NBA Draft Profile: Robert Swift

In the days leading up to the June 24 NBA Draft, will give you the scouting report on the nine high school players with a shot to be selected in the first round of this year's draft. Today, we profile <b> Bakersfield (Calif.) </b> center <b> Robert Swift </b>.

Robert Swift
Bakersfield (Calif.)
Center, 7-1, 240

Strengths: The athletic big man with a high basketball IQ and great footwork has just as much potential at the defensive end of the floor as he does on offense. Swift owns a dazzling array of post-up moves and is always a threat to go up for an emphatic dunk or connect from up to 14-feet out using his soft jumper. When facing double teams, Swift's remarkable passing skills translate to open shots for his teammates. On defense, his long arms, quickness and aggressiveness make him a constant threat to send shots back the other way. Although he's skinny, Swift reads rebounds well by working extremely hard to get under the glass by boxing out opponents. He averaged 20 points, 11 rebounds and eight blocks per game as a senior and had 17 points, 12 boards and four blocked shots at the EA Roundball Classic.

Weaknesses: Swift is extremely raw and still needs to bulk up before he's ready to make an impact in the NBA. Although he has gained about 20 pounds of muscle mass during the past year, he is still far from being ready to bang with the NBA's elite on a daily basis. In addition to his rail-thin frame, past academic problems could scare off some teams.

The Lowdown: Although he committed with USC, Swift has hired an agent and can't withdraw his name from the draft. Whatever team selects him will need to be patient and give him time to develop his body. Once he does, Swift has the athleticism and natural gifts to become an All-Star and possibly the best true center of the draft. With such tremendous upside, many teams have shown interest. In fact, both the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat are said to be high on the kid.

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