Bulls Draft Central: 2004 Prospect Profiles (I-R)

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  • 2004 NBA Draft Prospect Profiles: A-H | I-R | S-Z

    Arizona's Andre Iguodala
    Arizona's Andre Iguodala's learning curve is great at this point, and the sky is the limit for the projected lottery pick.

    (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Andre Iguodala

    NBA Position: Shooting Guard / Small Forward / Point Guard
    College: Arizona / Class: Sophomore
    Ht: 6’6” Wt: 200

    NBA Comparison: Richard Jefferson

    Early entry candidate after playing two seasons at Arizona ... extremely athletic ... before heading to Arizona, he played high school basketball only two years ... great lateral quickness ... he can clog up anyone with his in-your-face defensive tactics ... an unselfish player with great court vision ... can pass the ball with the best of them ... could be a three-position player in the NBA ... his outside jumper is inconsistent, but, with work, should round into form ... his learning curve is great at this point, and the sky is the limit ... a definite top-13 lottery pick.

    Luke Jackson

    NBA Position: Shooting Guard / Small Forward
    College: Oregon / Class: Senior
    Ht: 6’7” Wt: 215

    NBA Comparison: Mike Miller

    One of the few true college seniors in the Draft ... a very good all-around player ... is an excellent shooter with range ... also passes the ball very efficiently ... is a difficult backcourt matchup because of his height (6'7”) and guard skills ... needs very little space to get his jumper off ... has quick release ... generally plays under control, even in the transition game ... has a small forward’s body but will likely have to play shooting guard at the next level ... does a great job of getting into the lane and challenging the defense ... is a very unselfish player ... he's also not afraid to mix it up and hit the boards ... however, he is not the best defender on earth ... won’t blow you away with athleticism, but has deceptive quickness and leaping ability ... he is the type of shooter that lots of teams would love to have ... if he can show improvement on defense and knock out a few good pre-Draft workouts, he could sneak into the top 15-20 range ... most likely he is a late first-rounder to early second-round pick.

    Al Jefferson

    NBA Position: Power Forward
    High School: Prentiss HS (MS) / College: Arkansas
    Ht: 6’9” Wt: 250

    NBA Comparison: Amare Stoudemire

    Early entry candidate right out of high school ... signed national letter of intent to attend Arkansas, but has opted to explore the possibility of jumping directly to the NBA ... at press time, he has not hired an agent in order to keep collegiate eligibility ... a “man-child” ... a fierce worker in the paint ... a true post player in an era where there are few ... perhaps the strongest high school player in the country, and many believe the best pure low-post player in his class ... unlike most players who are bigger than their competition, Jefferson works hard at getting position instead of standing around and hoping for a rebound ... has very solid offensive skills ... surprisingly solid mid-range jumper ... has good understanding of footwork and can score anywhere within the paint ... also has soft hands and uses the glass well ... isn’t afraid of shouldering leadership responsibility ... an intelligent player who looks to help teammates ... a fierce competitor that will do whatever it takes to win ... understands the game ... however, he’s only 18 years old ... thus, he’s still a work in progress ... a likely mid-first-round pick.

    Arthur Johnson

    NBA Position: Power Forward
    College: Missouri / Class: Senior
    Ht: 6’9” Wt: 270

    NBA Comparison: Marc Jackson

    A deceptively quick big man ... became one of the best post players in college basketball this past season ... uses his wide frame to establish good position on the block and makes easy baskets ... excellent at putting back missed shots or kicking the ball out to open teammates ... uses his very long arms to bring down rebounds and block shots on both sides of the basket ... very good at rolling off his man for a jump hook ... has quietly developed into a very sound player ... biggest downfall is his height ... however, he has the potential to be a solid contributor for many years to come ... his skill level continues to grow each game … he should be able to find a spot in the league.

    Victor Khryapa

    NBA Position: Small Forward
    European Team: CSKA Moscow / Hometown: Moscow, Russia
    Ht: 6’9” Wt: 210

    NBA Comparison: Andrei Kirilenko

    A very versatile, multitalented player ... he somehow always seems to find a way to score ... back door cuts have become a useful weapon ... knows how to play the low-post game when matched up with a smaller player ... a cold-hearted killer in the open court ... a good runner of the lane ... he grew three inches after turning 18 (today he’s 21) ... but he still has not reached his eventual weight, which is an indication that there is room for more growth ... huge wingspan helps him block shots ... but he’s not considered to be a good defender ... jumper is also inconsistent ... there is plenty of room for improvement in his game, but worth taking a look at late first-round or early second.

    Shaun Livingston

    NBA Position: Point Guard
    High School: Peoria Central (IL) / College: Duke
    Ht: 6’7” Wt: 175

    NBA Comparison: Penny Hardaway

    Early entry candidate right out of high school ... signed national letter of intent to attend Duke, but opted to test the NBA Draft waters ... a likely top-10 pick ... some scouts believe he’ll go top-5 ... first thing you notice about him is his size and long arms ... towers over almost all other point guards ... height allows him not only to shoot over smaller defenders, but he also has the ability to see the passing lanes clearer ... combine that with great ball-handling skills and a high basketball IQ and you have a potentially great point guard ... is extremely smooth and shows good command and poise on the court ... been known to make difficult passes look easy ... but is also susceptible to having the ball stolen because he tends to dribble too high ... will need to protect the ball better at the next level ... also needs to add bulk—at least 30 lbs.—to survive long-term in the NBA ... a potentially great player.

    Kevin Martin

    NBA Position: Point Guard / Shooting Guard
    College: Western Carolina / Class: Junior
    Ht: 6’7” Wt: 195

    NBA Comparison: Rip Hamilton

    An early entry candidate ... an explosive scorer ... he loves attacking the basket and displays excellent body control when getting his shot off against physical defenders ... he is comfortable shooting off curls and fades, as well as off the dribble and catching and shooting in transition ... he knows how to get fouled and is a very good free-throw shooter ... he scores in a variety of ways around the basket and has an excellent left hand and a great feel for using angles to the basket ... he sees the floor well, and anticipates openings for himself and teammates ... despite being a prolific scorer, he takes few bad shots and makes his teammates better with his passing abilities ... he also has the ability to play the point-guard position ... defensively, his lateral quickness gives him the ability to beat opponents to their spot ... and his height and reach impact shooters ... however, he does not display the same confidence on defense as he does on offense, despite having the ability to dominate on that end of the floor ... his court awareness is excellent, as is his defensive I.Q. ... physically, he just needs to spend time in the weight room and eat a healthy diet ... his strength will increase accordingly ... perhaps his biggest challenge at the next level will be developing his mental toughness, since he will be the main focus of every defense he goes up against ... tough fouls, rugged screens, and relentless defenders will have to be dealt with every game he plays ... he is very coachable ... and has a shot at being the best shooting guard in the Draft ... ultimately, his effort in the weight room may be the deciding factor in whether or not he succeeds in the NBA.

    Sergei Monya

    NBA Position: Shooting Guard / Small Forward
    Int Team: CSKA Moscow / Hometown: Saratov, Russia
    Ht: 6’7” Wt: 230

    NBA Comparison: James Posey

    May be the most NBA ready of any of the top international prospects this year ... is physically strong and already has an NBA body ... a very intense player ... plays aggressively on both ends of the floor ... solid fundamentally and is a hard worker ... great leadership abilities ... has a nice mid-range jumper and is a good 3-point shooter, but his best attribute is his ability to play team defense ... knows how to help teammates and is a good one-on-one defender ... runs the court very well with speed and quickness ... biggest issue (facing him in this Draft) is his contract status with CSKA ... he presently does not have a buyout provision that would allow him to immediately jump to the NBA ... American agent is working with CSKA to facilitate an agreement ... if something can get worked out, he will likely be a late lottery or mid-first-round pick.

    UConn's Ben Gordon
    Ben Gordon's unbelievable athletic ability has made him an explosive penetrator and a good rebounder.

    (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Jameer Nelson

    NBA Position: Point Guard
    College: St. Joseph's / Class: Senior
    Ht: 5’11” Wt: 190

    NBA Comparison: Tim Hardaway and Damon Stoudamire

    A rarity—a bona fide college senior ... a big-time scorer who uses his strength and speed to relentlessly attack the basket ... although short in height, he has an NBA body in regard to strength, and is a proven defender (if he were three inches taller, he’d be a lock for the lottery) ... his jumper has improved year-by-year—especially his mid-range game ... an outstanding floor general ... he has a knack for finding teammates in traffic and is a creative passer ... likely to be picked somewhere between 12 and 24 in the first-round.

    Emeka Okafor

    NBA Position: Power Forward
    College: Connecticut / Class: Junior
    Ht: 6’9” Wt: 252

    NBA Comparison: Alonzo Mourning

    Graduated with a 3.8 GPA from UConn in only three years ... game has dramatically improved from year to year ... scouts expect that trend to continue ... a tremendous rebounder and shot blocker ... an extremely intelligent and hardworking player with a great future ... possesses unbelievable shot-blocking instincts, making him a true difference maker on the defensive end ... excellent at timing his jumps and moving his feet to alter shots ... intelligence and athletic ability have also made him a proficient rebounder and outlet passer ... offensively he shows good touch and a nice assortment of post moves ... jump shot is really developing and in time will become a feared weapon ... in addition, he has good footwork and is very coachable ... a super prospect … the sky is the limit.

    Damir Omerhodzic

    NBA Position: Small Forward /Power Forward
    Int Team: Cibona (Croatia) / Hometown: Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
    Ht: 6’10” Wt: 225

    NBA Comparison: Toni Kukoc

    A very versatile player who runs the floor like a guard ... can play both inside and outside, though most scouts project him as a small forward ... will need to add strength, but for an 18 year old, his size is good ... has an amazing three-point touch ... can shoot from anywhere on the floor ... has good vision and passes well out of the double team ... also a pretty good rebounder ... the best Croatian prospect in some time ... has extremely long arms and good leaping ability, making him an effective shot-blocker ... not afraid to take the ball to the hole ... a serious talent.

    Rickey Paulding

    NBA Position: Shooting Guard
    College: Missouri / Class: Senior
    Ht: 6’5” Wt: 218

    NBA Comparison: Ricky Davis

    Slasher who seems to get better every game ... can score in bunches and excels in an up-tempo offense ... extremely athletic, takes his man off the dribble for slashing drives off the wing ... outstanding leaping ability makes him a fine finisher, scoring over the top of traffic ... but as he distances himself from the basket, he becomes less effective ... a good mid-range shooter but is streaky from long-range ... moves well without the ball, so he can create open looks for himself ... owns good ball-handling skills, but tends to lose sight of his teammates ... a fine rebounder at 6’5”, especially on the offensive end.

    Kosta Perovic

    NBA Position: Center
    European Team: Partizan Belgrade / Hometown: Belgrade, Yugoslavia
    Ht: 7’2” Wt: 240

    NBA Comparison: Zydrunas Ilgauskas

    Huge—towers over opponents ... only 19 years old ... has soft hands and is excellent at putting back missed shots ... also a very good passer out of the post ... a hard worker ... and a decent shot blocker, because of his size ... nimble on his feet and seems to love the game ... however, is very limited offensively—his points come off putbacks and short jumpers ... he needs to develop a back to the basket game to become truly effective ... he also depends on his height too much and does not work hard enough at positioning for rebounds ... overall footwork also needs work ... but through experience he should learn the nuances of the game and develop into a very effective player ... he seems to get better with every game ... if he develops offensively, watch out ... has a very big upside ... at press time his Draft status is up in the air due to his contract with Partizan ... he has no “buyout” provision, thus Partizan may block his entry into the NBA this season.

    Tim Pickett

    NBA Position: Shooting Guard
    College: Florida State / Class: Senior
    Ht: 6’4” Wt: 207

    NBA Comparison: Jon Barry

    Confident player with a good feel for the game ... smart decision maker ... wants the ball in his hands during clutch situations ... plays the passing lanes especially well with excellent anticipation skills ... a crafty scorer with very good shooting mechanics and excellent range ... has very good strength—both legs and upper body ... can handle the ball in the open floor ... has good vision and passing ability but won’t be confused for a point guard ... a streak shooter who can really heat up ... shoots free throws exceptionally well ... a competitive team player ... but doesn't have good size for an NBA shooting guard ... however, with the right team, he could become a very effective player.

    Pavel Podkolzine

    NBA Position: Center
    Int Team: Metis Varese (Siberia) / Hometown: Novosibirsk, Russia
    Ht: 7’5” Wt: 303

    NBA Comparison: Gheorghe Muresan

    The next BIG THING? ... only 19 years old ... enormous physical stature—very strong—size is awe inspiring ... is very mobile and coordinated for his size ... however, offensively he’s timid ... doesn’t have a touch and has a long ways to go in figuring out post moves ... is an imposing presence in the paint ... and a dangerous threat to the health of anyone attempting to dunk over him ... however it’s evident that at this time he does not have a good feel for the game or sense of position ... very raw ... has the upside to be an impact player down the road ... he is an imposing presence on the defensive end ... he's also pretty good at using his size and weight against other big players, but he still has a lot of work to do to improve ... a team that can afford to be patient and does not need an impact player right away will likely take a chance on him in the first-round.

    Peter John Ramos

    NBA Position: Center
    Int Team: Criollos de Caguas (PR) / Hometown: Fajardo, Puerto Rico
    Ht: 7’2” Wt: 260

    NBA Comparison: Loren Woods

    A true prospect ... his improvement from 2003 to 2004 has simply been amazing ... he has a nice post-up game that includes a jump hook and a step-away jumper ... he is also a good passer and is able to find the open man when doubled ... considering the fact that he is only 19, his body is filling out nicely and he should eventually add at least 25 more pounds ... he is able to run up and down the court without any problem ... stamina is excellent ... needs to become a better rebounder, although he has improved in that area as well ... not a huge leaper, but he has size ... with a dearth of centers in the Draft, he should fall somewhere in the mid-to-late first round ... at worst, the first few picks in the second.

    Lawrence Roberts

    NBA Position: Power Forward
    College: Mississippi State / Class: Junior
    Ht: 6’9” Wt: 235

    NBA Comparison: David West

    Early entry candidate ... says he won’t hire an agent in order to keep collegiate eligibility ... one of the most improved players in the country ... big-time rebounder on both the offensive and defensive boards ... runs the floor well and is not afraid to mix it up down on the block ... but defense is average at best ... not a shot-blocker ... hustles and seems very coachable ... good back-to-the-basket scorer, but face-up game needs a lot of work ... also needs to become a better free-throw shooter ... should go back to school, but, if he stays in the Draft, he’s a likely second-round pick at best.

    - Prospect profiles compiled by Anthony Hyde

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