DeJuan Blair recently had this to say about his upcoming NBA career: “I’m not here to do anything else but rebound. I’m an energy guy.”
Don’t believe that for a minute.
With his massive wingspan Blair will block his share of shots as a pro. He also averaged 1.7 steals last year at Pitt. He’s extremely efficient around the rim, even if he doesn’t play above it. One thing that I really like about him was pointed out after the tourney by Draft Express:
“Blair does an excellent job at establishing deep position in the post. He’s also deceptively quick down there, often using the baseline and reversing on the other side of the rim to shield his defender – putting them in “jail”.”
Even though he won’t outjump a number of the players he is going up against, he dominates the boards because he uses his body well to obtain position. And he puts those boards back in the hoop.
Some people do have concerns about his offensive game. But if we are talking finishing and back to the basket, I’ll already take Blair over Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah.
I made Blair the Bulls’ pick at #16 in my recent mock draft. The Bulls need a “hard” player in the frontcourt and Blair perfectly fits the bill. He may not be the prototype for running up and down the court with Derrick Rose. But when push comes to shove — and it always does in the East and the playoffs — you need a banger down there. One that can score around the basket. Blair will do that and keep many a Bulls offensive possession going.
It’s interesting that people compare him to Elton Brand because people also had some issues with Brand’s size. Blair commented on that too. “This is what I say about size: Go get the biggest person on your team, let me play one-on-one against him and we’ll see about size.” I’m itching to see that.