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NBA Draft Prospects: PF DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh

Posted on: May 14, 2009 2:47 pm
Edited on: June 5, 2009 5:47 pm
 

DeJuan Blair: 6-7, 270, PF, So. (University of Pittsburgh)

Draft Rank: #9

PF Rank: #2

Strengths:

Full of energy. Loves to mix it up down low. Has great bounce to his game. Plays with tremendous emotion. Very active on both ends rebounding the ball (especially offensive). Attacks the ball with both hands when rebounding. Plays bigger than his size. Uses his wide  frame to get position on bigger opponents. Uses his back side to get rebounds. Understands angles and where to go on the floor in order to rebound effectively. Lives for the big game and enjoys playing the role of spoiler or underdog. Can use either hand to finish around the rim. Knows how to get separation and then elevate to hit a jump shot. Isn't afraid of playing physical on either end of the floor. Has great feet and hands for a big man. Uses the baby hook shot very effectively as he digs his body into his opponent and then rises up. Uses the glass on both sides of the basket. Very soft touch around the basket. Good footwork that should allow him to become a solid back to the basket player.

Weaknesses:

An undersized big man. Gets into foul trouble very easily. Doesn't always make good decisions on either end. Not a good shot blocker. Isn't a good help defender and is often too slow when helping his teammates. Conditioning may become an issue as well. Not a good foul shooter. A little worried about past injuries. Plays below the rim. Can become erratic when putting the ball on the floor or squaring up at the top of the key. Needs to improve his jump shot so that defenses don't sag off of him when he sets picks. Needs to improve his free-throw shooting.

Mental:

Emotion, emotion, emotion. He is always smiling on the floor and you can tell he loves the big stage and loves playing basketball. His emotion can sometimes get the best of him, but I would rather have a guy with his motor and energy that makes some mistakes then someone that doesn't care about the game. I can also see him developing into a leader on the floor. His mental makeup is one that believes in competing and he clearly hates to lose. He provides his teammates with positive re-enforcement and I think his attitude and physical style of play rubs off on his teammates. He is a warrior who mentally will almost always have a positive effect on his teammates. 

Extra info:
-- Tore both of his ACLs in high school.   

Comparison: 
Craig Smith, 6-7, 250, PF

Would be a good fit for:  Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, or New Jersey Nets

Conclusion:

He is probably my favorite player in the draft. He will always have a role as a backup big in the league and provide a team with energy off the bench. I think he is similar to Craig Smith, but I think he will be better and be a guy that may even be able to start at the 4 in the NBA. If he can extend his range and lose some weight I see no reason why he couldn't be a dominant force on the offensive end. But until he does that he probably won't be a consistent starter in the NBA.

Look for him to come in and provide a team with positive and productive bench energy. In that role he can do what he does best, rebound, play physical and wreck havoc on opposing team's defenses. In a weak draft I think that he fits in as a top 10 pick. He will be able to contribute and help winning teams for many years to come.

Comments

Since: Jun 25, 2007
Posted on: June 25, 2009 6:22 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospects: PF DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh

As I Nets fan Blair has been linked to our #11 pick.  I liked the kid at the college level but didn't love him.  I felt the most talented kid on that team was Sam Young.  I don't question the kids heart and work ethic what I question is whether at 6ft6 280lbs he'll be able to do anything in todays NBA.  It's a faster more jump shot oriented league.  I personally would rather have my Nets draft Hansbourgh.  Blair to me is just too much of a question mark.

I know a lot of people will say Big Baby Davis made it and try comparing him to him.  But lets not forget Davis has 3 inches on him.  Thats a lot of height.  Lets just hope for all Nets fans sake we draft a guy with lesser chance to failure.  I'm just happy we finally moved VC's contract.  The guy was terrible shooting 3's on fast breaks and just winging up terrible shots.  All as he was doing was stunting the growth of our youth. 



Since: Nov 28, 2006
Posted on: June 8, 2009 11:43 am
 

NBA Draft Prospects: PF DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh

Why is he rated higher than Hansbrough?  Simple, he is a better NBA prospect.  Dont get me wrong, I love Tyler Hansbrough but he played on a team full of 5-star recruits and future NBA players, the same could not be said for Dejaun Blair.  Hansbrough is going to be a solid role-player that will come off the bench for a solid NBA team (Cleveland maybe?)  His energy and passion will make up for his lack of athleticism to be sure. 

To all you Blair nay-sayers, you obviously have not watched this kid play much.  Despite some limitations to his game, he is a beast.  No one was a better rebounder than Blair, including the best player in the draft, Blake Griffin.  I know, Griffin's stats say different, but face it, Blair was putting his numbers up in the Big East, where the biggest and the baddest play inside.  Blair looked like a man among boys just about every night and his upside is much higher than Hansbrough.

From all accounts, Blair has lost a bunch of weight and has been explosive in his pre-draft workouts.  He has gone from a late first round projection to a possible top-ten because of it.  Due to his loss of weight, his quickness and lift have been impressive to scouts.  Free-throws are all about work and dedication, remember Blair is only 21.  This guy has unbelievable hands and is immovable once he gets position inside. 

The biggest question surrounding Blair is can he become a more polished offensive player.  That means being able to shoot from 10 to 15 feet with some accuracy and adding post moves to his repotoire.  In the right situation, Blair can be a legit starter at the 4 spot and will be a very good player at the next level. 



Since: Sep 14, 2007
Posted on: June 8, 2009 10:12 am
 

NBA Draft Prospects: PF DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh

Blair should not be the #2 PF if Jordan Hill is listed as a PF...  Because Jordan Hill is more athletic and more talented defensively and offensively.  This kid actually has a jump shot and can block shots.  With Blair you are actually getting someone worse than Big Baby because Glen Davis has proven he can hit the 15 footer something Blair never done in college.  He is a poor man's Paul Millsap at best.  I'd rate Blair maybe the 5-6th best PF in this class.  And that is not based on his college career but his projection into the NBA.



Since: Apr 9, 2009
Posted on: June 7, 2009 9:50 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospects: PF DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh

I don't get what your talking about, where in this article does it say that Blair is better than Griffen.



Since: May 28, 2007
Posted on: June 7, 2009 5:45 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospects: PF DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh

why is this guy ranked higher than hansbrough? Blair is undersized and poorly conditioned, but he enjoys the big stage and plays with emotion. Lets see, Hansbrough is undersized as well, but is in great condition and has actually won big on the big stage. Hansbrough also shows more heart and desire on the court than anyone.  I agree with the next tractor trayler prediction. LBJ is taller and outweighs blair by 20 lbs, and can get his head over the rim and he's a G/F. blair's doomed until he is able to reach a much higher level in conditioning.



Since: Nov 7, 2006
Posted on: June 7, 2009 3:35 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospects: PF DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh

Mgeng wrote -Just to correct you, they traded Dirk Nowitzki and Pat Garrity for Robert Traylor, and then flipped Garrity to the Suns for Steve Nash. So the official scorecard is Nowitzki AND Nash for Tractor Traylor.

That should Vave given someoen a job for lifea s a GM. Trading Tractor traylor for two future hall fo famers.



Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: June 7, 2009 3:15 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospects: PF DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh

Unfortunately I have to agree... merely because Griffin is going to the Clippers where good players go to die.



Since: Mar 19, 2007
Posted on: June 7, 2009 12:52 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospects: PF DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh

It's too simplistic to say Blair would improve his draft position if he went back to school like Griffin did. That's not a given, and with Blair's medical history he made the right decision. Even without medical concerns, look at Big Baby Glen Davis. Sure he's doing fine now, but he was a projected top 10 pick in 2006 draft (Bargnani, Aldridge, Morrison, Tyrus), went back to school and ended up dropping to the second round.



Since: Apr 18, 2009
Posted on: June 7, 2009 5:43 am
 

Wher will Blair go?

Hard to say. Its such a fast game. He'll stick into someones starting rotation quick though. Much depends on his fitness level and conditioning. Don't know know where he can fit. Maybe Philadelphia, or New Orleans, the latter might be to speedy and up tempo though.



Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: June 7, 2009 5:09 am
 

NBA Draft Prospects: PF DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh

The biggest difference between Traylor and Blair is that Traylor is a lazy pig, and Blair has heart and desire. Blair will build himself a nice career contributing to a team. Traylor is nothing but a buffet wrecker.


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