Sunday, June 25, 2000

Top power forwards in the NBA Draft

By Mike DeCourcy
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        1. Kenyon Martin, 6-9, 230, Cincinnati. The most complete player in the draft also is the most accomplished, most mature and most charismatic. So why do the NBA folks doubt him? If they're so consumed with the concept of upside, they'd be foolish to believe there's not still some improvement left in Martin. He can get better as a ballhandler and as a man-to-man defender. At roughly the same size, Golden State's Antawn Jamison averaged 19.6 points and 8.3 rebounds in his second season, and he doesn't have the variety of skills Martin owns.

        2. Stromile Swift, 6-9, 225, LSU. Having spent too much time in high school trying to convince everyone he was a small forward, Swift is a bit more polished with the ball than Martin. Unfortunately, all that hanging on the perimeter never made Swift a great shooter, but at least he recognized his game needed to be played inside. Swift is a dynamic athlete who will become a first-rate defender and who, like Martin, can significantly change the frontcourt personality of his new team. He'll need to get stronger, which will come with age and a more intense workout regimen.

        3. Marcus Fizer, 6-7, 245, Iowa State. The problem with Fizer is the same problem as has developed with such players as Rodney Rogers and Corliss Williamson: they can play, but they can't win. Their lack of height restricts their ability to defend, so the best teams have little use for them. Fizer does have a wider package of offensive skills, though, and if he learned to pass the ball at a high level he could give his team some of what Anthony Mason does (without the attitude). For a top power forward, Fizer is a below-average rebounder.

        4. Olumide Oyedeji, 6-11, 240, DJK Wurzburg (Germany). If Oyedeji becomes convinced he should use his body for something other than a decoration, he could become a fine power forward. He avoided playing in a U.S. college — after signing with Rutgers at one point — and that cost him crucial development time. Instead, he played in Europe, where big men can get away with not playing physically. Oyedeji showed off his great physical ability at the 1999 pre-draft camp before pulling his name off the early entry list.

        5. Jerome Moiso, 6-10, 230, UCLA. A native of Guadaloupe, Moiso still is learning how to play, but one former teammate suggests he'll never quite catch on. Moiso covers the court gracefully and has the ability to hit shots from 15 feet, but his form is so loose he has a hard time being consistent. He doesn't play with hunger — with his leaping ability and long arms, 55 blocks as a sophomore was dreadful.

        6. Donnell Harvey, 6-8, 220, Florida.

        7. Etan Thomas, 6-8, 247, Syracuse.

        8. Jason Collier, 7-0 245, Georgia Tech.

        9. Malik Allen, 6-10, 271, Villanova.

        10. Marcus Goree, 6-8, 239, West Virginia.

NBA teams gamble on youth, 'upside' in draft
Enquirer's mock NBA draft
- Top power forwards in the NBA Draft
Top shooting guards in the NBA Draft
Top small forwards in the NBA Draft
Top point guards in the NBA Draft
Top centers in the NBA Draft

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