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Marcus Slaughter NBA Draft Scouting Report
by:
April 11, 2006
Strengths
Although he doesn’t show enough of the skills to be projected there just yet, at 6-8 (measured in Chicago) Slaughter has a prototypical frame for an NBA small forward, featuring huge shoulders, a thin waist, strong legs and a 6-11 wingspan. Athletically, he has excellent quickness running the floor, good leaping ability and plenty of strength to compliment his overall tenacity.

His best attribute right now is his rebounding ability, thanks largely due to his quickness, length, above average hands, strength and toughness. Slaughter attacks the glass ferociously, averaging 11 rebounds per game, making him the 5th best rebounder in the NCAA statistically. His attitude is much improved here, showing better understanding of how to utilize his skills on the glass to go along with a very solid motor, allowing him to go out of his area to get rebounds and always be somewhere around the ball. This shows up particularly well on the offensive glass, where he pulls down nearly half his rebounds.

Slaughter’s overall aggressiveness also helps him get to the free throw line at a fantastic rate, well over 9 times per game. Once he’s there he knocks down his free throws at a solid 76% clip.

He was almost strictly an inside player in his first two seasons at San Diego State, but is now starting to move his game out to the perimeter and is making some small, but important strides in this area. His ball-handling in particular looks slightly better, being able to lead the break or put the ball on the floor somewhat awkwardly from the perimeter and attack his man. Slaughter has very powerful legs and is able to get to the basket in just two very large strides from the 3-point line thanks to his athleticism, often being sent to the line because of how tough it is for big men to contain him.

When properly utilized, Slaughter is one of the toughest players to defend on the west coast because of his all-around versatility at the power forward position. Few can keep up with his combination of strength and athleticism both inside and out, but especially on the glass. His passing ability is much better as well, showing better decision making skills, an improved attitude, and just a better all-around understanding of the game. His assists are way up while the turnovers are down on the year to back this up.

Weaknesses
Slaughter is still a raw prospect in many facets of the game and could really have used another year in college. His biggest problem right now is the fact that he’s obviously a tweener, showing a small forward’s height and frame, but skill-wise clearly being a power forward. Slaughter will have to either add bulk to his frame to become a legit PF, or significantly improve his skill level which is sorely lacking right now.

Most of the damage Slaughter does offensively comes off layups, dunks, offensive rebounds and in transition. His ball-handling improved his junior year, but is still nowhere near being NBA caliber for either the Small or Power Forward positions. His back to the basket game is extremely raw, as he displays little to no footwork inside the post. His jump-shot is not a strength of his at this point, being fairly streaky from mid-range and having absolutely no range beyond that. His left hand is non-existent both handling the ball or finishing around the hoop as well. His passing has improved, but still has a ways to go in terms of finding teammates outside of the post.

Defensively, Slaughter doesn’t have great size for the power forward position, and clearly lacks any type of experience to be projected as a small forward who is expected to defend the perimeter. Even defending the post Slaughter shows poor instincts at times, risking his position excessively going up for blocked shots and getting himself in foul trouble by being overly aggressive.

Slaughter displays just an average feel for the game in most everything he does, particularly settling for moves and shots that clearly aren’t yet in his repertoire. He was showing some of the natural progress that most raw big men show from their sophomore to junior seasons this year, but still did it at the weak Mountain West Conference level and never against top competition.

Outlook
After prematurely burning his draft card last year, Slaughter has declared again and is in the draft for good, eventually hiring LA based agent Dan Fegan. He's considered a 2nd round prospect at best, with a better chance of going undrafted than landing in the 1st round. Slaughter will likely attend the Orlando pre-draft camp and hope to land on the right team with a good PG that will allow him to play to his strengths. There are many things he will need to show here, and he'll need to have a truly dominant camp to work his way into the 1st round.


 


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