Hakim Warrick Draft Capsule
VITALS: 6-9, 219, Syracuse
OVERVIEW: Warrick completed his Syracuse career fourth in school history with 2,073 points and 1,025 rebounds, adding 297 dunks in his 135-game career. The forward, who scored in double figures in his last 61 games, earned Big East Conference Player of the Year this season, averaging 21.4 points and 8.6 rebounds, while shooting 55 percent from the floor. He scored a career-high 36 points in his final home regular-season game against Providence. A first-team all-conference selection as a junior and senior, Warrick was the league’s most improved player as a sophomore, when he improved his scoring average from 6.1 points to 14.8.
LIKELY DRAFT POSITION: Speculation in the days leading up to the draft was that Golden State, which has the ninth pick, is sold on Warrick. While such rumors float around every year, it is obvious that Warrick has performed well in team workouts, as many teams admitted they were thrilled by his incredible athletic ability. Warrick’s draft position has garnered an unusual amount of attention, as some feel he could drop all the way to the late teens. Our guess is he doesn’t fall past 16, where Toronto is poised to make the second of its two first-round picks.
COMPARATIVE UPSIDE: Tayshaun Prince
COMPARATIVE DOWNSIDE: Eddie Griffin
ROLE PROJECTION: Eventual starter at small forward.
POSITIVES: Warrick has a 38-inch vertical jump and a 7-2 wingspan. Put those together, and you have one of the most dynamic dunkers to come into the NBA in a while. In the last two seasons, Warrick has improved the consistency and range of his jump shot. He is now solid out to 16 feet and favors a turnaround jumper (think Elvin Hayes) that is nearly impossible to block. He is quite a bit stronger than he looks and has the length to bother players taller than he is close to the basket.
SHORTCOMINGS: Warrick is a bit of a tweener, not hefty enough to guard the stronger power forwards in the NBA and yet not possessing the type of ballhandling ability associated with small forward. Despite being a hard worker in Syracuse’s strength program, Warrick has not been able to add much weight, weighing at 215 pounds at the NBA Pre-Draft Camp. However, Warrick is just as hard for other teams to match up with. He’s too tall and long to be guarded by most small forwards, and too quick for burly big forwards.