Here’s a scouting report from when Kevin Garnett was in high school, as tweeted by former NBA scout Clarence Gaines. Gaines worked for the Bulls, so that would explain why he chose to say Garnett had “better passing ability than Kukoc.” (Twitter)
Kevin Garnett – The best prospect that I have seen this year. Has the skills & mentality of a small forward & height & extension of a PF/Center. Very skilled BB player who has a tremendous understanding of the game of BB. If declares for 1995 draft,would recommend we take him,regardless of our drafting position.
Skill-wise, he is advanced beyond his years & has the physical ability to compete at the NBA level. Better effort in running the floor than in January. Blessed with great athleticism & outstanding quickness. Great pair of hands – Catches everything. Catches long pass like a wide receiver & delivers wraparound pass for an easy layup. Excellent play making skills. Easily able to run an offense through him. So unselfish. Judgment is exceptional. Trusts in his teammates ability to make a play by advancing the ball up the court to the open man. Better passing ability than Kukoc. Has great wrists & consistently delivers accurate passes.
Court vision is exceptional. Quick feet-makes athletic plays & demonstrates poise & patience at both ends of the floor. Runs so easily – excellent speed. Quick & reactive jumping abilities. Finishes with dunks around the rim. Explosive strength. Very expressive on the court. Natural leadership abilities. Directing, encouraging & demanding with his teammates. Showed some maturity in the way he handled the technical that he got for taunting after an explosive dunk. He knew he was in the wrong & acknowledged it to the referee & to himself. Has lots of personality. Plays with a high level of energy.
Someone with his skill level has to have a deep & abiding love for the game as well as a tremendous work ethic. Ball handling skills are exceptional. Helps to break press by driving middle & then making the proper read. Will put the ball on the floor & can handle pint position in break situations. Excellent passer off the dribble. Excellent interior passer. Has great passing technique & is able to be deceptive when passing. Thinks ahead – able to visualize options and conceptualize an off. system. Instructs guard to rotate the ball to post feeder on the wing and then executes a quick (James Worthy type) spin move for baseline dunk off a jab step & head fake move into the lane.
Very good shooting release. Draining his shots during warm-ups. High release point on jump shot. Good mid-range shooting ability at this stage. Can catch, turn & shoot from 12-15 feet out. Dominated a 6’10″ prospect (Lari Ketner-U MASS)who is being recruited by a lot of top notch programs. Like a man playing against a boy. Utilizes his athleticism & shot blocking abilities on defense. Did not slide feet to cut off path to the lane, but was able to recover & block shot. Played some great heads-up post defense against Ketner. Quick feet defensively & agile. Reacted to his every move & sent his shots back to him.
Throws great outlet passes after claiming defensive board. From a maturity stand point,I hope he goes to college. But if he decides to enter the draft & we are in a position to draft him, I will yell to the rooftops for us to roll the dice & take him. In his case, we are rolling loaded dice. I had the opportunity to see Anfernee Hardaway & Glenn Robinson before they played collegiate BB, & I had similar feeling about their pro potential. Kevin excites me more than both of these players at the same stage. He is a FRANCHISE PLAYER & marquis gate attraction.
Apparently, Garnett was pretty good in high school too. I mean, Gaines was so impressed by KG that he somehow made even a technical foul seem like it was the height of maturity: “Showed some maturity in the way he handled the technical that he got for taunting after an explosive dunk.” I love that line. Can’t say anybody’s ever said that I’ve showed maturity in the way I handled a technical foul I got for taunting after an explosive dunk. Gaines was incredibly spot-on with his assessment though. Well done.
If you’re a UMass fan, it isn’t too surprising that Lari Ketner was dominated by Kevin Garnett, huh? As we now know, the difference between Garnett and Ketner is like the difference between Jessica Biel and Hilary Clinton.
(h/t Outside the NBA)