Gani LawalHt/Wt: 6-9 / 233 lbs
Team: Georgia Tech
2009 Draft Profile - Gani LawalGani Lawal reminds me of a Detroit Piston big man in the Chuck Daly era, strong, tough, smart and plays with a championship motor. No one tries harder than this young man, and the growth from his freshman to sophomore year proves it. He has tremendous moxie, is an excellent student and comes from a solid family as his dad is a successful real estate/mortgage broker.
Heís another young player that lacks refinement in the low post, and is two years away from being a back to the basket scorer, but with his hard work and determination heís a great pick in the late first, which is where many are projecting he goes.
Athletically, he has a strong profile. He runs the floor well, is a great leaper and is extremely strong for his age. What I like about him most, is that he likes mixing it up down low and has that toughness and grit that many other young players simply donít have. I could see him playing that tough guy, intimidator role of yesteryear. He could be a true enforcer, but one that does not carry the thug label, as heís extremely coachable and carries zero baggage.
This is the prototypical lunch-pail smash mouth power forward that many teams need on their team. He plays the game hard, whether itís posting up, or his forte which is offensive rebounding. Gani led the ACC in offensive rebounding with 3.6 a game, and averaged 9.5 boards per game for the season. There is no reason to believe that he will not be a great board man at the next level. He has the height, 6í8/6í9, the weight 235 pounds, and the wingspan 7í1 to physically play the position. Throw in the Cosworth motor and this guy is ready to go.
Other top attributes are that he plays every game, and every minute of the game like a warrior. His scoring prowess needs work, but he gets a lot of his points without plays being run for him. Some would call him a garbage player, but itís tough to score in college when the whole defensive unit collapses on you when you get the ball. This is an area he needs to work on, as he had trouble with double teams and decision making.
When Gani was forced to face the basket and put the ball on the floor. It was obviously not a strong part of his game. He is more of a cut to the basket, receive the ball, take two steps and flush kind of guy. His jump shot also is not even close to where it needs to be in the new NBA, where everyone is bombing threes. The cool part, is the he knows this And doesnít try and do things heís not capable of. He really plays within the confines of his game. Keep in mind, he did average 15 points a game in for Georgia Tech, which plays in the ACC, so he knows how to get it done.
Because of his rough and tumble game, he gets fouled a lot. Unfortunately, his ability to convert free throws is at a 55% level, and thatís certainly not going to cut it. In looking at his form, at times itís good, but at other times he seems to move his elbow around. This is easily corrected in the pro game, where a player can work on his game and not have to worry about classes, mid-terms or finals. If he could shoot the ball with consistency from the perimeter, he would be a top ten pick, so therein lay the opportunity for the team drafting him.
If your team plays a lackluster defense and you need someone to rev things up, heís your huckleberry. Heíll probably come off the bench his first few years in the NBA, but once he gets his confidence up, thereís no reason to believe he wonít be a solid player. Heís what we call a value pick. Solid athlete, solid person, but someone who needs to work on their game, heís another guy that would benefit by playing a lot of one on one, to develop all of the offensive subtleties to play the game successfully. That and 1000 free throws a day.
Draft Profile provided by Ed Ziti of SportsPolyMath.com
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Gani Lawal Stats
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