestic minor Leagues and spend some time in China to make it to the NBA out of Blinn Junior College. Spent time at the University of Houston before leaving the school for Blinn. Was the first player to be called up from the NBDL in 2001. Expelled from the League in 2006 for violating the League’s drug policy. Reinstated in 2008, and (understandably) struggled badly in the brief looks he got. Needs to show he hasn’t lost his athleticism to receive another contract after this season. A fan favorite.

Offense: An adequate offensive player due to his athleticism, not his skill. Gets the vast majority of his offense from dump downs from drives, offensive rebounds, and off of cuts. Doesn’t display much of a jump shot, and prefers to attack defenders than shoot when open. Not very apt at putting the ball on the floor for more than one or two dribbles at a time. Can get to the rim when he faces a slower matchup. Moves extremely well without the ball. Will find holes in the defense. Receives a ton of passes under the basket. Can finish at a very solid clip, but is susceptible to fouling. Won’t shoot a good percentage from the line. Loves to run the floor and dunk the ball. Will play above the rim when he gets a chance. Great offensive rebounder. Sets solid screens. Won’t wow anyone with his production or skills, but does the little things necessary to make himself useful.

Defense: Has the foot speed and athleticism to make some impressive plays. Displays the lateral quickness necessary to guard the power forward spot and the strength to defend some centers. Will commit some silly fouls, but can be very effective in spurts. Won’t always stay focused, and doesn’t always get in a good stance. Loves to block shots. Will try to make some plays that he probably shouldn’t. Does a good job boxing out, but can’t always hold position. Doesn’t explode to the ball when it comes off the rim.

Hilton Armstrong

Ryan Bowen

Overview: A veteran defensive specialist who has adequate size and below average athleticism. Pretty tall and long. Can defend both forward spots depending on the match up, but doesn’t show typical characteristics at either position. Is not quick or explosive. Maximizes his physical assets by giving his best effort on every possession. A consummate hustle player. Won’t do much offensively other than accumulating some occasional garbage points and executing his team’s sets. Not the defender he once was. Still passable, but doesn’t make plays at the rate he used to. Was one of the best defenders in the Big 10 during each of the four seasons he spent at Iowa. Has spent some time overseas between NBA contracts. Not an ideal rotation player, but a good spot player due to his experience, hustle, and tremendous intangibles. One of the good guys in the League. May be retained for that reason alone if no significantly more useful players are available when he becomes a free agent this offseason.

Offense: A mediocre offensive player who struggles due to his lack of athleticism and scoring skills. Barely touches the ball offensively. Gets the vast majority of his shots up from spot up and transition opportunities. Displays mediocre shooting mechanics, and doesn’t finish his follow through. Consistently leaves the ball short. Not going to put the ball on the floor to score. Will run the floor hard, set good screens, and get position for offensive boards. Not a risk taker. Won’t turn the ball over, and sports a solid assist to turnover ratio. Sporadic foul shooter. Not a great asset on the offensive end, in fact, ranks as one of the league’s worst per-minute scorers.

Defense: A hustle defender who can really get underneath people’s skin. Will make plays by staying focused, but not by being overly aggressive. Lets the game come to him. Doesn’t show great lateral quickness, but will work hard to stay in front and anticipate drives to the rim. Displays very active hands when he’s defending the ball. Always boxes out, but is just an average rebounder. Shows and willingness to give smart fouls and pursues long rebounds. Does the little things to be effective.

Rasual Butler

Overview: A role player who will knock down outside shots when open and make some plays with his athleticism. Possesses very good size and terrific length. Isn’t very physically strong. Displays good overall athleticism, but isn’t tremendously quick or explosive. Something of a shooting specialist, but isn’t as consistent enough for that to be his calling card. A little bit too one-dimensional considering that he consistently shoots around 40% from the field, and does not get to the free throw line. Was a prolific scorer during all four of the seasons he spent at LaSalle. Played a simply ridiculous number of minutes in those four years. Brings a nice scoring presence off the bench, but will have a hard time finding the success he saw when got extended minutes with the Hornets in the 2006-2007 season, and looks fairly overpaid considering his production.

Offense: A semi-useful offensive role player who gets almost two-third of his shots from spot up opportunities. Displays a smooth jumper that is absolutely gorgeous when he’s in rhythm, but hasn’t been falling the way it did earlier in his career. Isn’t great when he has to shoot on the move. Will release the ball on the way down, leading to misses. Takes more shots from beyond the arc than inside of it. Can put the ball on the floor if he has to, but isn’t an aggressive or creative ball handler. Knows he’s not quick enough to beat his man off the dribble with his poor ball-handling skills. Will use pump fakes to get recovering defenders off the ground and then step in for a mid range jumper. Not great off the dribble. Can be a zone buster, but doesn’t have a lot of successes when there aren’t a few other threats on the floor. Runs the floor well and does a good job getting to the open spot on the perimeter. Good foul shooter, but doesn’t head to the line at a pitiful rate since he lacks the ball-handling skills, strength and toughness. Will get some easy shots around the basket in transition and by being active without the ball. Not a threat on the offensive glass or from the post. Almost never turns the ball over, since he’s primarily a spot-up shooter.

Defense: A solid defender who uses his size and phenomenal length to make it tough on his match up. Does a good job getting low and contesting shots one-on-one. Puts a good effort in, and understands the nuances. Isn’t much of a factor as a help side defender or shot-blocker. Plays solid defense and isn’t a risk taker. Makes an effort to stay in front of his man, but doesn’t always have a favorable matchup. Stiff hips make it tough at times not to get beat. He’s smart, though, and knows how to recover. Rebounds at a decent rate. Will commit some blocking fouls when he can’t get deny penetration. Not the best defender, but far from the worst.

Tyson Chandler

Overview: An incredibly long and athletic center who has developed a reputation as one of the League’s top rebounders. Possesses great height and a huge wingspan, even for the center position. Still very thin, but has improved his frame since entering the League. Simply a ridiculous athlete for his size. Possesses tremendous quickness and leaping ability. Doesn’t have the best feel for the game offensively, but has become a savvy rebounder and defender. Will score some points occasionally on the offensive end by virtue of his size and athleticism, but is still working on his back to the basket game. Not the same player he was coming out of Dominguez High School. Was one of the most highly touted preps in the nation after leading Dominguez to three straight state titles. Has blossomed since landing in New Orleans after five seasons with the Bulls, partially due to the presence of Chris Paul. Has matured off the court. Still has room to grow as a player given his age. Plays with a lot of heart.

Offense: An average offensive player at best who gets about half of his touches from post ups and offensive rebounds. Percentage wise, the best finisher around the basket in the league, making him very efficient overall from the field. Will get a few garbage baskets each game. Works hard without the ball. Runs the floor like a much smaller player and uses his length to his advantage when grabbing offensive rebounders. Sets very solid screens and does a good job rolling to the front of the rim. Will fight for position on the block, but doesn’t have the bulk to get the ball consistently. Fairly mediocre going one on one in the post, more of a catch and finish guy. Rarely puts the ball on the floor and cannot go left at all. Will use some spins and quick jabs that let him use his length to his advantage. Has a decent right handed hook shot, but it lacks polish. Needs to work on his consistency and footwork. Will get pushed out of his shooting motion, leading to misses. Needs to find a consistent release point in all of his moves. The same can be said for his jump shot. Doesn’t take many at all, but it could be a weapon for him if he would simply develop a consistent, high release point, and some basic touch. Will get most of his points in situations when he receives a dump pass or gets the ball at the rim in a non-post up situation. Dunks almost everything in those situations. This feature of his game, coupled with the number of touches he gets at the rim makes him an extremely efficient player based on what he is asked to do. Will finish with contact, but not when a defender really gets a body on him. Goes to the line at a decent rate and shoots a mediocre percentage. Still somewhat turnover prone, but not as much as he used to be. Outstanding offensive rebounder.

Defense: A tremendous defensive presence due to his mix of length and athleticism. Has the quickness to defend the high post and challenge shots from the weakside. Shows good timing when blocking shots, and has improved his one-on-one defense. Doesn’t block as many shots as you might think, but plays very good defense regardless. Still commits some questionable fouls, but is vastly improved in that department. Does a great job boxing out and exploding to the ball to grab rebounds. Can hedge the pick and roll. Will change his fair share of shots and carry the load on the glass.

Melvin Ely

Overview: A role player who never developed into the player he could have been, and hasn’t improved much since entering the league. Possesses good size, a 7-4 wingspan, and very good bulk for the power forward position, but spends a lot of minutes at the 5-spot, making him a bit of a tweener. Mobile player, but not incredibly explosive. Conditioning is questionable. Displays good scoring ability around the basket, but still isn’t terribly efficient. Has the raw tools that you look for in a post scorer, but has yet to develop his individual skills. Basketball IQ is just OK. Had an impressive four year career at Fresno State after being declared ineligible as a freshman. Won the WAC Player of the Year Award as a junior and senior. Has struggled to live up to his late lottery selection. Faces questions about his work ethic and attitude, and needs to answer those questions to see playing time wherever he ends up.

Offense: An average offensive option who gets more than half of his offense one on one in the post. Not going to impress anyone with his jump shot. Doesn’t show good touch from the midrange. Has a much better feel for the game around the basket. Can score a little bit from there. Displays soft hands and great touch from in close. Can’t bully defenders like he did in college, so he isn’t always able to get into a situation where he can use that touch. Displays a nice right handed hook shot, and will even go left from time to time. Needs to work on his consistency with both hands. Will get blocked pretty frequently due to his lack of quickness and explosiveness. Doesn’t get to the free throw line at a great rate, and is mediocre once there. Really needs to extend the range of his offensive repertoire to improve his efficiency. Doesn’t show great awareness when putting the ball on the floor, and has no left hand to speak of. A poor passer, and very turnover prone. Good at getting position on the block, but doesn’t have the athleticism or length to be a great offensive rebounder.

Defense: An adequate defender who has the physical tools to be much better. Has the size of a PF, but is forced to spend much of his time at the 5-spot due to his inability to defend on the perimeter. Doesn’t get in a good stance or go straight up on the shot. Commits lots of unnecessary fouls. Can block shots and fight for position, but needs to improve his work ethic and focus. Lapses in judgment consistently take him out of games. Throws his weight around on the interior. Will grab his share of defensive rebounds, but maybe not quite as much as you’d hope considering his limitations in other areas.

Mike James

Overview: A talented scoring guard who is better at shooting and creating his own shot than running the point. Possesses good quickness and speed, but is severely undersized for the position his skills suit him to play. Has great shooting ability, and can be a nice asset when he can get into a rhythm over the course of a season. Will put up decent assist numbers when he needs to facilitate an offense, but that doesn’t seem to be his natural role. Has been a scorer since his days at Duquesne. Bounced around the world until he found a home with the Miami Heat. Won an NBA Title with the Pistons in 2004. Put up huge numbers for Toronto in 2006, which was a product of his surroundings. Hasn’t had a comparable year since then due to his inability to adapt to his role. Thinks very highly of himself. Can still produce in the right situation if he is willing to adjust his style of play. Has a hard time sliding over to guard the shooting guard position due to his size, making him somewhat of a tweener considering his limitations as a playmaker. May not return to the form that garnered him national attention, but is still a very solid role player.

Offense: Gets almost one third of his touches as a spot up jump shooter with another third coming off of pick and roll situations. Tremendous catch and shoot player. Displays a quick, compact shooting stroke. Possesses good range, and is pretty consistent from beyond the arc. Doesn’t show the same consistency in his midrange game that he did in the past. Pretty good ball handler, albeit somewhat turnover prone. Nice first step. Likes to drive left, but tends to take the ball all the way to the rim when he drives right. Good finisher at the rim, but doesn’t get to the free throw line at a great rate. Finds a way to get open layups. Pretty good pick and roll player due to his ability to pull up from deep. Decent passer. Not a great distributor for a point guard. Often struggles with his shot-selection. Goes out of the offense and plays somewhat selfishly at times.

Defense: A staunch defender who needs to be motivated to be as good as he can be on that end. Doesn’t always hawk the ball like he’s capable of. Can really be a pest when he wants to be. Won’t go after many rebounds. Does a good job closing out defenders off of skip passes. Will lock down ball handlers when he’s amped up. Quick hands and a very aggressive attitude. Will commit some fouls trying to create turnovers, but when he’s giving his best effort he’s a real asset.

Jannero Pargo

Overview: A tremendous scoring combo who is a good stylistic compliment to Chris Paul. Possesses only average size and physical strength for the point guard spot. Shows good quickness and lateral speed. Won’t play above the rim, but can get there occasionally. Plays with a scorer’s mentality, and isn’t known for his playmaking skills. Incredible shot-maker from the perimeter, but is a bit streaky. Never gets rattled, and never loses sight of what he brings to the table. Will play tough defense. Tough player in general with outstanding intangibles. Has become a useful role player. Spent time at Neosho County Community College before playing for Arkansas. Signed with the Lakers as an undrafted free agent, but had to spend time in the minor leagues before returning to the NBA. His playoff performances with the Bulls and then the Hornets were huge for his career. Fits in well with the Hornets. Younger brother Jeremy is a guard at Gonzaga.

Offense: A good offensive point guard who will run the pick and roll and hit spot up shots from the perimeter. Displays a very fundamentally sound shooting stroke and can stretch the floor after he initiates the offense. Good catch and shoot guy. Just as capable off the dribble. Would much rather pull up than attack the rim due to his lack of size and leaping ability. Has the quickness to create separation off the dribble. Can absolutely take over a game at times with his stroke, and change the complexion of the contest—making him a tremendous option to bring off the bench as a change of pace guard. If his shooting stroke isn’t on, though, he can become a liability. Never been known as a terribly efficient player throughout his career, partially due to his struggles converting shots around the rim. Not quite as good as a pure point guard as he is as a scorer. Has improved significantly throughout his career in that respect, though. Used to be very turnover prone. Handles the ball well, and while he may not be a great creator, he is a very solid passer. Very rarely gets to the free throw line. Handles pressure well, and can hit his free throws at a very high rate. Plays within himself, which is a trait that took him time to develop. Extremely confident.

Defense: A very good defender who uses his quickness to hawk the ball, but does not have great length at 6-2. Can be a real nuisance for less athletic point guards. Moves his feet extremely well and maintains a low stance. Will get too aggressive sometimes and get beaten off the dribble, but not often. Commits some fouls by nature of his assertiveness. Does his best to keep the ball out of the lane. Not a risk taker, but plays with a physicality that allows him to be a very good defensive point guard. Struggles when forced to defend shooting guards, though, which happens fairly often. Not strong enough at times to fight through screens on the pick and roll. Lacks the height to contest shots and make an impact on the glass, but will run down long rebounds and do his best to get a hand up when he can.

Chris Paul

Overview: Likely the best point guard in the NBA already, despite his age. Lightning quick and is almost impossible to stay in front of. Can play above the rim despite his lack of height. Doesn’t have an imposing frame, but compensates with great heart and athleticism. Plays bigger than he is. One of the best passers in the game today. Outstanding scorer when needed too. Plays tremendous defense when motivated. Already a franchise player. Garnered first team All-American honors during his sophomore season at Wake Forest. Was obviously a special player from day one with the Demon Deacons. Won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 2006. Played in the 2008 All-Star game. Displays great leadership skills for a player his age. Has a chance to become one of the all-time great point guards in the NBA if he continues along the same trajectory.

Offense: One of the top distributors in the League. Gets about half of his offense in pick and roll situations, but is also capable of starting and finishing the break and taking his man one-on-one. Has improved his jump shot dramatically since entering the League. Forces defenders to respect his three point shot, a key to his development. Becoming a very consistent catch and shoot guy. Makes a killing off the dribble. Extremely efficient in general offensively. Impossible to stay in front of and can either pull up or finish at the rim. One of the most creative finishers in the game. Isn’t limited by his height unlike most comparably sized players. Runs the pick and roll as well as anybody. Turns the corner and then breaks down the defense with his tremendous ball handling ability. Gets in the lane, draws the defense, and finds his teammates. Does a very good job seeing the floor and reading defenders. Fantastic at controlling tempo—which is a key to New Orleans’ success. Makes everyone around him considerably better. Does not turn the ball over at all for how much he handles it. Turning into one of the game’s most dynamic offensive players.

Defense: Very good on this end when he puts his mind to it, considering his limitations. Uses his unbelievable lateral quickness and 6-4 wingspan to dart in front of passes to create turnovers. Displays very good anticipation and quick hands when going for strips and deflections. Tough to get by due to his speed and improved strength. Struggles on the pick and roll, often late getting out and doesn’t do a great job fighting through screens. Can get posted up effectively due to his lack of size, or shot over the top of on the perimeter. Solid rebounder for his size and position. Will get anything that bounces long off the rim. Never late to a loose ball either.

Morris Peterson

Overview: Role-playing swingman who has seen his role decrease in recent seasons. Has very good size, length and strength for the shooting guard spot. Displays decent athleticism, but his physical tools aren’t the best. Can knock down shots from the perimeter and put the ball on the floor with decent effectiveness, but has become more and more of a one-dimensional shooter as of late. Knows how to score, but was never the most efficient player around. Will make some plays defensively, but used to be better on this end of the floor. Improved during each of his five seasons at Michigan State, especially as a shooter. Won an NCAA Championship with the Spartans in 2000. Had his ups and down during the first seven years of his career in Toronto, but was always an asset for them. Can do some nice things within his limitations and fits his role well.

Offense: Off the ball lefty that is mostly a shooter for the Hornets. Really takes a lot of 3’s. Over 55% of his attempts from behind the arc. Displays a very consistent jump shot and has very consistent three point range. Great catch and shoot guy. Good footwork on the perimeter. Not as effective off the dribble. Average ball handler. Only a decent finisher too. Rarely gets to the free throw line. Moves the ball on the perimeter, but doesn’t create for his teammates. Doesn’t turn the ball over much either. Brings a lot to the table as a perimeter scorer, but doesn’t do a whole lot in close. Runs the floor well. Knows how to get open and can finish the break. Shows good hustle and has no problem taking physical contact when he gets a lead pass in transition. Knocks down his free throws at a decent clip.

Defense: A solid perimeter defender whose intensity allows him to use his size and strength to his advantage. Has a 6-10 wingspan. Couples his physical stature with above average lateral quickness, which has begun to decline as of late. Using his hands a little too much these days. Gets in a low stance and shows good footwork. Uses his length well to contest shots, but can get beat off the dribble. Doesn’t take many risks, which is probably good for a player who lacks elite athleticism. Average rebounder for his position. Plays smart. Shows solid defensive intangibles. Will create some turnovers, but isn’t consistent on that front. Effectiveness on the defensive end has decreased as of late, and in turn so have his minutes.

Peja Stojakovic

Overview: A tremendous shooter who will score at a high rate despite his lack of elite athleticism. Great size and decent bulk for the small forward spot. Doesn’t show great foot speed or leaping ability, but can get by on his anticipation and experience. Has an impressive offensive repertoire, but does most of his damage with his jump shot. Adequate defender due to his basketball IQ. Grew up in Serbia, but spent quite a bit of his career in Greece. Didn’t make the move to the NBA immediately after being drafted. Wasn’t an overnight success either. Turned the corner during his second year with the Kings. Has had quite a few injuries, but finally managed to stay healthy for the first time in years in 07/08. One of the top European players in the game has the reputation of getting extremely hot from three point range. Two time Three-Point Contest champion. Three time All-Star.

Offense: One of the best shooters the game has to offer. Does most of his damage in that way whether he’s moving off of screens, spotting up, or getting open in transition. Has one of the quickest and purest releases on the planet. Almost impossible to contest due to his size and the quickness in which he gets his shot off. Doesn’t care if there’s a hand in his face. Almost as consistent when defended than when open, which is truly unusual. Lights out from three point range. Only decent off the dribble. Arguably the best catch and shoot player in the League. Doesn’t do a whole lot of scoring at the rim, but works off the ball to find easy looks. Runs the floor well and finds his way to his hot spots in transition. Pretty good ball handler. Rarely gets to the free throw line, but is one of the league’s best once there. Isn’t flashy or quick, but can get where he needs to go. Decent passer, but turns the ball over at a miniscule rate. Moves the ball well on the perimeter, but doesn’t create shots for his teammates. Pretty effective post game. Not just a great shooter, but a very seasoned and polished player across the board.

Defense: A decent defender who plays with savvy. Isn’t athletic or explosive enough to be a lock down defender. Doesn’t have the lateral quickness to stay in front of many offensive players. Uses his basketball IQ to anticipate and funnel players towards his help defense, instead of relying on his physical skills. Great size helps in this regard. Uses his hands extremely well. Will create some turnovers due to his length and intelligence. Not going to be able to defend every player he’s matched up with. Will do his best when it counts. Can defend both forward spots, but doesn’t have the ideal tools for either one. Average rebounder.

Bonzi Wells

Overview: A veteran shooting guard who has proven to be a very gifted offensive talented when he’s able to put it all together. Has great bulk for a shooting guard. May even be a little bit overweight, but he hasn’t done much about it. Possesses decent athleticism. Displays all the talents you look for in a volume off the bench scorer. Shoots it well from mid-range. Uses his dribble well. Makes some plays at the rim. Even shows some effort defensively, but not often enough. Was a dominant player at Ball State garnering the MAC Player of the Year Award in 1996 and 1998. Has had his share of problems off the court and with coaches, and has bounced around the league considerably for that reason. Shot-selection, body language is often questionable. Will be a free agent in the summer of 2008. At age 31, and considering his off-court track record and recent decline after foolishly turning down a massive contract offer from Sacramento, he isn’t quite as attractive a prospect as he once was.

Offense: Somewhat of an undersized 4-man who has semi-effectively made the transition to playing on the perimeter, but still retained many of his advantages as a mismatch threat. Capable scorer who can put up bigger numbers inefficiently. Gets a quarter of his touches in spot up situations with another third coming off of isolations and post ups. Has a reliable jumper, but isn’t very consistent from three point range. Can really score from midrange and in. Knows how to use his body to create separation. Not a great catch and shoot guy. Likes to use his dribble to set up his shots. Likes to go to the basket when driving left. Needs to improve his free throw percentage. Adequate ball handler. Moves to ball well around the perimeter. Gets a little too aggressive off the dribble at times, leading to excessive turnovers. Good post game. Great hands, touch around the rim. Uses fakes to create opportunities around the basket. Solid finisher due to his strength and length. Very good offensive rebounder.

Defense: A solid defender who doesn’t always bring the effort he needs to. Has improved since his rookie season, but still won’t exert himself consistently. Doesn’t have the quickness to keep some swingmen out of the lane. Can use his strength against those same players to push them off the block if they try to post up. Would rather go after rebounds than close out shooters. Much more apt at defending forwards than guards. Good rebounder. Will swipe and the ball and strip it away once a game or so. Plays smarter than he once did. Doesn’t always maximize that.

David West

Overview: A talented young power forward who is one of the most underrated players in the game today. Not terribly tall for a power forward, but has a 7-4 wingspan, and good bulk. Not super quick or explosive. Simply knows how to play the game effectively, and has improved his skill-level dramatically thanks to his terrific work ethic and drive. Has a big heart, and is a true competitor. Tremendous offensive player from the midrange in. Very savvy rebounder. High basketball IQ. Had a distinguished four year career at Xavier. Won the A10 Player of the Year Award as a sophomore, junior, and senior. Was a First Team All-American as a senior. Really came on during his third season in the League. Has great chemistry with Chris Paul. Played in the All-Star game in 2008.

Offense: A very good offensive talent who makes a living with his ability to score from midrange. Gets about half of his offense from spot ups in the midrange and back to the basket opportunities in the low post. Displays a consistent midrange jumper which allows him to float out of the post and knock down the numerous open looks he sees. Capable ball-handler for a player at his position. Nice turnaround jump shot. Decent hook as well. Good back to the basket game, but not spectacular. Prefers to face-up and create a good scoring opportunity for himself in the mid-range, like a small forward would. Average finisher at the rim—not terribly explosive vertically. Moves well in transition and in half court settings. Takes contact well. Shoots a decent amount of free throws, at a good clip. Rebounds well on the offensive end. Sets very good screens. Displays good awareness when moving into open areas. Plays hard, smart, and with a polish beyond his years.

Defense: A very solid defensive power forward who isn’t dynamic, but very serviceable. Uses his strength to his advantage, but lacks to athleticism or size to be a lock down defender. Blocks quite a few shots for a player who isn’t an explosive leaper, mostly thanks to his timing and length. Knows how to use his feet to defend the post rather than using brute force alone. Uses his hands well when defending the block. Boxes out on every possession. Would rebound at a higher rate if Tyson Chandler wasn’t around. Does a good job rebounding his area. Not foul prone. Plays like a veteran.

San Antonio Spurs

Brent Barry

Overview: A veteran swingman who is extremely efficient on the offensive end. Good size for his position, but not very strong. Used to be an incredibly explosive athlete. Still has some speed and leaping ability left, but they are not as prolific as they once were. Functions mostly as a fantastic shooter, one of the league’s best actually in efficiency categories. Can score and facilitate the players around him as well. Will give some effort on defense, but that will never be what keeps him on the floor. Wasn’t an overnight success at Oregon State, but developed into a very versatile player by his senior year. Could run the point early in his career, but has evolved into a shooting specialist. Fits what the Spurs are looking for in a role player perfectly. Won NBA Championships with the Spurs in 2005 and 2007. Father Rick and brothers Drew and Jon played in the NBA.

Offense: A highly effective offensive player who fits his role perfectly. Gets a ridiculous 70% of his shots as a spot up three point shooter, but hits them a great clip. Probably the most efficient catch and shoot player in the game today, and has been for years. Displays a very quick shooting stroke with high arc that has ridiculous touch despite its lack of follow through. Makes a killing as a set shooter. Will take some jumpers off the dribble, but is only decent. Doesn’t put the ball on the floor to attack the basket very often. Won’t get to the rim often in general. Almost never gets to the free throw line, but is one of the league’s best once there. Will finish fast breaks periodically, or work off the ball for an easy basket, but doesn’t look to score in that way. Handles the ball extremely well. Seldom turns the ball over. Great assist to turnover ratio. Moves the ball extremely well on the perimeter. Super high basketball IQ. An ideal fit in San Antonio.

Defense: An average defender who appears to be better due to the players around him. Struggles on the pick and roll. Displays poor lateral quickness, and will get beaten off the dribble when iso’d. Plays crafty defense, though, reads the scouting report, and won’t fall for fakes. Knows where his help is. Will come up with some steals in passing lanes. Not a dynamic defender, but plays within San Antonio’s concept.

Matt Bonner

Overview: An intelligent power forward who can shoot at a decent clip from the outside and rebound at a decent rate. Good size for a shooter, but has alligator arms. Could stand to lose some weight to improve his mediocre foot speed. Doesn’t show a lot of explosiveness. Makes a living as a spot up shooter who doesn’t make mistakes. Doesn’t have the athleticism to be a dynamic player. Plays within his role. Has been a solid player since his days at Florida. Clearly understands how to play the game, and what he needs to do to maximize what he has. Brings a lot to the table as a spot rotation player. Won an NBA Championship with the Spurs in 2007. Role might grow once Robert Horry retires.

Offense: A solid offensive player who is asked to function as a set shooter from the perimeter to create matchup problems at the power forward position. Gets more than half of his touches as a spot up shooter. Displays a pretty ugly jumper, but it is tough to argue with its consistent results. Shoots the three at a very respectable clip. Does a very good job spreading the floor. Great catch and shoot guy. Functional from the midrange as well. Doesn’t do much damage off the dribble. Will find ways to score around the basket. Good feel for scoring in general. Won’t shoot a good percentage with defenders around him, but finds ways to get open. Moves extremely well without the ball and knows when he can get an easy basket. Will grab some offensive rebounds. Passes well for a post player, and knows how to take care of the ball. Fits his role perfectly.

Defense: A very mediocre defender. Gives a good effort, but lacks the athleticism or length to stop most players at his position. Will get routinely beaten off the dribble. Has the bulk to defend the post, but isn’t going to hinder most players. Tries his best, but is still just an offensive specialist. Rebounds at a decent clip, despite his mediocre wingspan. Would be a liability on other teams, but has found a very comfortable niche in San Antonio.

Bruce Bowen

Overview:A self-made player who worked his way up the ladder starting from the very bottom. An average player at Cal-State Fullerton. Spent time in 2nd division France, not considered good enough for the first division, cut from there actually. Played in the CBA as well until he got his break. Below average athlete and all-around talent. Learned how to become a good enough spot-up shooter from the corners to not be a complete offensive liability. Arguably the best defensive wing player in the NBA for a long time now. Has been a key part of San Antonio’s identity, and a major part of the success they’ve enjoyed. Embodies the toughness and selflessness that characterizes the team. Has played 30+ minutes per game for the last six seasons now. 37 years old, but hasn’t lost much effectiveness yet. Played and started in an incredible 500 straight games from 2002 to 2008 until he finally missed one due to a suspension. Quiet guy who does his job, without making a fuss. Plays with the same intensity for every minute he’s on the floor. Work ethic, intangibles are off the charts.

Offense:A role player in every sense. Not a scoring threat at all considering the volume of minutes he plays. An incredible 75% of his offense comes on spot-up jumpers. The rest comes moving off screens or in transition. 50% of his attempts from the field come from beyond the arc. Excellent 3-point shooter at 42% in 07-08. Shoots a similar percentage from the field. Terrific on the catch and shoot, but struggles shooting off the dribble. An average ball-handler who lacks the first step or creativity to get to the basket, but doesn’t need to in San Antonio’s offense. Prefers to go left and is more likely to pull-up off the dribble than get all the way to the basket. Not an explosive leaper by any stretch. Barely gets to the free throw line, where he traditionally struggles, but has improved to a career high 65% in 07-08. Not much of a facilitator for others—again, not a surprise considering his role, but almost never turns the ball over either.

Defense: One of the grittiest perimeter defenders in the NBA. Always assigned to guard the opposing team’s best perimeter player. Has excellent size and length for the wing positions, but is effective primarily because of how hard he works to stick with his man. Does a fantastic job following his matchup without the ball. Fights through screens like his life depends on it, and doesn’t give his man an inch to breathe. Has outstanding footwork and anticipation skills. Even when he gets beat, has a unique gift of understanding angles and being able to recover to the spot his matchup will get to, before he gets there. Reads the scouting report and does a fantastic job executing it. Bumps his man viciously out of his comfort zone and does a great job denying space. Does not bite on jabs or fakes. Pesky defender who understands the nuances of effectively contesting shots. Has been accused of being dirty at times for his part in other players’ injuries. Certainly knows how to bend the rules, and has no qualms about doing whatever it takes to get the job done. Does not gamble in the passing lanes at all, and doesn’t come up with many steals at all. Knows what he wants to give up and will bait his man intelligently into shooting what he wants him to.

Tim Duncan

Overview: A future Hall Of Famer with amazing fundamentals. Great size and strength for the power forward or center position. Adequate mobility and explosiveness, but isn’t as elite an athlete as he is a player. Dominates the game from low to high post. Has all kinds of offensive skills to match his high basketball IQ. One of the most complete offensive posts the game has ever seen. Does everything a team could ask from a star power forward. Not flashy, but that has never stopped him from taking over games. Dominates the glass and the paint defensively. Makes plays on both ends. Was a dominate collegiate player during his junior and senior seasons at Wake Forest, but the fact that he had the goods became obvious during his freshman year. Won the ACC Player of the Year Award during both seasons. Was named the Naismith Award winner as a senior. Turned the momentum he gained during his final collegiate seasons into great NBA success. Very coachable and hard working. Stoic by nature. Will play with passion, but usually won’t show it. One of the most decorated players in NBA history. Won the Rookie of the Year Award in 1998. Ten time All-Star. Two time NBA MVP. Has won NBA Championships as a Spur in 1999, 2003, 2005, and 2007. Does a lot of good work off the court. Great leader. One of the All-Time greats.

Offense: The primary post scorer in San Antonio’s system. Gets almost half of his offense off of post ups with another significant portion coming from pick and rolls, spot ups, and offensive rebounds. Still an excellent per-minute scorer. Displays a very consistent shooting stroke with range all the out to 17 feet. Loves the bank shot, but will knock down jumpers from all sorts of angles. Releases the ball at a very high angle, making him a great shooter from in close as well. Can use a single dribble to move past a recovering defender before shooting. Great touch at the rim with both hands. Finishes at the rim at a great clip. Gets to the free throw line at a great rate. Does a good job creating his own possessions by rolling to the rim, moving without the ball, and grabbing offensive rebounds. Sound ball handler for his height. Good, but not flashy passer. Not the quickest player in the post, but is a master of fakes and pivots. Displays amazing footwork. Can knock down hooks with both hands, but likes to turn over his left shoulder. Makes a killing from the left block. Tough to guard in the post due to his height and touch. The most fundamentally sound offensive player in the game. Great offensive rebounder. Tremendously effective. His only true weakness is his foul shooting—but even that improved to 73% in 07/08, his best mark in 6 years. Doesn’t mind when his teammates take shots from him, and shows a great deal of trust in them despite his status as an elite scorer.

Defense: One of the League top post defenders, if not THE top. Does a great job contesting shots at the rim, and while he isn’t the quickest player, he displays great anticipation and timing. Will block a few shots each game due to his ability to read players attacking the rim. Defends the post one-on-one as well as any player in the game. Doesn’t fall for fakes and always gets a hand up. Goes straight up whenever he expects contact. Won’t foul often despite his style of defense. One of the best rebounders in the game. Can rebound out of his area due to his combination of length and anticipation. Definitely a game changer.

Michael Finley

Overview: A veteran swingman who may not be as explosive as he once was, but is still an effective player. Has very good size for the shooting guard position. Not the physical specimen he once was, but still very solid by NBA standards. Used to be one of the most explosive leapers in the game. Still moves pretty well, and is capable of taking his man off the dribble. Relegated to a complementary role at this point, almost entirely as a spot-up shooter. Capable defensively as well. Was a dominant player at Wisconsin for all three seasons he stayed there after his freshman year. Learned to play in an up-tempo style as a Badger. Had a great rookie season with the Suns, but became a star with the Mavericks under Don Nelson. Two time All-Star. Won the NBA Championship with the Spurs in 2007. Will be looking to either stay with the Spurs or sign on with another competitor as a free agent this offseason.

Offense: A once dynamic offensive player who is now a fairly one-dimensional offensive role player. Gets well more than 65% of his touches as a spot up shooter. Does very little damage at the rim anymore, and almost never gets to the free throw line. Used to be known more for his forays to the rim. Displays a very consistent shooting stroke, and connects from three point range at a high rate. Takes a ton of threes. Will do quite a bit of scoring from the midrange as well. Likes to drive left. Will knock down pull up jumpers at a decent rate. Seldom takes a dribble to attack the rim. Good ball handler and passer. Turns the ball over at an absurdly low rate for his position and minutes. An effective player who is one of San Antonio’s more aggressive offensive role players. More productive, but less efficient than some of his counterparts.

Defense: A solid perimeter defender despite his age. Still has the lateral quickness to keep most shooting guards out of the lane. Plays significantly different now than he did a few years ago. Doesn’t take almost any risks. Plays hard and lets his man make mistakes. Displays a very good stance. Shows very good defensive foot work. Always goes after long rebounds. Isn’t a difference maker, but has become a prototypical sound Spurs defender.

Manu Ginobili

Overview: A left-handed shooting guard who is deceptively athletic and tremendously skilled. One of the best all-around players in the league at his position. Easily the biggest steal of all-time in the draft considering where he was selected—57th! Decent build for his position. Really gets the most out of his athleticism. Has a nice first step, superb fluidity and surprising leaping ability. Possesses a great offensive skill set. Can score in a number of different ways thanks to his terrific body control, but does so efficiently. Plays good defense too. One of the craftiest players in the League. Honed his craft in Argentina in his youth, but became what he is playing in Italy before coming to the NBA. Used his experience to his advantage and became a very good player early in his tenure with the Spurs. One time All-Star. Comes off the bench despite his status as a star player. Very effective when used in that way. Per-minute one of the best players in the NBA. Doesn’t get nearly enough credit for how good he is. Keeps getting better and better too. Took time to develop the trust of his coaching staff, but is arguably San Antonio’s most important player now. A phenomenal teammate, has no ego--intangibles are off the charts. Won NBA Championships with the Spurs in 2003, 2005, and 2007.

Offense: A dynamic offensive player who makes a huge impact off the bench. Gets a third of his shots running the pick and roll and another quarter as a spot up shooter. Displays a very consistent lefty jumper with impressive consistency from three point range. Wasn’t always as great of a shooter, but has worked extremely hard to become one. Takes a lot of threes. Great catch and shoot player. Takes more shots off the dribble than from a stand still. Connects at a respectable pace. Great ball handler and a tremendous passer. Can get minutes at the point and run the offense. Displays deceptive quickness, and even more deceptive leaping ability. Turns the corner on the pick and roll consistently, and gets in the lane at a very impressive rate. Slithery player who is as unorthodox as they come. Simply outsmarts his competition. Will dunk the ball at the rim, hard, and even in traffic when he gets a running start. Very creative when he can’t get above the rim. Displays tremendous touch on his finger roll. Will go right into the defense to draw contact. Goes to the line at a superb rate. Shoots a very good percentage from the foul line. Extremely efficient player in general.

Defense: An extremely intelligent defender who reads the game and makes plays because of it. Plays aggressive on ball defensive. Gets in a low stance and slides his feet. Will get called for some blocking fouls, but will also draw a ton of charges. Largely considered a flopper, but he certainly knows how to make an impact with that skill. Reads passing lanes extremely well. Gets a lot of strips and deflections. Will block shots in transition too. Surprisingly explosive when he comes over from the weak side. Very good rebounder for his position. Not afraid to get physical.

Robert Horry

Overview: A veteran power forward who has proven to be one of the best luxuries a contending team can afford, but is pretty much at the end of his career now. Great size and good strength for his position. Used to have a deceptive first step. Won’t show much explosiveness anymore. Can make an impact on the offensive end due to his versatility, but will always be known for his clutch shooting. Pretty solid defender as well. Was never a dominant player at Alabama, but had a very productive four years. Has had simply ridiculous success and longevity as a role player in the NBA. Won NBA Championships in 1994 and 1995 with the Houston Rockets, in 2000, 2001, and 2002 with the Lakers, and in 2005 and 2007 with the Spurs. One of the most successful players in the history of the game when it comes to team playoff success.

Offense: Essentially a situational spot up shooter at this point in his career. Gets well over half of his shots up from spot up situations. Displays a fluid stroke with range. No longer shooting a great percentage from three point range, but you know he will when it counts. Great catch and shoot player historically. Loves to take the big shots. Won’t put the ball on the floor to score. Takes the vast majority of his shots from three point range at this points. Displays that ability to work off the ball and duck into the paint to get some easy baskets at the rim. Isn’t a great finisher at this point due to his lack of explosiveness. Good offensive rebounder. Excellent passer with a terrific assist to turnover ratio. Isn’t nearly as involved in the game as he used to be. Was never an efficient player, but has seen his percentages drop into the low 30’s recently.

Defense: A solid veteran defender whose size, length, and smarts make him a nice asset. Has too much experience and too good of an attitude to not be a good defender. Will get in a low stance and fight for the position on the block when he has to. Gets his fair share of strips and blocks in the post. Average rebounder. Always boxes out. Clearly not as effective here as he once was, and thus doesn’t play many minutes anymore.

Dermarr Johnson

Overview:Oversized, long wing player with a scoring mentality. Silky smooth and highly skilled offensively. One of the most highly touted high school players in his class, but never really lived up to his immense potential. Incredibly smooth and instinctive, but never really got the kind of coaching on the fundamentals that he needed. Drafted 6th overall by Atlanta in 2000. Was involved in a serious car accident in 2002 that may have contributed to his struggles. Spent time in Denver, and started off the 07/08 season in Italy with Benetton Treviso. Struggled badly there, and was promptly cut. Very talented from the perimeter, but falls in love with his shot far too much. Doesn’t play much defense. Somewhat of a tweener. Attitude, body language often looks questionable. Strange fit on the Spurs.

Offense: Extremely skilled 6-9 small forward. Has excellent instincts offensively. Not surprising to see why he was drafted so high. Smooth and athletic. Can put the ball on the floor, pull-up off the dribble or knock down shots from behind the arc. Has nice mechanics, a super quick release and can get his shot off whenever he pleases at his height. Shot-selection is questionable at times, making him fairly streaky from game to game. Close to 50% of his attempts come from behind the 3-point line. Very skinny and not super explosive around the rim. Has a very quick first step, and is a solid ball-handler, but has a tendency to get himself in trouble putting the ball on the floor at his height. Can create his own shot from the perimeter regardless. Decision making is questionable at times, doesn’t value the ball quite as much as you might hope. A super talent who never really put it all together.

Defense: Has great physical tools at the position—size, tremendous length, athleticism, but is a mediocre defender at best on the perimeter. Lacks fundamentals, doesn’t get into any type of real stance, and doesn’t usually put in all that much effort. Doesn’t fight through screens, lacks strength and will get posted up by stronger players on occasion. Can get his hands in the passing lanes. Just an average rebounder considering his tools.

Ian Mahinmi

Fabricio Oberto

Overview: A gritty power forward who uses his feel for the game to make an impact as a complimentary post player. Another great international find by the Spurs. A bit undersized and slender for the center spot. Fights for position to maximize his physical assets. Runs the floor hard. Is much more fluid than explosive. Makes a living by using his basketball IQ to be in the right place at the right time. Extremely efficient on the offensive end. Great touch on his shots. Always manages to get open around the rim. Good passer. Plays hard on the defensive end. Gives smart fouls. Smart player. Had a well decorated career overseas. Won just about everywhere he went. Took him some time to adjust to the NBA, but became a very useful player once he did. Ideal role player.

Offense: Not a great scorer, but one of the most efficient offensive role players in the League. Gets a third of his touches off of cuts with another portion of his offense coming from spot up opportunities and pick and rolls. Displays a reliable midrange stroke, and functions as a highly efficient catch and shoot player. Moves extremely well without the ball and gets a ton of easy layups at the rim. Barely gets to the free throw line, and has never been considered a great shooter once there. Displays very good touch with both hands at the rim. Won’t create his own shot, but will finish his opportunities at a better rate than almost any player in the game. Sets great screens. Great offensive rebounder. Very fundamentally sound. Excellent passer. Minimizes mistakes. Really competes.

Defense: A very savvy defensive player who doesn’t make a lot of plays, but is extremely sound. Has the lateral quickness to defend the high post, but it is his low post defense that is truly impressive. Does a tremendous job going straight up and getting in the way of his man’s moves. Doesn’t fall for fakes or get caught out of position. Tough for less polished players to score on since he makes shots that they could normally get off that much harder. Slightly undersized, though, and not incredibly explosive on top of that. Good rebounder with great hands. Will create some turnovers. Gives smart fouls when he’s beat. Brings great intangibles to the defensive end. A master flopper. Tough as nails.

Tony Parker

Overview: A unique point guard with great speed and an aptitude for shooting an unreal percentage from the field. Decent size for the point guard position. Has a ridiculous first step. Very tough to keep him out of the lane. Changes directions on a dime with the ball in his hands. One of the fastest players in the League. His legs are what make the Spurs go. Has a pretty unusual style for a point guard. Gets a ton of points in the paint and can score in a number of ways from in close. Beats his man off the dribble frequently. Has a reliable midrange jumper, but is still try to find his range from deep. Good distributor. Great in transition. Capable defender. Cerebral player. Won NBA Championships with the Spurs in 2003, 2005, and 2007. Leads by example. Incredibly aggressive--has tremendous self-confidence, but is highly coachable. Gregg Popovich has done an amazing job maximizing his strengths and keeping him under control. Two time All-Star. Father Tony was a professional basketball player overseas, as are his brothers TJ and Pierre.

Offense: One of the most dynamic offensive players in the game today. Gets almost half of his offense running the pick and roll, but also functions as a spot up shooter as well. Displays a nice looking jump shot from mid-range, and is trying to incorporate the three ball into his game, but isn’t consistent at all with it yet. Doesn’t get much elevation, which makes him hesitant to shoot with a hand in his face. Won’t get a ton of catch and shoot opportunities. Does most of his shooting off the dribble. Displays a quick release and has no trouble getting his shot off from the midrange. Makes a living in the paint. Gets in the lane at a simply ludicrous rate for a point guard. Is essentially impossible to stay in front off. Goes left or right equally well, which is impressive. Even when a defender does manage to cut him off, he’ll simply change direction and go right to the rim. Knocks down a ton of floaters and short range jumpers. Would much rather go to the rim than pull up. Finishes at an extremely high rate despite his size. Goes to the line at a high rate and shoots an improvable percentage from there. A unique player in that he scores a ton of points in paint for from the point guard position. Does a good job getting his teammates involved as well. Has gotten better and better at minimizing turnovers. Solid passer who can execute in the half-court, but doesn’t have amazing court vision. Not a selfish player, just not as instinctive a playmaker as some of the other top point guards in the league. Catalyzes San Antonio’s offense by drawing defenders off the dribble before dishing the ball back out to the perimeter. While the player he passes to may not take the shot, he creates numerous spot up opportunities for the players who receive subsequent swing passes. The oil that makes the engine run.

Defense: A talented defensive point guard who will hawk the ball the length of the floor and make some plays. Does a very good job using his feet and not his hands. Always in front of the play. Can keep up with any point guard in the game. Doesn’t create many turnovers despite his quick feet and fast hands. Not very physical, but sound nonetheless. Isn’t going to effectively contest shots due to his lack of size. Won’t over commit when he is closing out on the perimeter. Turns long rebounds into layups. Always gets into position to receive the outlet immediately after the ball is secured.

Damon Stoudamire

OverviewDiminutive point guard who had a solid NBA career, somewhat overshadowed by off-court (mostly marijuana) issues, and probably only has a few more seasons left in the tank. Severely undersized at 5-10, but was a tremendous shooter, scorer and distributor in his heyday. Rookie of the year in 1996. Forced his way out of Memphis after realizing the direction they’re headed, and joined San Antonio in hopes of winning a championship.

Offense: Has a nice looking stroke from the perimeter, and has been known to heat up from time to time and go off on prolific scoring bursts. Somewhat of a streaky shooter who takes a high volume of 3-pointers. Forced to rely on it more and more as his career progressed and he lost some of the incredible quickness that made him such an exciting player years ago. Still an excellent ball-handler with either hand. Can pull-up off the dribble from mid-range and punish defenders who go underneath screens. Gets a lot of his offense off the pick and roll, where he makes pretty good decisions. Is generally a solid floor general who reads the court well and can find the open man effectively. Still somewhat turnover prone, which has been a problem for him his entire career. Has good quickness still and likes to push the ball in the open floor. Struggles badly finishing inside due to his poor size, and rarely gets to the free throw line. Much more likely to pull up off the dribble than take the ball all the way to the basket. Can nicely finish with a floater, though.

Defense: Will always be considered a defensive liability due to his lack of size and strength. Really struggles fighting through screens, and doesn’t have the length needed to contest shots of bigger players. Doesn’t really make up for it with his technique or intensity.

Kurt Thomas

Overview: A veteran power forward who can knock down the midrange shot, rebound extremely well and play sound defense. Has average height for a power forward. Pretty strong down low. Gets up and down the floor adequately despite lacking ideal speed. Not very explosive at the rim. Doesn’t make a living on his athleticism, but rather on his skills. Good shooter from the midrange. Can score with his back to the basket as well. Rebounds well on both ends. Plays tough defense. Isn’t going to surprise anyone with his game, but is very solid and consistent. Really became a great player in his last two years at TCU. Named SWC Player of the Year as a senior in 1995. Has had a nice career in the NBA. Isn’t a dominant player, but is a luxury for a team that needs consistent minutes from the post.

Offense: A solid but unspectacular post player who brings a veteran presence to Seattle’s youthful offense. Gets more than half of his offense as a spot up shooter and as the roll man on pick and rolls. Possesses a relatively consistent jumper, which accounts for the vast majority of his shots. Likes to pick and pop. Can connect from the midrange at a decent clip, but isn’t nearly as effective as he once was. Is most efficient when he’s operating off the ball. Displays great savvy around the basket. Knows exactly how to get open for easy baskets. Capable of finishing with contact, but is usually wide open when he gets the ball. Will get sent to the line, but shoots a poor percentage. Great offensive rebounder considering his lack of athleticism. Great passer. Seldom commits a turnover.

Defense: A solid post defender who is more sound than aggressive. Knows how to use his body to keep his man off the block. Very crafty and experienced. May not have elite quickness or strength, but gets a lot out of what he does have. Won’t fall for fakes or get outsmarted on the block. Blocks shots despite his lack of athleticism, an indication of his awareness. Very sure handed. Collects rebounds and loose balls with decent efficiency. One of the smartest post defenders around.

Ime Udoka

Overview: A quality backup small forward who does the little things to help his team. Solid size and strength on the wing. Owns a big wingspan. Runs the floor well, but is an average athlete overall. Has the skills to be a very good role player. Good shooting stroke from the outside. Rebounds pretty well on both ends. Takes care of the ball, which is key for a rotation player getting limited minutes on a good team. Plays tough defense. Plays under control, but always hustles. Spent time at Eastern Utah, San Francisco, and finally Portland State during his college career. Has played all over the world. A very good player in the NBADL. Needed quite a bit of time to polish his game. Turned a good season with the Trailblazers into a deal with the Spurs. Sister Mfon played in the WNBA.

Offense: A versatile offensive player who provides a nice situational presence. Gets more than half of his offensive in spot up situations. Displays a smooth jumper with decent range. Good catch and shooter player from the midrange. Knocks downs shots off the dribble at a good clip. Not a very good ball-handler. Almost exclusively drives right. Rarely gets to the free throw line. Moves well without the ball and does a good job rotating the ball on the perimeter. Not turnover prone. Finishes at the rim at a good clip. Does a good job getting out on the wing in transition and finishing when he receives lead passes. Not a dynamic presence on the floor, but an effective option in limited minutes.

Defense: A solid defender who makes an impact in his time on the floor. Won’t back down from any matchup. Will physically defend ball handlers make an effort to contest shots. Doesn’t have great lateral quickness at the 2 or great size at the 3, but makes hustle plays. Will get beat off the dribble at times, but is a very aware team defender. Will get on the floor to secure loose balls. Uses his length and athleticism to collect steals and deflect passes. Brings a lot to the table in limited minutes.

Jacque Vaughn

Overview: A veteran point guard who is better known for his defense and speed than anything else. Lacks size for his position. Possesses great lateral quickness, something he takes full advantage of on the defensive end. Doesn’t show a lot of vertical explosiveness. Makes a living by playing his role. Takes care of the ball and does a good job initiating the offense. Never been known as much of a long-rage shooter, but is solid from mid-range. Would much rather set up a teammate than score himself. More dynamic on the defensive end. Hawks the ball relentlessly. Shows good hands and gets a lot of steals for a role player. High basketball IQ and solid intangibles makes him an effective player and good locker room presence. Had a nice career at Kansas. Does a lot of the same things he did in college as a pro. Became a more efficient point guard once he entered the League. An ideal backup point guard, especially on a team that values defense and has bench scorers on the wing like the Spurs.

Offense: Not a very creative scorer, but plays his role. A decent veteran point guard who makes plays as a spot up shooter from the midrange, and as the ball handler in pick and roll situations. Displays good form on his jumper, but doesn’t have great range or consistency. More imposing shooter off the dribble. Good ball handler. Possesses a solid first step. Has little trouble turning the corner on pick and roll situations, but can get in the lane consistently off the dribble as well. Finishes at a decent rate for a player his size. Won’t take contested shots at the basket. Gets to the free throw line at an average rate. Great drive and dish player. Defers to his teammates. Solid passer. Commits very few turnovers.

Defense: A very good perimeter defender who can hawk the ball effectively. Won’t let his man get the best of his very often. Works extremely hard on the ball. Very smart defender. Possesses very quick feet and very quick hands. Will get his fair share of strips, but doesn’t take risks to create turnovers. One of the most sound defenders at his position around, although his lack of size limits him here. Definitely as asset due to his ability to make ball handlers work on every possession.

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