Overview: A skilled big man with good size, Curly is a below-average athlete by NBA standards, especially following repeated knee injuries. Still retains some mobility, but isnt a very fluid or explosive athlete. Has a pretty good feel for the game, plays intelligently, and is fundamentally sound on both ends. Could play the power forward and center spots early in his career, but now struggles to keep up with quicker opponents, relegating him primarily to the five. From Serbia, he spent two years with Partizan Belgrade before coming over after being drafted in 2002. Made a considerable financial sacrifice to play in the NBA. Was a consistent contributor for the Nets in his first three seasons. Struggled with knee injuries for a stretch, playing just 71 games combined from 2006-08. Left the NBA to play in Russia as a free agent in 08, but returned midway through the season. Still trying to regain the form he showed at the beginning of 2006-07 season when he really seemed to be coming into his own. Will get every opportunity to come along slowly playing for a rebuilding Oklahoma City franchise. No telling if hell ever fully return to what he once was, but hes already shown improvement from his post-injury season form. Lack of offensive efficiency and poor rebounding ability make ideally suited for a backup role.
Offense: A nice inside-outside threat that is still trying to find the efficiency he showed in the past. Gets almost one-third of his touches in spot up situations, with offensive rebounds, basket cuts, and pick and pops accounting for the rest of his shots. Used to get more touches with his back to the basket when he was peaking in 2007. Rarely gets to the free throw line anymore. A good mid-range shooter with range out to 20 feet who was very dangerous in the pick-and-pop game. Hasnt had an easy time getting his jumper to fall since returning to the Thunder, but still has the pretty mechanics that made him effective before he got hurt. Maintains consistent form when uncontested, but struggles with a hand in his face, getting sloppy and showing reduced effectiveness. A crafty post player with a good assortment of moves, but has struggled to finish with his back to the basket post-injury, showing a severe lack of vertical explosiveness. Isnt the feature post player that he once was. Used to really struggle to finish over defenders, but has had better luck around the basket coming off Oklahoma Citys bench. Has good touch on his hook shot with either hand, but prefers to turn over his left shoulder. Shows very nice spin moves going in either direction. Can sometimes take too long with his moves in the post, putting the ball on the floor too much. Does not turn the ball over at all, though, which is a nice plus. Will draw some contact and get to the line once in a blue moon, where he shoots a respectable percentage. Looks decent turning into his man to face up, but lacks the quickness to get by. A smart player off the ball who does a good job cutting and finishing on open looks at the basket. Isnt able to get out in transition anymore, often trailing behind. Efficiency fell off drastically in 2008, with TS% falling from 56% to 45%, but hes rebounded since returning from Russia to some extent shooting 50% this season. Still has a ways to go before being considered a legitimate starting center, though.
Defense: A fundamentally sound post defender, does a good job moving his feet, staying in front of his man, and contesting shots, but is often over-matched athletically. Can struggle to hold position against stronger opponents. Not much of a shot-blocking threat, but has been notably more effective since returning from Russia and does a good job making rotations and getting his hands up. Lateral quickness is a problem on the perimeter, and he struggles to get out and defend the midrange effectively. Getting back some of his recovery speed, but still doesnt always get back to his man when defending the pick and roll, though he puts in great effort trying. Was never a great rebounder, but is even less effective than he once was now. Isnt physically aggressive or athletic enough to beat the players around him to the ball.