Overview: A versatile forward who is trying to regain the form that made him one of the games most unique young players. Possesses good size for either forward spot, but it is his huge wingspan that allows him to effectively player both. Doesnt carry a lot of weight, but is wiry-strong. Shows great footspeed and leaping ability for a player his size. Very fluid. Brings a lot to the table on the offensive end, but is more of a complementary player than a feature player offensively. Ones of the games most productive defensive players. Had a very impressive career at the Junior level before seeing great domestic and international success with CSKA Moscow. Didnt come over to the NBA immediately after he was drafted. Proved himself on Europes highest level before making the jump. Saw immediate success in the NBA, but really hit his stride as a statistical juggernaut in his third season. Earned an All-Star appearance during that season. Has made a few appearances on the NBA All-Defensive Team. Saw his production dip when Utah began to focus on Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer, and Mehmet Okur. Saw his usage rate drop substantially in turn. Wasnt enamored to taking a backseat to his teammates when the Jazz shifted the focus off of him, but seems to be more content now. Probably the best role player in the NBA is he can be considered as such due to his ability to contribute efficiently in so many different ways. Playing under a huge contract for a player that isnt a top option. Effort stats--rebounding, shot-blocking and free throw attempts have all declined significantly over the past few years. May be better suited exploiting mismatches as a Shawn Marion type role as a face-up power forward, but hasnt been able to that much next to Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur.
Offense: Gets about one-third of his touches as a spot up shooter with other significant portions of his shots coming off of cuts, fast breaks, offensive rebounds, and screens. Pretty versatile scorer. Extremely efficient as well at his position. Has a decent jump shot with decent touch, but has his ups and downs in terms of consistency. Elevates and flicks the ball at the rim without great followthrough. Can function as a catch and shoot player, but that isnt one of his strengths. Can hit the NBA three when hes open. Not a great shooter off the dribble. Has had some awful shooting slumps over the course of his career. Seems to have improved that part of his game as of late, scoring career highs in both FG% and 3P% in 07-08. Wont drive to the rim all that often. Not a bad ball handler, but not a good one either. Not someone who can consistently create his own off the dribble. Finds other ways to get shots around the basket. Wingspan allows him to present a huge target for teammates. Picks and chooses his spots when cutting to the rim. Gets quite a few open looks by virtue of his activity level off the ball. An ideal option in transition due to his end to end speed. Shows great touch at the rim, and his length allows him to get up shots that most other players wouldnt be able to. Doesnt hesitate to draw contact. Goes to the line at a good rate and shoots a solid percentage. Ridiculous length makes him a threat to pull down an offensive rebound or tip the ball out to a teammate for a second shot opportunity. Has excellent court vision. Can make passes that other player cant due to his wingspan. Will turn the ball over when he gets too aggressive. Decision making isnt always as good as you might hope, shot-selection can be questionable--doesnt always seem to know his limitations. Very turnover prone for his position relative to the amount of possessions he garners. Has flourished since accepting his role as a complementary player and not a feature option.
Defense: One of the best defensive players in the NBA. Able to guard essentially every position depending on the matchup. Has the lateral quickness of a much smaller player and the wingspan of a much taller one. Not the greatest option in the post due to his length of physical strength, but makes up for it with unreal timing, quickness, and leaping ability. Fights for position on the block, making him that much harder to score on. Blocks shots in one-on-one situations at a good rate, although his production here has dropped off substantially in the last two years. Able to contest an amazing number of shots due to his wingspan and leaping ability. Will come down from the perimeter to block shots in the paint. Does most of his damage guarding the perimeter. Has the lateral quickness and length to defend almost anyone. Very tough to drive around. Shows the ability to change directions surprisingly quickly when his man crosses over. Will get his share of pass deflections, blocks, and strips. Has great anticipation and awareness. Rebounds the ball at a respectable rate, but focuses more on boxing out than pursuing misses. Is a huge asset because of his length. Makes a big difference on the defensive end.