NBA Scouting Reports, Pacific Division (Part One)

NBA Scouting Reports, Pacific Division (Part One)
Jul 31, 2008, 06:33 pm
Continuing our series of articles filling out our database with scouting reports of every single NBA player, we look at the first two teams in the Pacific division, the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers.

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 Hornets and San Antonio Spurs

Golden State Warriors

Kelenna Azubuike

Marco Belinelli

Andris Biedrins

Overview: A developing left-handed Latvian big man who is really starting to come into his own as one of the better centers in the game. Came into the league at age 18, and still has a great deal of upside. Has excellent size and very good athleticism for a big man. Shows great mobility in transition and when defending the pick and roll. Doesn’t have astounding bulk, but plays stronger than most NBA centers. Didn’t have a lot of success early in his career, but found a niche perfectly tailored to his skills in Don Nelson’s system. Skill-level is fairly poor, but isn’t asked to be anything he’s not. Understands his strengths and sticks to them. Rebounds the ball extremely well and produces incredibly efficiently on the offensive end. Shows great competitiveness. Plays with so much adrenaline that he has a very difficult time from the free throw line. Despite his experience level, Biedrins is so young that it wouldn’t be surprising to see him improve significantly.

Offense: A raw offensive player, but is efficient enough at the simple things he does well (and plays with such shot-happy teammates) to not make that much of an issue. Always amongst the league-leaders in field goal percentage. Gets more than half of his shots off of cuts and offensive rebounds. Gets another third from post ups and pick and rolls. Does most of his damage by working off the ball and using his terrific hands to simply catch and finish, which he’s amongst the league’s best at. Uses his strength to muscle his man underneath. Makes an effort to read ball handlers as well. Sets good screens and knows how to roll to the basket to set himself up to make a play. Gets the ball in the post with his back to the basket, but not very frequently. Very raw down there. Almost exclusively turns over his right shoulder. Needs to work on his off hand, and improve his footwork. Known for his struggles at the line. Has improved his mechanics to an extent, but still has an unorthodox release. Has improved remarkably from 30% in his second season to over 62% in his fourth season. Decent passer for a player his size. Not very assertive. Rarely puts the ball on the floor to score, and if he does, it’s only with his left hand. One of the most active offensive rebounders in the League.

Defense: Very hard worker and the only one on Golden State’s roster who’s role revolves around the defensive end. Good weakside shot blocker. Very tough on the block. Uses leverage to push his man off his spot. Tries to go straight up on shots, but makes some mistakes. Commits quite a few fouls when rotating to meet weak-side penetration. Very effective one-on-one in close in comparison to the average player. Great rebounder. Scrappy in the paint. Good timing. Anticipation will come around in time. Experience will only make him better.

Austin Croshere

Overview: A veteran shooting specialist who can put up big scoring numbers every now and then. Has good size for either forward position, and is a solid athlete. Mostly known for his perimeter stroke, but can do more than just shoot from outside. Still doesn’t shoot suitable percentages from the outside considering his role. Does a decent job rebounding the ball. Had a stellar career at Providence. Never found similar success on the NBA level. Can still be a spot-player near the end of a team’s bench, thanks to his skill-level, versatility and feel for the game, although injuries have taken their toll.

Offense: Gets more than half of his offense from spot ups and pick and pops. Loves to shoot the three ball-- between 40-50% of his attempts from the field come from beyond the arc. Has a fundamentally sound stroke with range past the three-point line. Will knock down his open shots with consistency. Shoots the same shot every time. Doesn’t elevate before he releases, but his height helps him get it off over recovering defender. Won’t put the ball on the floor to score unless he has a wide open lane. Solid ball handler. Good passer. Knows his role and plays appropriately. Won’t do much from the midrange. Doesn’t take contested shots at the rim, and thus finishes at a good rate inside. Still serviceable in spurts as a shooter, but his efficiency isn’t as good as it used to be.

Defense: A very mediocre defender due to his lack of athleticism. Utilized in situations more liberally when he can defend mediocre offensive centers. Gives it his all on the defensive end. Has a tough time making an impact. Commits smart fouls. Doesn’t try to block many shots. Pretty solid rebounder despite his shortcomings. Not a liability when played in spurts like he has been in Golden State.

Monta Ellis

Overview: An undersized shooting guard (6-3 in shoes) who has become a very talented combo only two years after leaving Lanier High School for the NBA Draft. Has incredible quickness and leaping ability. Runs the floor as fast as anyone in the game. Isn’t very strong, but has put on some weight since entering the League. Has fully transitioned his offensive game to the NBA, and is one of the most efficient guards you’ll find. Won the NBA Most Improved Player Award after coming into his own in his second year pro. Still needs to develop his point guard skills, but the former second-round pick has already vastly outplayed his draft slot. Has the potential to be a great player due to his age and rapid development.

Offense: Gets almost a third of his offense in transition, a testament to his speed. Another third comes from pick and rolls, with the final third coming from spot ups and isolations. Has become a very dynamic scorer early in his career. Can spark fast breaks by himself. Still trying to find his range. Has improved his shooting stroke, but isn’t always consistent. Could try and hammer out his footwork to avoid rehashing his mechanics. Gets to the rim more often than he pulls the trigger from the outside. Only 4% of his field goal attempts came from beyond the arc in 07/08. Quick first step and impressive crossover allow him to get into the lane without a lot of trouble. Goes to the line at a good rate and shoots a respectable percentage. Capable of driving and finishing with either hand, although he’s better with his right. Gets creative when finishing at the rim and displays great leaping ability. Good pull up jump shooter from mid-range. Needs to learn to keep the same rhythm on his set shots that he does on those off the dribble. Will turn the corner on pick and rolls with little trouble. Good offensive rebounder for his height. Could stand to work on his point guard skills, although he’s not turnover prone at all. Will need to show he can handle more minutes running the offense, something that he did infrequently up until 2009.

Defense: A mediocre defender, as he lacks both size and length at the shooting guard position and isn’t aided in the least bit his poor fundamentals. Plays too many minutes, which likely hampers his effectiveness. He tends to bite on every pump fake and only occasionally will get into an aggressive stance. He does have excellent lateral quickness and is highly adept at getting into the passing lanes, making him fairly effective when asked to play pressure defense. He is also a fairly solid rebounder considering his size.

Al Harrington

Overview: A combo forward with decent athleticism and great offensive skills. Has good height for a small forward and decent size for a power forward. Shows the mobility to play on the perimeter and the bulk to receive some time in the post, although he doesn’t defend or rebound anywhere near well enough to justify the minutes he plays at the 4. Has fulfilled much of the promise he showed as prep at St. Patrick’s, where he won the Naismith Award as a senior. Didn’t make an impact in Indiana immediately. Developed a nice inside-outside game during his time with the Hawks. Got a chance to be the go-to-guy in Atlanta. Still doesn’t make his teammates better, and often appears to be playing for himself. Effort and body language is extremely poor at times. Brings a unique offensive dimension to Don Nelson’s system, but isn’t an ideal fit. Could be a more productive player on a team with less offensive options. Cousin of fellow NBA player Dahntay Jones.

Offense: A big time scorer at either forward position—versatile, although not terribly efficient. Gets about a third of his offense as a spot up shooter, with another third coming from isolations and fast breaks. Will get a few touches in the post and set picks out on the perimeter from time to time as well. Harrington gets to play to his strengths on the offensive end. Fantastic catch and shoot player from three-point range, although his shot-selection can be mediocre at times. Not nearly as good pulling up off the dribble. Likes to try and get to the rim when he drives. Solid ball handling ability. Average passer. Doesn’t turn the ball over at all. Good finisher at the rim. Has great instincts for how to put the ball in the rim. Usually likes to pop out to the perimeter after his teammates dribble off his screens. Doesn’t have to work very hard off the ball since his teammates can create for him. Will run the secondary break well, and can finish the fast break as well. Can bring the ball up the court if needed, which is a nice asset from your power forward. Can put points on the board in bunches against slower players that have to respect his drive. Shoots a pretty good percentage from the line. Turns over his right shoulder almost exclusively with a man on his back. Shows a nice fade away turning that way.

Defense: Often asked to guard back to the basket power forwards and centers, which he seems to have little patience for. Gets posted up at will, lacking the height or strength to contest. Fundamentals appear to be lacking, doesn’t put very much effort in on the perimeter. Gets beat way too easily. Conditioning is average, appears to have lost a step athletically for that reason. Doesn’t rebound well at all for his position.

Richard Hendrix

Stephen Jackson

Overview: An above average athlete with good offensive skills who is an ideal fit for Don Nelson’s offensive system. Has good size, strength, and skills by NBA standards. Runs the floor well, and really knows how to space the floor and get open in transition. A terrific offensive player whose consistency isn’t nearly as questionable as it once was. Still has lapses in judgment on the floor, and doesn’t always play winning basketball. Took the long route to the NBA. Spent time in the CBA, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic after failing to make it to the University of Arizona out of Oak Hill Academy. Hasn’t been a model citizen by any stretch of the imagination, but has become a leader for Golden State.

Offense: Golden State’s most formidable swingman. Has emerged recently due to the way he fits into Don Nelson’s offense. Not a very efficient offensive player, but he sure can put points on the board. Gets almost one fourth of his offense from one-on-one isolations with another third coming from spot up and transition situations. Solid set shooter, but is more streaky than consistent. Doesn’t have a very quick release. Very aggressive. Can handle the ball, but has a tendency to get sloppy at times. Uses all kinds of hesitation moves. Extremely instinctive getting to the rack and scoring, although not particularly explosive elevating around the rim. Will push the break himself periodically. Likes to drive right, but finishes well when going to the rim with either hand. Tries to bully his way inside. Not afraid of contact. Goes to the line at a high rate and shoots a very good percentage. Runs the floor well. Knows when to break out of his lane to receive passes for easy baskets on fast breaks. Thrives as a passer now, something that wasn’t true about him earlier in his career. Keeps his head up and looks for his teammates. Tries to force some passes into traffic leading to turnovers. Shot-selection can be very poor at times. Doesn’t always know his limitations. Gets caught up in his own offense and has a tendency to force the issue. Shoots around 40% from the field, which makes it very difficult for his team to win games when he’s carrying such a heavy load.

Defense: An inconsistent defensive player who’s effectively largely depends on the effort he brings on any given night. Has good size and length and can brings great competitiveness when he’s focused, making him outstanding defending on the ball. Not quite as aggressive defending off the ball, though, doesn’t fight through screens and doesn’t really take responsibilities on this end. An exceptionally poor rebounder at his position, which is surprising considering his physical tools and how bad his teammates are in this area.

Corey Maggette

Overview: An athletic swingman who can put the ball in the basket with the best of them. Has prototypical size for a shooting guard. Possesses great strength for his position. A top-notch run and jump athlete. Misses games with injuries each season. Shoots the ball pretty well from the outside. Can beat his man off the dribble. An excellent slasher. Finishes at the rim with authority. Gets to the line at a superb rate, amongst the best in the league. Somewhat turnover prone. Makes some plays on defense, but is too aggressive at times. Contributes on the glass. Only needed one season at Duke to ready himself for the League. Can put up big numbers when the offense is geared towards him. Can still be effective as a complimentary player.

Offense: Gets his offense in a wide variety of ways. Uses his athleticism well in one-on-one situations and fast breaks, his jump shot and footwork spotting up and running off of screens, and his strength when posting up and grabbing offensive rebounds. Does more damage with his athleticism than his skills offensively, but is fairly efficient considering the rate he scores at. Finishes at the rim extremely well due to his explosive leaping ability and strong build. Loves to get out and run in transition. Capable of using his dribble to get to the rim as well. Tends to drive right where he can either pull up or go to the rim. Will attack the rim when he drives left. Not a great shooter off the dribble, but still capable. Will fade away for no reason when he pulls ups at times. Good catch and shoot guy. Doesn’t shoot with a lot elevation, but has good touch and form. Has improved his 3-point shooting throughout the years, but still doesn’t rely very heavily on this part of his game. Will knock down turnaround jumpers in the post, or bully smaller guards. Solid ball handler and passer who gets a little too aggressive with both at times. Very athletic and skilled player who expends most of his energy on the offensive end.

Defense: A average defensive player who has the athleticism to be a whole lot more. Has the athleticism and strength to defend almost any perimeter player. Displays great lateral quickness. Doesn’t always get in a good defensive stance or close out hard. Contests shots, but appears a bit disinterested defensively. Will make an effort when he knows he has to. Good rebounder for his position. Commits quite a few fouls for a guard.

Kosta Perovic

Mickael Pietrus

Pietrus has signed with the Orlando Magic, but since that division has already been posted, we have placed him here in order to get him in the database.

Overview: A physical specimen who still has room to grow as a player. Native of Guadeloupe. Has prototypical size and athleticism for the NBA small forward position. Shows great lateral quickness and leaping ability. Uses his physical assets on the defensive end. Still a work in progress offensively. Possesses good scoring tools, but is extremely inconsistent, particularly with his ball-handling skills. Plays with enough aggression to put up decent numbers when he sees the floor. Watched Kelenna Azubuike take most of his minutes in Golden State, and thus decided to sign as a free agent in Orlando.

Offense: Gets almost half of his offense from spot up situations. Makes significant contributions in transition and one-on-one situations. Shoots a slow, but fluid jumper without a lot of elevation. Nearly half of his shots are from outside the three-point line. Shoots a decent percentage from that range. Good shooter off the dribble, thanks to his high release point and consistent follow through. Quick first step helps him get separation. Lacks the ball-handling skills to consistently create his own shot. Struggles to change directions with the ball and beat his man off the dribble. Can finish at the rim once he’s in the paint, particularly when operating in transition. Likes to try and elevate over defenders rather than fake them off the floor and find lanes for easier baskets. Doesn’t get to the line at a high rate, and is susceptible to being fouled due to his lack of consistency from the stripe. High energy player. Great offensive rebounder for his position. Runs the floor well and is aggressive in spurts. Could still stand to improve his skill-level.

Defense: A talented defensive player solely based on his athleticism and physical gifts. Always gets in an athletic stance and makes him man shoot over him. Good shot blocker and off ball defender. Very good at bothering mid to short range shots. Long arms and vertical leap help more the closer his man gets to the basket. Will makes some mistakes, but has started to use the raw tools he has to his advantage.

Anthony Randolph

Ronny Turiaf

Overview: Role-playing power forward who overcame a debilitating illness to return to the explosive form that made him a great collegiate player. Native of Martinique. Possesses very good strength, adequate size (6-9 in shoes) and excellent length (7-1) for the power forward position. Can get up and down the floor pretty well for his size. Extremely explosive when attacking the rim. Can get off the floor quickly when grabbing rebounds. Has played his way into good physical condition after his major heart surgery. Brings great energy to the floor each time he gets in the game. Goes after every rebound, and is fairly effective on the glass. Isn’t a polished offensive player, but knows how to make an impact by being active, even if he isn’t quite as efficient as you might hope. Plays very hard on the defensive end, but is a bit too foul prone. Was a force at during his career at Gonzaga. Won the WCC Player of the Year Award in 2005. Fits the triangle offense well. A very outspoken, humble person off the floor. One of the best teammates a player can ask for in terms of support. Brings a lot to the table as a person and player.

Offense: A prototypical hustle power forward who doesn’t function as one in the triangle offense. Gets his touches from spot up opportunities, shots off of cuts, post ups, and transition baskets. Displays an average shooting stroke, but is capable of knocking down jumpers from the midrange. Won’t put the ball on the floor unless he can fake his man off the floor away from the basket. Good finisher at the rim. Goes up strong, seeks out contact, and puts the ball down with authority. Solid foul shooter—improving year by year. Could stand to improve his offensive efficiency. Doesn’t like to turn over his left shoulder in the post. Needs to work on his left hand to become more effective. Runs the floor hard. Sets good screens. Surprisingly good passer. Posts an excellent assist to turnover ratio for a power forward. Works very hard to gain position and go after offensive rebounds. Still has quite a bit of room to improve within a team concept.

Defense: A very good defender who plays with enough energy for two players. Fights tooth and nail for position on the block. Does a great job contesting post shots. Very aggressive. Will commit some fouls just by the nature of his game. Moves his feet well and does a good job denying penetration when his man gets the ball in the high post. Always boxes out and pursues rebounds. Excellent shot blocker. Will get on the floor when the ball gets loose in the lane. Great motor. Defensive intensity matches the way he approaches the game in general.

C.J. Watson

Marcus Williams (UConn)

Brandan Wright

Los Angeles Clippers

Marcus Camby

Overview: A long, athletic center who is a productive defender, an outstanding rebounder and a just-decent offensive player. Has a huge wingspan and good height for a center, but is extremely lanky. Very fluid for a five, but not super quick or explosive. Relies more on his incredible length and timing more so than freakish athleticism. Shows very good lateral quickness, but doesn’t have the bulk to dominate the block. Has some decent offensive tools. Uses his athleticism to find some easy opportunities. Not a horrible outside shooter, especially for a center. Can finish at the rim, but not efficiently. One of the best shot blockers in the game. Rebounds at an extremely high rate. Developed into one of the best players in college basketball over his three year career at UMass. Won every player of the year award as a junior. Carried his team to the Final Four. Sent his stock through the roof, setting the NCAA tournament record for blocks without making it to the final. Had a very nice rookie year in Toronto. Improved his rebounding and defense over time, but never became a featured offensive player. Was not able to stay healthy early in his career. Played more games in the last two seasons than in any other pair of seasons in his entire career—possibly due to a contract clause which forced him to. Two time NBA All-Defensive First Team member. Won the defensive player of the year award in 2007 for the Nuggets, probably the worst defensive team in the League that year. Plays hard. Still has a few years of productivity left.

Offense: Not the most efficient offensive player, and not really a prolific scorer by any stretch. Did not post up at all during his time in Denver. Got a little more than a third of his offense from spot up opportunities, with another third coming off of a combination of cuts and offensive rebounds. Has soft touch for a center, but his release and mechanics do not allow for much consistency. Shoots the ball awkwardly, from a bent over position from the opposite side of his body with little elevation or extension. Still manages to hit some shots from the outside, but not at a great rate. Will bait opposing centers into defending him from the outside, which opens up the paint for others to post up or slash. Fakes a lot of defenders off their feet. Used to go straight to the rim for dunks. Injuries have made it more difficult for him to do that. Still capable of taking two dribbles and trying to finish at the rim. Not a bad jump shooter when he has to put the ball on the floor. Significantly more effective pulling up going right than taking a jump shot in any other situation. Handles the ball surprisingly well, but lacks the agility to utilize it in any useful way. Pushes the ball up the floor from time to time. Has a hard time slowing down once he gets going and will get called for some charges. Gets a lot of touches at the rim by making himself available for dump passes and working for offensive rebounds. Isn’t the best finisher. Will force some shots into the defense if he’s forced to attack from the mid-post area. Tends to just flip the ball at the rim rather than making a move when he doesn’t have a clean look. Finishes some difficult shots but misses some easy ones. Does a great job taking advantage of mismatches, as they allow him to use his touch from in close with minimal contact. Will dunk when he gets the chance, but isn’t the explosive leaper he once was. Gets to the line at a decent rate, but shoots a poor percentage. Doesn’t seek out contact. Hasn’t gotten any post touches in recent seasons. Isn’t a back-to-the-basket player at all. Has some raw tools, but has never been looked at as a major offensive option.

Defense: Will always be amongst the top shot blockers and rebounders in the League when he plays in the thirty-to-thirty-five minutes per game range. Has the lateral quickness to step out and defend the midrange and the length to challenge any shot. Will run into trouble when matched up against comparably sized players with better strength. Gets the vast majority of his blocks from the weak-side. Has great timing, length and anticipation. Does a very good job using his footspeed to slide over and meet dribble drives. Contests a lot of shots. Not as good on the ball as he is off it. Gets backed down in the post fairly easily. Has cut down on his fouls significantly over time. Always boxes out and does a tremendous job rebounding outside of his area. Uses his length and leaping ability to pull down rebounds in traffic. Will spark the fast break with his defense and rebounding. Has a reputation for being one of the premier defenders in the game, but couldn’t overshadow the Nuggets awful team defense. Has a tendency to chase blocks aimlessly rather than play fundamentally sound defense. Has been criticized at times with being more concerned with his defensive stats than about getting stops. Will leaves his matchup wide open on the perimeter occasionally, give up position deep in the paint, and not always put in a great effort closing out shooters.

Baron Davis

Overview: An incredibly strong and athletic point guard who can score and distribute very effectively. Plays as strong as he looks. Couples outstanding size with great explosiveness and speed. Changes speeds and directions as well as smaller guards. Handles the ball extremely well. Distributes, but also takes some very questionable shots. A tough matchup for any guard defensively. Has had a complete offensive arsenal since his days at UCLA. Excellent in the open floor and in the half court. Uses his size and speed well on the defensive end. Isn’t always in great shape. Plays with a lot of intensity, competitiveness, and flair. Has had an extremely hard time staying healthy for a full season in recent years. A Two time All-Star.

Offense: An extremely talented offensive player. Gets half of his offense from isolations and pick and rolls. Has the quickness, ball-handling ability, and decision making to take advantage of both situations consistently. Gets another third of his offense in transition and spot ups. Brings an extremely well rounded and balanced offensive skill set to the table. Shows a consistent, quick release with or without his feet set. Solid perimeter shooter, but relies on his 3-point shot a bit too heavily, which hurts his percentages. Always in the 32-35% range from outside. Decent from the midrange. Has all the floaters and scoops that one would expect from a point guard that plays with his savvy. Better when he can put the defense on its heels. Catalyzed Golden State’s offense as its only true point guard. Tremendous ball handler and passer. Will get flashy at times, sometimes to a fault. Will try to go out and make things happen on his own a fair amount, often forcing the issue. Turns the ball over periodically, but when a player handles the ball as much as he has to it isn’t surprising. Great court vision. Creates easy baskets for teammates. Tends to drive left more than right. More efficient and balanced driving that way. Goes to the rim when driving right. Explosive dunker. Hard to stop him once he gets a head of steam. Goes to the line at high rate and shoots a decent percentage once he gets there. Can score in the post a bit, which is a nice weapon to have from a point guard. Aggressively crashes the glass at times. Shows the killer instinct that makes him a threat to carry his team late in games.

Defense: Was the most dynamic perimeter defender on Golden State’s roster, but the amount of minutes he played hurt him on this end. Takes a lot of risks in passing lanes. Makes the most of his efforts. Comes up with a lot of steals. Blocks quite a few shots for a point guard. Truly an effort defender. When he decides to focus, good things happen. Very intense in clutch situations. Tremendous lateral quickness and strength makes him a handful to dribble by or post up. Will commit fouls by being too aggressive. Hard to fault him given the results.

Paul Davis

Ricky Davis- Scouting report posted here

Dan Dickau

Overview: An undersized point guard who saw decent minutes for the first time in a few seasons in 2008. A good shooter and decision maker who has had a hard time finding the right situation to utilize his skills. Lacks good size, strength, and athleticism for the point by NBA standards. Shoots the ball with range on the perimeter, but isn’t quite as lights out from behind the arc as you might hope. Handles the ball with a lot of flair. Runs the point with poise. Posts a solid assist to turnover ratio. Doesn’t have the athleticism to consistently create his own shot. Lack of quickness limits him on the defensive end as well. Put together an impressive college career at Gonzaga after transferring from Washington. Named WCC Player of the Year as a senior. Has bounced around the League throughout his career. Put together an impressive season with the Hornets in 2005.

Offense: An average offensive player who can be a decent 3rd point guard without hurting a team too much. Gets most of his offense off of spot ups in the half court and by pushing the ball on fast breaks, with another large portion coming in pick and roll situations. Very good catch and shoot player. Smooth, confident shooting stroke and a very quick release. Won’t do a lot of damage with a hand in his face. Pretty good shooter off the dribble as well. Struggles to create his own shot, and not a finisher by any stretch of the imagination. Will try and draw contact at the rim since he doesn’t have the athleticism to finish over or around the defense. Would rather drive and dish than finish at the rim. Great foul shooter when he can get to the line. Displays decent point guard skills. Good in transition. Solid ball-handler. Not as effective in half court scenarios in terms of point guard play, since he can’t really get by his defender. Doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. Usually asked to be a spot up guy once play slows down. Isn’t very efficient, but pretty capable on the offensive end.

Defense: A below average defender who doesn’t have the size or lateral quickness to keep up with the League’s growing number of highly athletic point guards. Isn’t strong enough to compensate for that either. Doesn’t have any truly distinguished defensive skills. Will make an effort to stay in front of the ball, but has to commit blocking fouls to really manage his disadvantage. Shows quick hands and good fundamentals. Will track down long rebounds. Limitations on this end may keep him out of the league.

Nick Fazekas

Eric Gordon

Jason Hart

DeAndre Jordan

Chris Kaman

Overview: A budding All-Star at center who has finally adapted to the NBA game. Has good height (7-1 in shoes), a nice standing reach and great bulk for the center position. Shows great quickness for his size. Gets off the ground well. Very coordinated for a big man. Has a decent jump shot, but lacks range. Can score in numerous ways from the post. Rebounds the ball extremely well on both ends. Has a unique skill set for a center due to his coordination, although he’s not quite as efficient offensively as you might hope. Blocks some shots on the defensive end. Showed the same development he’s shown in the NBA during his three year career at Central Michigan. Won the MAC Player of the Year Award as a junior before leaving for the draft. Continues to develop at an impressive pace. Elton Brand’s injury has brought out the best in him.

Offense: One of the most effective post up players in the league today. Still developing his consistency, but the moves and the talent is there already. Gets almost three fifths of his offense in post up situations. Has all kinds of post moves. Uses fakes, pumps, and jabs like a veteran. Better turning over his left shoulder than his right, but has soft touch with both hands. Nice repertoire of hooks and turnarounds. Does most of his damage from the right block. Knows how to draw contact. Goes to the line at a pretty high rate, and shoots an above average percentage. Dunks the ball when he can get the ball up. Great offensive rebounder. Good face up jumper. Has good form, and should improve in that area when he spends more time in the high post with the return of Elton Brand. Not the most consistent post scorer in terms of efficiency, but displays all the fundamentals and tools to become one. Will be more efficient when he isn’t the focal point of the offense. Very good ball handler for his height. Capable passer as well, but turns to ball over when he faces a good double team, something he sees pretty frequently. Good pick and roll player. Has the game of a veteran, but needs to show that he can produce next to another great post player in the coming seasons.

Defense: A previously undistinguished defensive player who has improved on that end just as much as he has improved offensively. One of the League’s most prolific shot blockers. Displays absolute impeccable timing. Isn’t overly explosive, so he uses his anticipation and lateral quickness to contest most shots. Still foul prone, but not nearly as bad as he used to be in that regard. Experience has helped him immensely. Shows great rebounding skills. Very soft hands, seldom loses possession once he has it. Could become part of a truly dynamic defensive front court pair with Marcus Camby.

Shaun Livingston

Overview: A talented young prospect who will have to bounce back from a devastating knee injury. Entered the league straight out of his school and was just starting to show his potential before suffering a serious injury. Extremely tall for a point guard. Very skinny. Needs to add bulk to his frame. Has pretty solid quickness. Isn’t a great shooter by any stretch of the imagination. Not really much of a scoring threat. Doesn’t get to the free throw line at a great rate. Makes an impact on the offensive end by using his point guard skills. Can make plays for others. Has good ball handling skills. Sees the court very well. Can make passes that shorter points guards can’t. Rebounds the ball fairly well for his position. Developed his point guard skills at Peoria Central High School before declaring for the draft. May have to redefine his game once he returns. Could definitely stand to improve his jumper. Faces an uphill battle.

Offense: Gets most of his touches in pick and roll situations, but will also do some damage one-on-one and in transition. Displays a good looking jumper off the dribble (particularly from short and mid-range distances), but is a very mediocre spot up shooter. He seems to push the ball and turn his body on his release, which may be the primary driver of his struggles from the perimeter. Isn’t much of threat beyond the arc. Does a good job hitting shots off the dribble with a hand in his face, but his height allows him to shoot over most defenders he is matched up with. Decent finisher at the rim. Extremely creative. Needs to improve from the foul line. Displays impressive point guard skills. Possesses a deceptive first step, solid ball handling ability, and the ability to find the open man. His height advantage allows him to see the floor well and make passes than other point guards can’t. Still a bit turnover prone, but doesn’t make as many big mistakes as most floor generals his age. Runs the pick and roll like a veteran. Creates passing lanes and executes. Doesn’t have to turn the corner to find space due to his size. Displays an intriguing skill set for his size, but needs to improve his spot up jumper.

Defense: A solid defensive player for his age, who may not be the same when he returns from his injury. Has the quickness to make his length as factor. Great shot blocker for a point guard due to his size. Doesn’t always contest shots on the ball, but was getting better as he progressed. Displayed good anticipation when defending off the ball. Solid rebounder for his position, but not his height. Will get in a good stance and give effort. Had the potential to be very good defensively. Could still have it.

Cuttino Mobley

Overview: A left-handed veteran guard who is able to play shooting guard effectively despite being slightly undersized. Doesn’t have ideal height for a swingman. Has very good quickness. Still pretty explosive. A talented player on the perimeter. Shoots the ball well with range, but is not terribly prolific from behind the arc. Takes some questionable shots. Can put the ball on the floor to get to the rim. Doesn’t get to the free throw line at a great rate. Has always been an above average defender. Puts in a lot of work to stay in shape. Work ethic became apparent during his career at Rhode Island. Really came around as a senior. Won the A10 Player of the Year Award in 1998. Was drafted in the second round, and proved to be a nice asset as a rookie. Came into his own after two years with the Rockets. Isn’t as productive as he once was, as he’s definitely getting up there in age. Effectively has slipped considerably over the last 2-3 years. An ironman who has played an incredible amount of minutes in his career. With Eric Gordon coming in, may begin to take a bit of a backseat.

Offense: Surprisingly gets a fifth of his touches off of post ups, more than any other situation. Finds opportunities from spot ups, fast breaks, and one-on-one situations as well as functioning as a zone buster. Possesses a very accurate lefty stroke. Just as capable from outside the three point line as he is pulling up off the dribble. Able to scoring driving in either direction. Good finisher at the rim. Knocks down turnaround jumpers in the post over his left shoulder at a great clip. Hangs in the air before he releases his post shots. Can post up bigger players due to his ability to get his shot off when falling away. Very capable ball handler and passer. Not as prolific as he used to be, but the effectiveness is still there. Shot-selection has never been his strong-point, though.

Defense: A talented defender who matches his experience with good effort. Has the quickness and athleticism to effectively defend both wing positions. Does a very good job contesting shots. Works hard denying off the ball. Will rotate over in help side to stop penetration. Solid shot blocker for his size. Reads passing lanes well. Decent rebounder. Size limits him to a certain degree.

Smush Parker

Overview: A guard who can a complimentary backup when he is allowed to freelance. Pretty tall for the point guard position. Built athletically, and shows good speed and quickness for his size. Has never really fit any system he’s played in all that well due to his desire to play his way. Shoots the ball pretty well from the perimeter, but definitely falls in love with it excessively. Can take his man off the dribble and finish at the cup. Sometimes dribbles himself into trouble leading to turnovers. Doesn’t do much more than set up the offense as a point guard. Can create some shots for others, but tends to look for his own. Solid defender when he wants to be. Quick hands on the defensive end. Spent time at Southern Idaho JC before playing two seasons at Fordham. Had a decent collegiate career. Played overseas, in the minors, and with a few NBA teams before catching on with the Lakers in 2006. May be headed back overseas for now. Miami surely regretted signing him. Still needs to learn to work in a system to have success moving forward.

Offense: Not really a point guard, and not really a shooting guard. Gets most of his offense from spot up opportunities, with another large portion coming from pick and rolls. Doesn’t play a very efficient brand of offense. Displays a solid jumper, but his shot selection, footwork, and consistency leave a lot to be desired. Will knock down open jumpers with range out past the three point line, but isn’t an ideal catch and shoot guy. Takes most of his jumpers off the dribble, but doesn’t get enough separation to warrant it. Shot-selection… Tends to drive right quite a bit more than left, and seldom takes the ball to the rim to draw contact. Doesn’t get to the free throw line at a high rate, and shoots a mediocre percentage once there. Needs to learn how to use his dribble to get to the bucket. Very solid ball handler. Can get a bit flashy at times. Will make some good passes, but his lack of discipline often hurts his distributing abilities offensively.

Defense: A decent defender whose effort level depends on his mood. Won’t bring a lot to the table when things aren’t going his way. Shows the quickness required to guard all three perimeter positions. Won’t spend many minutes defending small forwards. Isn’t very good at containing taller players. Will get a hand up when his man tries to take him one-on-one, but isn’t going to make a lot of plays rotating to the ball from the strong side. Average rebounder.

Josh Powell

Overview: A young power forward with good physical tools, but not enough polish. Only average in terms of height, but plays taller due to his above average wingspan. Possesses very good overall strength. Runs the floor well for his position. Capable of playing above the rim on every possession. Shows some intriguing offensive tools from the midrange in, but hasn’t shown the consistency or focus to deliver them on a regular basis. Lacks efficiency for a big man. Rebounds the ball extremely well due to his strength and effort level. Plays tough defense, but is very foul prone. Didn’t put up huge numbers at North Carolina State as a sophomore before going pro. Has spent time overseas and in the NBADL, but didn’t stay with any one team long enough to get comfortable with their system. May need a few seasons to develop, but his physique makes him an interesting asset at the least.

Offense: Gets a third of his touches in the post, but also gets opportunities on fast breaks and from offensive rebounds. Displays a very nice midrange jumper, but tends to fall in love with it. Decent on the catch and shoot around the foul line, but not skilled enough to do much more than that. Doesn’t always get good position in the post, but has the strength to do so. Likes to face up or turn over his right shoulder on the block. Will put the ball on the floor and use his quickness to get to the rim if his man covers him tightly. Has solid ball handling ability for a power forward. Finishes at the rim well due to his explosiveness and strength. Doesn’t show a lot of touch on his post shots when he can’t get all the way to the basket. Crashes the offensive glass hard and runs the floor well. Needs to continue to improve his consistency, especially from the line.

Defense: A capable defender who commits too many fouls. Doesn’t have ideal size, but has the athleticism to be a very good defender. Displays very good lateral quickness. Possesses the physical tools, but doesn’t display the mental qualities that make a good defender. Experience will help him immensely. Falls for too many fakes and finds himself out of position. Great rebounder. Good potential defensively.

Quinton Ross

Overview: Role-playing small forward who has proven to be a decent asset off the bench. Has average size for his position, but doesn’t carry much weight on his frame. Not a great athlete either. Has very long arms. Displays a nice all-around game, which is key since he doesn’t excel offensively. Rebounds the ball fairly well for his position. Plays great defense, and isn’t a risk taker, something that makes him a valuable asset. Not a scorer and definitely not a long-range shooter, but has improved his range somewhat in recent seasons. Won’t contribute much from the perimeter in most scenarios. Won the WAC Player of the Year Award in 2003 as a senior at Southern Methodist University. Can’t put up the same numbers in the NBA that he did in college, but quickly found a niche as a complimentary player and a defensive specialist. May be inclined to stick with the Clippers as a free agent this summer should they show interest. Efficiency really abandoned him last season.

Offense: Gets most of his touches in spot up situations, but is much more effective at the rim than on the perimeter. Not a good shooter by any stretch. Doesn’t have bad mechanics, but simply isn’t effective. Will shoot a three if he’s open. Doesn’t do a whole lot of damage off the dribble either. A mediocre ball-handler. Loves to go left. Capable finisher at the rim. Will crash the glass and move without the ball to get open looks at the basket. Does a good job moving the ball on the perimeter. Won’t do a whole lot outside of his repertoire which in his case is one of his strong points. Almost never turns the ball over. Doesn’t shoot a great percentage from the field.

Defense: A tremendous defender who plays aggressively on the ball without fouling. Gets in a deep stance and moves his feet extremely well. Won’t use his hands unless he has to. Won’t go after bad passes or reach. Isn’t going to try and block many shots either. Will contest anything he can though. Plays with great discipline. The type of player that can make an impact with consistent defense.

Mike Taylor

Tim Thomas

Overview: An extremely talented veteran forward who is essentially an offensive specialist at this point in his career. Possesses tremendous height, length and a solid frame for a small forward. Plays the power forward position as well. Can play above the rim due to his size and length, but has just average explosiveness. Has always been able to score from just about anywhere when given minutes—talent has never been the question. Shoots the ball well from deep. Really knows how to get open when posting up. Capable off the dribble, but doesn’t attack the rim as much anymore. Rebounds well on the offensive end. Doesn’t make a dynamic impact defensively. Proved his mettle as a scorer in one season at Villanova before entering the draft. Won the Big East Conference Rookie of the Year in that season. Classic underachiever who never quite became the force in the NBA that he was capable of being, but is inconsistently stellar. Disappears for long stretches, and then reappears with a huge bang. Never met a shot he didn’t like. Has bounced around the League in recent seasons.

Offense: Gets about a third of his offense as a spot up shooter, but will also see some touches in the post, on the fast break, and one-on-one. Displays a very consistent outside shooting stroke. Great catch and shoot guy all the way out past the three point line. Good shooter off the dribble. Falls in love way too much with his jumper for a guy who is 6-10. A little bit soft taking the ball to the basket. Better midrange player than finisher. Good foul shooter. Capable scorer over both shoulders in the post. Does a decent job using his size advantage down low, but struggles to finish through contact. Plays with an aggressive mentality on the offensive end. Takes a lot of questionable shots at times, which hurts his efficiency. Good ball handler and excellent passer for his size. Not an efficient player by any stretch, but makes an impact within the offense thanks to his ability to space the floor and make plays inside the arc.

Defense: Has outstanding tools, with his long arms, great size and solid frame. Doesn’t always seem to put in the best effort, but has the ability to defend both inside and out when he puts his mind to it. Smart player with good timing and a nice feel for the game, and really knows how to contest shots. Doesn’t always get in a defensive stance, lateral quickness is questionable guarding smaller players on the perimeter. A fairly average rebounder.

Al Thornton

Marcus Williams

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