Overview: A long, versatile forward who has had his ups and downs production wise, but remains one of the NBAs most unique role players. A positionless player who sees minutes offensively at the 3, 4 and even the 5 on occasion, but is capable of passing the ball better than many point guards. Guards the 1-5 defensively. Possesses great size for the perimeter and adequate height for a power forward. Doesnt have ideal bulk for the low post, but is crafty enough that it doesnt really matter. Would really be well served by improving his outside shot. Not very quick or explosive, but is fluid in the open floor and shows good lateral quickness defensively. An outstanding passer who can act as a catalyst for his teammates offensively. Was a very distinguished player on the junior national level for France. Became a force in the French League as well. Wasnt an overnight success in the NBAneeded the combination of Mike DAntonis creativity and Steve Nashs playmaking skills to find his niche in the NBA. Won the NBA Most Improved Player Award in 2006. Made significant strides in his game, but has seen his conditioning drop-off dramatically after he signed his lucrative contract. Criticized for a certain lack of mental toughness. Often too unselfish for his own good, prone to inconsistency and passivity. Losing weight may help improve his relatively average athleticism.
Offense: Gets about one-third of his touches in catch and shoot situations from the midrange, but gets his shots from a plethora of different situations. Shows a decent mid-range jump shot that doesnt have great range or consistency. Seems to have developed a habit of flicking the ball at the rim rather than using his legs to generate power. This is largely due to the fact that he naturally leans to the left when he shoots. Doesnt make a lot of threes, which makes him a bit difficult to plug into just any offensive situation. Not a great catch and shoot player, but will make a shot or two on occasion. Nothing that can be relied upon consistently though. Struggles with his pull-up jumper as well. Gets quite a few touches in the post, and might be at his best here. Gets the vast majority of his touches on the left block, turning over his left shoulder for easy baby-hooks. Knows how to use his strong trunk to back his man down, which makes him a pretty solid weapon against certain types of player. Will show an up-and-under move or a full hook periodically. Poses a match up problem for most small forwards on the block due to his size and wingspan. Always keeps his head up for a teammate (usually Amare Stoudemire) flashing into the paint. Has very good ball handling ability for a player his size. Isnt quick enough to turn the corner, but will dribble his man down into the post and go to work. Wont be as effective when he has to create his own shot. Takes some bad off-balance short-range shots when he cant get an open look at the rim. Not the most explosive finisher at the rim, and struggles with contact. Goes to the line at a low rate due to his aversion to contact. Not an awful foul shooter, but not a good one either. Will grab an occasional offensive rebound. Sets decent screens and runs the floor well. Passes the ball wonderfully for a player his sizeamong the leagues best forwards in this area. Shows great court vision, but is often unselfish to a fault. One of the more versatile offensive players around. Not consistent enough to be a major threat, and not a great matchup against certain teams. Definitely needs to be in the right system to fully utilize his extremely unique skill-set.
Defense: Capable of defending almost any position depending on the matchup, and is often forced to due to Phoenixs limitations with Steve Nash. Has great length and is extremely crafty on this end of the floor. Doesnt force many turnovers or block many shots. Has the size to defend the post and the quickness to defend the perimeter. Shows good footwork on the defensive end and will get in a good stance on the ball. Seems to put a good effort in on this end of the court. Wont get many rebounds, tending to look for transition opportunities rather than help out on the glass. Not a dominant presence, but is useful due to the number of positions he can defend.