Zhu Fangyu is a reasonably athletic and well built small forward, rather strong for his age, with enough size to play that position even if he's not really that big. He's a rarity coming from China, as the majority of Chinese NBA prospects are paint players.
His main offensive weapon is his jumper, showing good mechanics and deep range, also being able to make it off the dribble, even if he prefers the static approach. Zhu can put the ball on the floor to attack the basket. He has some handles and a decent first step. He tries to take advantage of favorable situations, like when his matchup is unbalanced.
He can be a decent player without the ball, cutting to get open looks nearer the basket, but many times he's not prolific enough in this department, preferring to hang around the three-point line waiting for the ball. Regarding his passing abilities, he shows them mostly driving and dishing although perhaps not as often as it would be desired.
Defensively, he shows some pretty nice lateral movement, and shouldn't have too much trouble defending the small forward position at a higher level.
Not really a quick player, Fangyu has problems creating his own shot on a regular basis when facing good defenders, as he hardly manages to get open enough to hit his jumpers with good accuracy. If we talk about comfortable shots, even in static situations, he's still a bit streaky.
Fangyu's handles are definitely improvable. Especially his left hand could use some work. These circumstances limit his ability in slashing situations and make him commit some turnovers. Besides, he's not that quick and explosive to be able to beat his matchup on a regular basis. If he can't take advantage of a lapse in the defense, it becomes hard work for him to penetrate against decent defenders.
Zhu's team defense is rather poor. Once the ball isn't in the hands of his matchup, the level of intensity he spends decreases considerably, looking a bit passive too many times. You can get a similar impression many times when it comes to cleaning the glass; he's definitely not a great rebounder.
He is not a player that gives the impression of having an unlimited amount of potential. It's hard to picture him becoming a NBA caliber guy. Even if he's decently skilled, and not unathletic, he hardly would be able to fill a specific role in the league, not on the defensive end nor in the offensive end, unless he finds enough consistency to become a spot-up shooter specialist.
Zhu plays for the Guangdong Tigers, currently one of the top teams of the Chinese CBA League, and he's one of the big stars there, although the level he's facing there is pretty weak. His team has just won this season's title, repeating last year's achievement, with Zhu as the leading scorer averaging 26.4 points to go along with 3.8 rebounds in the 5 games of the finals.
He was tested against some more serious competition in the summer of 2004 while playing in the Olympic Games at Athens with the Chinese National Team, achieving a huge success by advancing to the quarterfinals. It wasn't Zhu's best showcase, though, as he only averaged 5.9 points and 2.6 rebounds while hitting under 30% of his shots.
Two years before that he was already in China's roster for the World Championships that where held in Indianapolis. There, he averaged 4.6 points and 2 rebounds. Against the NBA-stacked US Team he scored 14 points and grabbed 3 boards.
Zhu Fangyu is automatically eligible for the 2005 draft, but at this point it looks like a bit of a stretch to see him being picked by any team. He's probably not intriguing enough to make the cut, while his performance in the Olympics and the fact that he's a perimeter guy doesn't help either. Considering how unpredictable the 2nd round can be, though, that possibility can't be ruled out.
Zhu Fangyu was selected MVP of the Chinese League in 2004 and MVP of the CBA playoffs in 2005.
Zhu has won a couple of three-point contests this season, the first one in January in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) versus the Korean Basketball League (KBL) All-Star Game, and the other one in March in the CBA All-Star Game.