Outlaw: "Four" or Against?

If you read either the O-Live or Mike Barrett's blog in the last couple days you noticed that some of the talk centered around Travis Outlaw as a possible power forward.  I must admit I was surprised by this.  I tried to hold off and give it a fair trial before judging, but I still have several questions:

  1.  Why?  We already have a ton of power forwards including the #2 pick overall in this year's draft.  We only have one experienced small forward besides Travis and it would appear those minutes are much more available...especially since the team would surely prefer to get along without Darius as soon as humanly possible.
  2. What particular advantages does he have there?  I suppose leaping and general athleticism, and you've got to hope he can run faster than most power forwards, but what else?  Not height.  Not bulk.  Not toughness or attitude.  If he's not going to be a main offensive option then you can't really count that.  And I have a hard time imagining him guarding either the classic power fowards in the league with those huge bodies or the new breed who tend to be very tall, very skilled, and very good scorers.
  3.  One could make a loose comparison to Shawn Marion as a converted small forward, but it seems fragile to me.  Marion is the best pound-for-pound rebounder in the NBA.  Outlaw is probably the sixth or seventh best rebounder on this team.  And this is a team desperately in need of more rebounds.  Plus Marion has the offensive tools to play in a Phoenix-like system and Outlaw hasn't shown those yet...or anything comparable.  Besides, we don't have the players at any other position to run a Suns-like offense.  Didn't Nate just say we were going big and bruising?  Wouldn't Outlaw at power forward be an anachronism then?
I guess I am willing to be educated, but for now I just don't see it.  So what do you think?  Was this a serious assertion and something that should be considered and/or tried or was it simply an attempt to drum up pre-season hype for a player that needs a boost in the public's esteem?

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)

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