06-25-2002, 11:42 AM
From ESPN -
Jacobsen surprise invite to draft?!?
Obviously, the NBA knows something about Stanford's Casey Jacobsen's draft status that we didn't.
Jacobsen was one of 16 draft prospects invited by the league to attend the NBA Draft iat Madison Square Garden Wednesday night. The invitation is considered a key indicator of who the NBA thinks will be the top picks.
After several high-profile mistakes the past few years, the league has reduced the number of players invited and done a more thorough job of researching the projected range of each player.
Remember Jumaine Jones crying in 1999 after he slipped to pick No. 27? Or Rashard Lewis looking like a lost puppy in 1998 when he fell all the way to the second round? The NBA has actually been trying to avoid those classic made-for-TV moments.
So imagine the surprise when Jacobsen, considered a borderline first-round pick by many, appeared on the list. Jacobsen may have dropped a clue that he was an early first-rounder late last week when he canceled a workout with the Jazz, who draft at No. 19.
Jacobsen joins top lottery prospects Jay Williams, Mike Dunleavy, Caron Butler, Drew Gooden, Chris Wilcox, Dajuan Wagner, Jared Jeffries, Nikoloz Tskitishivili, Nene Hilario, Qyntel Woods, Curtis Borchardt and Amare Stoudemire.
Other top players such as Melvin Ely, Kareem Rush and Marcus Haislip were also invited.
The fact that Jacobsen was invited ahead of several other top prospects, including Bostjan Nacbar, Jiri Welsch and Dan Dickau, is a good sign that Jacobsen will land somewhere between 14 and 18. So where will he go? Jacobsen did have a stellar workout in Indiana, which picks at No. 14. The Rockets, Sixers and Hornets have been looking for a shooter at picks 15, 16, and 17.
06-25-2002, 12:47 PM
Very interesting. Good find, Madape.
06-25-2002, 01:18 PM
<< Or Rashard Lewis looking like a lost puppy in 1998 when he fell all the way to the second round? >>
i think i was as shocked as rashard lewis was when this happened.. many team definitely missed the boat on passing this guy up
06-25-2002, 02:49 PM
Nice article. Anyone think Riley is looking at him?
06-26-2002, 09:09 AM
I'm thinking it's the pacers..
Here's an article from the Indy Star:
You start with the fact that everyone admits they lie.
That aside, the Indiana Pacers sound ready to wave the flag and eat apple pie tonight as they make their selection in the NBA draft.
Free of glaring needs, the Pacers hope simply to land a player who can contribute to a young, deep and promising team. Not three or four years down the road, but next season. At any position. Preferably, a versatile player who can help at more than one position.
They believe their best chance of finding that player is to select one with three or four years of experience in the American collegiate system. Since most of those are likely to be available after the Pacers' 14th pick rolls around, they might have the luxury of trading down to do it.
Of course, there's always the chance a player projected to go higher than 14th drops and forces the Pacers to rethink their strategy.
"We still have two days of work to do," Pacers president Donnie Walsh reminded Tuesday. "You're not in a position to say what you're going to do. I don't know what I'm going to do."
Walsh and coach Isiah Thomas tried Tuesday to deflect conversation from Kareem Rush, who most mock drafts project going to the Pacers. That might have been an attempt to hide their intent, but it also seemed to indicate their willingness to trade for a lower pick and pick up a future first-round selection.
Tonight's draft is bottom-heavy with players who completed their collegiate eligibility, or came close, and had success.
Walsh and Thomas talk as if they wouldn't mind having one.
"There are a lot of three- or four-year college players who can really play who you can pick from 14 through 29 and beyond," Walsh said.
That groups includes All-Americans such as Dan Dickau, Juan Dixon, Sam Clancy, Casey Jacobsen, Carlos Boozer and Tayshaun Prince, all four-year college players who are expected to be available in the latter half of the first round.
"For whatever reason in this draft, the guys who have been tested in the American system are in the back," Thomas said.
"The guys who have good character, come from good families, go to school, do the right things and win . . . for some reason, all of that is overlooked because of potential, something that may or may not happen."
Walsh agreed, warning that the NBA's recent infatuation with young potential might have gone too far.
"At some point there's going to be a payday," Walsh said. "In the process, these players who are staying in college and improving their games and becoming really good NBA (prospects) are being overlooked."
Given the current makeup, with returning starters at every position and experienced reserves such as Ron Mercer, Jeff Foster, Jonathan Bender and Austin Croshere, it seems unlikely that a rookie will be able to break into the playing rotation.
But Thomas said a more experienced player would at least be better equipped to fight the battle. He pointed out that four-year collegian Jamaal Tinsley, who was picked 27th last year then acquired by the Pacers, played far more as a rookie than Kwame Brown, who was plucked out of high school by Washington with the first pick.
"If you add (an experienced college player) to your team, they won't walk into your locker room and be overwhelmed," Thomas said. "And the guys on the team will look at them and say, 'Oh, I know you.'
"The guy we draft, I want him coming in here and challenging and expecting to play. That's the only way your team gets better. I don't necessarily want him to be someone we're looking at four or five years down the road."
Thomas also believes an older player will be a tougher player.
"A young adolescent can't come to practice with us anymore," he said. "Men have to come to practice now."
Drafting a more finished product also would be an appropriate strategy for a team with an increased win-now urgency. The Pacers have gone 41-41 and 42-40 under Thomas, losing in the first round of the playoffs both years. Another .500 season and first-round playoff exit would not be well-received by fans.
Walsh, meanwhile, reaffirmed the possibility of selecting a foreign player who could be kept overseas for a year on another team's payroll, which would help the Pacers avoid the luxury tax next season.
Draft candidates who would fill that niche include Bostjan Nachbar (who turns 22 next week), Mladen Sekularac (21) and Jiri Welsch (22). Sekularac and Welsch are likely to be available if the Pacers move down.
The Pacers were one of the few teams to attract a private workout from Sekularac. They had him back Tuesday for a physical. The 6-8 Yugoslavian is reported to have the skill to play either guard spot or small forward.
Given the nature of the draft, however, no projections should be taken too seriously. Walsh established the potential for deception in his first draft for the Pacers in 1986, when he put out word he was going to draft either Chris Washburn or William Bedford. He then used the fourth overall selection on 6-7 forward Chuck Person, who went on to win Rookie of the Year honors.
Several of his other picks also have come as a surprise, even to other teams in the league. When he drafted Reggie Miller in 1987, for example, he says he told nobody within the Pacers organization of his plans other than coach Jack Ramsay until the final moments leading up to the draft.
"The idea that anybody is truthful in the draft is laughable," Walsh said.
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