Overview: Haywood has really worked hard to develop his game. His first 6 years in the league were fairly consistent and pedestrian, but Haywood took a step up in play going into his 7th season. His overall offensive game has grown in consistency and volume as he is now considered a reliable go-to option with his back-to-basket game. Haywood's ability to face-up on the pivot and finish post moves off the dribble has really been a nice addition to his offensive game. Defensively, Haywood has been the anchor of Washington's interior.
Strengths: Haywood has been extremely valuable in the pick-and-roll game, being a good finisher going to the basket. He has shown a tremendous increase in agility, a direct result of the noticeable improvement in his strength and conditioning routine. Haywood's move away from bulk and brute strength has greatly improved his quickness around the basket. His versatility around the basket is still a work-in-progress, but he has many more moves in his repertoire now. He is an excellent offensive rebounder. Haywood's free throw shooting has also substantially improved, making him a much more reliable option near the basket.
Defensively, Haywood remains a solid shot-blocker, a stat that has not increased much despite his improved mobility on the court. His on-ball defense in the post is a staple of his Haywood's game. He moves his feet well and doesn't get baited into going for too many shot-fakes. He typically relies on his length to challenge shots. He has a great combination of size and quickness, which makes it difficult for opponents to back him down or go around him on the face-up.
Weaknesses: Haywood must improve his face up shot from inside 15 feet as he is getting more attention from defenders when on the block. Haywood has improved his repertoire on the interior, but must continue to work on the efficiency of those moves, especially the fall-away jumper in the lane. He's really not someone a team can throw the ball to and ask to create a shot for himself. Defensively, Haywood is somewhat limited by the personnel around him. Haywood is typically the only player with size on the interior, as Washington favors mobility at the 4. As such, Haywood often gets caught rotating to the strong-side which leaves some lanes open for passes to cutters or a stationary weak-side dunk.