Scout: Russ Smith [Russ_Smith@norian.com]
|Strengths: when healthy Baron is as
good an athlete as there is in the NBA. He's uncommonly strong, he's literally built like
an NFL player, physically JR Rider is probably the NBA player he most closely resembles,
only MUCH quicker. Iverson, Marbury, Darrell Armstrong, Brevin Knight, none of these guys
are substantially quicker than Baron, if at all quicker, and he's got 30-40 pounds on all
of them. Baron is an explosive jumper, won the slamdunk title at the McDonald's game 2
years ago, and had some astonishing dunks in his 2 years at UCLA. He has a great
crossover, can handle the ball and create for teammates, and showed marked improvement in
his outside shot the second half of his sophomore season.When he's on there isn't a better
player in college basketball. Very physical defender with great hands, creates all kinds
of problems on defense.
Weaknesses: consistency is the main one, Baron shot
terribly from outside for the first half of this year, then looked like Reggie Miller the
next 10 games or so. Poor foul shooter. Has absolutely no concept of when to let up,
always gets in foul trouble and then continues to reach until he fouls out. Self control
was a real problem much of his time at UCLA, woofing, jawing with refs, pushed the
envelope alot and had a real chip on his shoulder that led to a couple of borderline ugly
scenes with other players or fans. Baron really improved in this area the last half of
this season, he just decided to quit talking and play ball and the results were
Wildcard: as much as any player in the draft, Baron has one wildcard, his knee.
Blew his ACL out in the NCAA tourney as a freshman against Michigan. Returned early last
year, 10 pounds overweight, and played his way into shape. Wore a brace all year, at times
was clearly favoring it, but looked healed the last 10 games or so. Baron had a foot
injury that slowed him the last couple of weeks, but this was not related to the knee
injury. If the knee passes physicals and MRI's before the draft, it's a moot point, if it
doesn't, he'll fall in the draft.
Baron was probably the most exciting, yet most frustrating, player to play at UCLA
since I started watching them play in 1975. Talent is clearly there, if the knee is solid
and he matures, the sky is the limit. I personally think Corey Maggette is the only kid in
this draft with more raw talent, and that's only because he's 3 inches taller. I certainly
would love to see Baron wind up in a Warrior uniform.
Scout: Phil Nation
|Baron Davis is one of the most complete
point guards to come along in some time. If his sophomore year at UCLA is indicative of
anything, it looks like he has recovered nicely from his torn ACL during the 1998 NCAA
Tournament, which is the biggest concern.
Davis can do it all. Offensively, he's a true
point guard who can beat his man to the basket or dish it off after drawing coverage; he's
equally comfortable with a running style or a halfcourt style offense; and he can shoot
the ball. He is a gre at athlete who has made some thunderous dunks. Defensively, Davis is
a very good rebounder for a point guard and can steal the ball. He is not a star at the
defensive end, but opposing point guards won't have field nights on him, either.
Davis knows how to play the game and is great to watch. While he is capable of
highlight-film plays, he plays to win. He is a terrific athlete and a good leader, and has
a good grasp of the mental aspects of the game.
Davis should be one of the first players taken in the draft. He has quite a career
ahead of himself.
Scout: Jeffrey Burgoyne [email@example.com]
|Baron Davis is a tremendous talent that is
sitting at the top of a few teams lists. While the PG position is probably the best
stocked in this draft, Davis stands out as a true PG with an excellent upside. He's not
the floor leader that a Miller or Avery might be, but at the same time he's is not a
converted SG like Francis.
The need at PG is vast this year, and the Clippers, Raptors,
Bulls (and potentially the TimberWolves) all could use an NBA quality PG. For this reason
I expect Davis to be a top 5 choice. His biggest obstacle in the NBA will be his shooting
range. PG's need to be able to keep defenders honest, and Davis's 34% three point
percentage and sub 60% FT% will not be enough.
Davis does have the ability to penetrate in the lane and make plays happen, whether on
the finish or dishing off. Even given his suspect outside shooting percentage, he still
managed to shoot above 50% in a short college career, which says a lot for his ability to
get off easy shots. While many of these shots came on the break, he still has the ability
to make the athletic drive in a half court offense.