What a scouting report from Knicks’ draft expert looks like
Unheralded out of the small school, Arkansas-Little Rock, Derek Fisher played 18 NBA seasons and won five NBA titles with…
Unheralded out of the small school, Arkansas-Little Rock, Derek Fisher played 18 NBA seasons and won five NBA titles with the Lakers — proving to be a leader, clutch 3-point shooter, rabid and prideful defender, playing hurt and playing “bigger than his size’’ — all attributes found in Clarence Gaines Jr.’s scouting report filed in April 1996. Here are some excerpts of the assessment of Fisher, who was drafted higher than mocks suggested in a star-studded 1996 draft — 24th by Jerry West’s Lakers, five spots ahead of the Bulls, who took ex-Knick Travis Knight with last pick of first round:
“Physically developed. Structurally strong. Has been lifting weights since high school. Strong legs and butt. Big hands. Big body for a point guard. Will be able to defend against bigger guards. … Possible late first-round pick — high upside. Good speed with the dribble. Like his ability to turn the corner and get his own shot. Able to rise up and over other point guards off the dribble — gets good lift and has very good leg strength. Shoots best off the dribble. Does a good job of utilizing screens and popping jump shot. Plays bigger than size. Good one-on-one skills. Sees the floor on the move. Vision is good in the open court. Has the ability to get all the way to the basket in the open court. Shows deep shooting range — career 38 percent from the 3-point line. Needs to develop more consistency in spot-shooting ability. Strength of game is currently off the dribble. Can get too infatuated with one-on-one play, but I like his offensive aggressiveness.
Late addition to Phoenix (draft combine), but I was impressed that he was able to make a contribution in the first game without the benefit of practice. Not intimidated at all by the All-Star format. Able to get a clean look at the basket in bailout/red zone situations. Sets decent picks. Has a physicalness to his game and tough mentality that I like. Performance fell off a little in last game of the Desert Classic. Didn’t do a good job of getting his team into their offense in the third quarter. Like him on the defensive end. He will compete. Great defensive stance. Gets his arms out. Quick hands. Low center of gravity. Strong and quick enough to prevent his man from turning the corner. Good on-the-ball defender and good awareness off the ball. Will double down to attempt strip and recovers quickly. Good explosiveness in claiming rebound — will be an excellent rebounder for a lead guard. Strength and quickness to handle small and mid size point guards. Has a stopper’s mentality — takes pride in his defense.
Impressions of interview
Born and raised in Little Rock, Ark. 21 years old. … Two-parent household. Dad works for the postal service and mom works for a bank. … Half-brother is Duane Washington of Middle Tennessee State. Has an understanding of the pro lifestyle due to Duane’s trials and tribulations. Started playing when he was 5. Involved with AAU ball since he was 10. … Participated in soccer, baseball and football until he was in high school. Dedicated to conditioning his body — will get up at 6 a.m. to work out. Like his pedigree. Lightly recruited. Raised in the baptist church and is active in (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) and Bible-study groups. I like his makeup. Presents self well. Has a professional attitude. Mature. … Showed toughness in playing through pain in six games. Considers self to be unselfish and a team player. … Solid philosophy in talking about determination — ‘It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you handle it.’ … Feels he has been a leader since freshman year. To sacrifice is the inherent trait that he believes all point guards share.”