View Full Version : 5/20 ESPN Insider (What the playoff teams need in the draft )

05-20-2003, 01:40 PM
Draft needs of playoff teams
By Chad Ford
NBA Insider

The playoffs are just getting interesting, but that doesn't mean that the rest of the league is sitting at home watching the Mavs and Spurs duke it out for the Western Conference title.

Draft workouts get into full swing today. Right now the guys fighting for their draft lives are working out. But by next week, the lottery hopefuls will join the ranks, and in two weeks, things will hit full tilt as every NBA team descends upon Chicago for the pre-draft camp.

While we know who's going Nos. 1, 2 and 3, the rest of the field is wide open.

Insider made some phone calls, sorted through some depth charts and incentive-laden contracts to give you a first look at what each non-lottery team will be looking for on draft night.

Dallas Mavericks
Pick: 29 Team Needs The Skinny
Tough big man The Mavs aren't going to find the answer to their soft mid-section with the 29th pick. But there will be a few options out there.

North Dakota's Jerome Beasley could be an interesting fit. He's big, athletic and has a perimeter game to match his low post one. That's always a plus in Nellie's system.

The other kid to keep an eye on is Senegal's Malick Badiane. The Mavs have been watching him for years. He's big, pretty strong and very athletic. While he's very, very raw offensively, he's the type of kid that could blossom into something special if the team gives him a few years.

The Mavs have that luxury. They'd be wise to take it.

Milwaukee Bucks
14*, 35*, 43* Team Needs The Skinny
Point guard
Low-post scorer
Size The Bucks already have two starting point guards in Gary Payton and Sam Cassell, but for how long? There's a chance both could be gone by next season.

No one is sure what Payton, an unrestricted free agent, will do this summer. If he re-signs, the Bucks most likely will move Cassell and bring in someone for Payton to mentor. He can't play forever.

If Payton bolts, the team will try to draft a point and go young. That means Cassell still probably will be on the block, and the Bucks will have a big hole at the point. Of course they also could use some size and toughness in the post, but that's a much rarer commodity where the Bucks will be picking.

They'd love to get their hands on T. J. Ford, but it's unlikely he'll be around. Leandrinho Barbosa, Kirk Hinrich, Luke Ridnour and Reece Gaines are the other top point guard prospects. If none of the top point guards strike them as worthy, guys like Mike Sweetney or Maciej Lampe might be a good fit.

And now for the big question, where will the Bucks be picking? If Atlanta doesn't get one of the top three picks, the Bucks will receive the Hawks first rounder (likely to be No. 8 overall). If that happens, the Bucks will send their own pick (No. 14) to the Sonics. If the Hawks do get one of the top three picks, the Bucks will keep their own pick (No. 14) and send their two second round picks to Seattle instead. Got all that? It will become much clearer on Thursday, when the draft lottery is held.

Orlando Magic
Picks: 15, 42* Team Needs The Skinny
Tough center
Big point guard The addition of Drew Gooden helped fill the Magic's whopping hole in the middle toward the end of the season, but it's not enough. They still need a big, physical guy to bang around in the post. Pavel Podkolzin would fit the bill, but he probably won't around when the Magic pick at No. 15, and besides, he's at least two years away from helping a team. Guys like Mike Sweetney, Anderson Varejao, Sofaklis Schortsanitis, Nick Collison and Mario Austin wouldn't be bad picks, but none of them really fit a team need.

So, barring a surprising drop by someone, expect the Magic to focus on their need at point guard. With Darrell Armstrong and Jacque Vaughn hitting free agency, the team will have a big hole. Doc Rivers likes big point guards, and three of them could be around at No. 14. Leandrinho Barbosa would give them the energy and athleticism, but he doesn't speak English, which could be a big problem the first year. Reece Gaines had a big senior season at Louisville. If he projects as a point guard, he'd be a nice pick-up for the Magic.

But I'm going out on a limb here and saying Washington State's Marcus Moore could be the Magic's man. Moore is a legit 6-foot-6 point guard (unlike draft bust Jeryl Sasser), can score in bunches and is poised to star at the Chicago pre-draft camp in June. That's significant, because the Magic have taken a Chicago pre-draft camp star the last three seasons (Stephen Hunter, Sasser, Ryan Humphrey). For whatever reason, that's their talent pool lately. Just because they've struck out the last three years, doesn't mean they won't keep going to the well.

Boston Celtics
Picks: 16, 20* Team Needs The Skinny
Low-post scorer
Point guard Last season the Celtics didn't have a first round pick, this year they have two -- their own (No. 16) and Philadelphia's (No. 20). If Chris Wallace were still the GM in Boston, you could be pretty sure that one or both of these picks would be an international player. Wallace spent upwards of three weeks in Europe scouting guys, and with the Celtics' salary cap woes, it probably makes sense to draft a young international and leave him in Europe for a season.

But with Danny Ainge now running the show, expect things to be a little different. Ainge will have more flexibility from ownership to spend, and he'd like to make a splash now, if he can. The question is whether there is enough talent left at 16 and 20 to make a difference.

The Celtics' biggest need is to get a scoring presence in the paint who can command a double team. With Vin Baker out indefinitely and Antoine Walker obsessed with launching 3s, the team needs a player willing to play with his back to the basket. Nick Collison, Brian Cook, Mario Austin, David West and Sofaklis Schortsanitis should be around when the Celtics draft at 16.

The team also needs a more traditional point guard, preferably one who can shoot from the perimeter. Luke Ridnour, Reece Gaines and Marcus Moore could be on the board when the Celtics draft.

Pick 20 should give the Celtics a chance to swing for the fences. An international player like Boris Diaw could be an interesting pick, though his lack of scoring could haunt a team desperately in need of a third scorer. And don't count out BYU's Travis Hansen. Ainge knows him and was touting him around the league before taking the job in Boston. If he plays well in Chicago, you never know. He has the kind of toughness and maturity most top draft picks lack these days.

Phoenix Suns
Pick: 17 Team Needs The Skinny
Shot blocker
Back-up point Whoever the Suns get at 17 will be gravy. They already have blossoming young stars at the point (Stephon Marbury), shooting guard (Joe Johnson, Casey Jacobsen), small forward (Shawn Marion) and power forward (Amare Stoudemire). While the team is still high on Jake Tsakalidis, there's no question it could use another shot blocker in the paint.

Problem is, there aren't a lot of great options here. High school center Kendrick Perkins is available, but he's probably a reach. Zaur Pachulia, a 19-year-old, 6-foot-11 big man playing in Turkey, might be a nice pick-up here. He's a project, but the Suns have time to develop him.

If no legit big men are available, the team may try to find a big, athletic small forward or a back-up point. The Suns would love to get their hands on 7-foot Maciej Lampe, but it's doubtful he'll be around at this spot. France's Boris Diaw could be here, but his game is too reminiscent of Johnson's. Russia's Viktor Khryapa would give the Suns a serious defensive presence. Illinois' Brian Cook would be a good fit. He's seen as a bit of a risk, but the Suns can afford to gamble a bit. Ditto for high schoolers Travis Outlaw or Ndudi Ebi.

As far as point guards go, a number of them, like Oregon's Luke Ridnour, Alabama's Mo Williams or UNLV's Marcus Banks could be a good fit here.

New Orleans Hornets
Picks: 18, 48 Team Needs The Skinny
Low-post scorer
Perimeter shooter
In all likelihood, forward P. J. Brown will bolt this summer, leaving the Hornets with a pretty big hole to fill in the paint. Brian Cook, Nick Collison, Mario Austin and Anderson Varejao are all potential candidates here.

The Hornets also could use a tall sharp-shooter from the perimeter. David Wesley is better coming off the bench, and Courtney Alexander was a bit of a bust this year. Someone like Yugoslavia's Aleksandar Pavlovic would be a great fit in New Orleans. He's a top-notch shooter, an above-average athlete and he's got great size (6-foot-7) for the position.

Utah Jazz
Picks: 19, 47 Team Needs The Skinny
Athletic 2 guard
New mailman? With John Stockton heading for retirement and Karl Malone pondering greener pastures, the Jazz could be in for a major overhaul. With the exception of small forward (with Matt Harpring and Andrei Kirlilenko), they need a little help everywhere.

If Malone bolts, they'll need some sort of scoring in the paint. Nick Collison looks the part -- hard working, blue collar, scrapper -- but he's not Karl Malone.

Point guard will be an issue if Raul Lopez isn't healthy enough to play next season. The Jazz will make a strong run at Andre Miller this summer, but there are no guarantees. If Ridnour or Hinrich fall here, the Jazz would have to seriously consider them.

The team's other big need is at the 2. DeShawn Stevenson looks like a bust, and they know Calbert Cheaney won't perform this well forever. They need an athletic player who can create his own shot and sink 3s. The team is high on Yugoslavia's Alexsandar Pavlovic and France's Boris Diaw. If Georgia's Jarvis Hayes slipped to them, they'd also give him a lot of consideration.

Philadelphia 76ers
Pick: 50* Team Needs The Skinny
True center
Help at the 4 The Sixers might be stuck without a draft pick this season. They must send their first-round pick to Boston, and they have the option of sending their second round pick (No. 50) to the Pistons. Detroit is looking to pick up another second rounder, so there's a chance Philly goes ahead and sits this one out.

They might as well. The team needs major help in the paint. With Todd MacCulloch's career possibly over, and Derrick Coleman, Tyrone Hill and Kenny Thomas all hitting free agency, the Sixers could be in a lot of trouble next season. But at No. 50, the cavalry just isn't there.

Indiana Pacers
Pick: 49 Team Needs The Skinny
Big point guard
Back-up center The Pacers also are stuck without a first-rounder this year. They must send their pick to Atlanta to complete the Jamaal Tinsley trade. It's too bad. The team could really use another point guard, and there would be several on the board at No. 21.

Instead, the Pacers are looking at the 49th pick, deep in the second round. With the influx of point guards entering the draft, there's always a chance someone like Notre Dame's Chris Thomas slips to them here. But more likely, the Pacers will try to steal a more experienced point guard out of Europe. Lativa's Kristaps Voltars, Croatia's Zoran Planinic, France's Paccelis Morlende and Slovenia's Alexsandar Vujacic could all be impact players for the Pacers in a year or two.

New Jersey Nets
Picks: 22, 51 Team Needs The Skinny
Back-up PG
The Nets scored one of the steals of the draft last year when they selected little known Yugoslavian center Nenad Kristic. Kristic stayed in Europe this year and blossomed into a legit prospect who could really make an impact next season.

Will lightening strike twice? The Nets have been canvassing Europe again, this time for a combo guard who also doubles as a sharp-shooter. There are whispers they're high on Slovenia's 6-foot-6 Alexsandar Vujacic, a 19-year-old who some scouts believe has a huge upside. They've also taken a look at Yugoslavia's Alexsandar Pavlovic.

However, they might not have to go the European route this year. With an influx of point guards, it's not out of the question that someone like Reece Gaines could fall to them here.

Portland Trail Blazers
Picks: 23, 54 Team Needs The Skinny
3-point shooter
No criminal record What does a team that has two of everything need in the NBA draft? The last two years, the team has been able to gamble with risky prospects like Zach Randolph and Qyntel Woods. Randolph is now paying big dividends, and despite Woods' marijuana problems, they think he too could be a big time player next year.

That means the Blazers probably can afford to raid either the high school or European ranks for their next pick. Travis Outlaw, Kendrick Perkins and Ndudi Ebi are all possibilities here, as are Brazil's Anderson Varejao, Zaur Pachulia, Sengal's Malick Badiane and Yugoslavia's Zarko Cabarkapa.

Los Angeles Lakers
Pick: 24 Team Needs The Skinny
Power forward
Sweet-shooting SF
Big PG The Lakers will try to address most of their dire needs via free agency. At the end of the day, expect P.J. Brown or Juwan Howard to end up in a Lakers uniform. But the team won't have enough money to fill every hole.

Someone like Brian Cook, Nick Collison, Mario Austin or David West would be a good fit here, if they fall this far. A big point guard like Marcus Moore would also be a good fit, if he's still around. The Lakers also could go the international route, with someone like Zaur Pachulia, Zarko Cabarkapa or even Sofaklis Schortsanitis, if they're still on the board.

Detroit Pistons
6*, 25, 58* Team Needs The Skinny
Perimeter shooting
Back-up PG
Back-up C How good could the Pistons be next year? Rookies Tayshaun Prince and Mehmet Okur are playing big-time roles in the playoffs, and the team could add another two first-round picks this year.

Detroit will get Memphis' first round pick if it isn't the No. 1 overall. Right now, the Pistons have a little of everything, so they have the luxury of being able to take the best player on the board. If the pick is No. 2 or No. 3, then Darko Milicic or Carmelo Anthony will get the call. If it falls to No. 6 or No. 7, the Pistons have had their eye on Chris Kaman all year along, with a host of international players as possibilities, too, including Mickael Pietrus, Maciej Lampe and Anderson Varejao.

With their 25th pick, the team will have to come up with a replacement for Jon Barry, who likely will leave via free agency. BYU's Travis Hansen really caught their eye in Portsmouth. Rick Carlisle loves mature players, and Hansen fits the bill.

Minnesota Timberwolves
Picks: 26, 55 Team Needs The Skinny
Big, physical 4
True PG The T-Wolves finally get a first-round pick, and they're stuck all the way at No. 26. The team needs toughness in the worst way. If Mario Austin or Nick Collison fell to them here, they'd be tough to pass up on.

They also need more toughness on the perimeter. They like BYU's Travis Hansen and Argentina's Carlos Delfino. Both kids are tough 2-guards who can shoot and defend.

They also could use a true point guard to lead the show. Marcus Moore, Alabama's Mo Williams and UNLV's Marcus Banks could all still be around when the T-Wolves are picking.

Sacramento Kings
Pick: 56 Team Needs The Skinny
History of health
Back-up center The Kings must send their first-round pick to Orlando, which in turn will send the pick to Memphis as part of the Drew Gooden trade.

Sacramento is stacked just about everywhere, though they may need to land another shot blocker in the paint if Keon Clark leaves this summer. Drafting someone like Michigan State's Erazem Lorbek may not be a bad move at No. 56. He can season in Europe for a year or two, then be ready to play when Vlade Divac is ready to retire.

San Antonio Spurs
Pick: 28 Team Needs The Skinny
Small forward With David Robinson retiring and Kevin Willis ready to celebrate his 87th birthday, they're going to have to add a young big body. Most of the heavy lifting will be done via free agency. The Spurs are already salivating over the chance to steal Jermaine O'Neal away from Indiana. Guys like Brad Miller, Rasho Nesterovic and Michael Olowokandi are also on their free-agent wish list.

But it won't hurt to add another big guy. They love Anderson Varejao, but my guess is he'll pull his name from the draft if he thinks he has slipped this low. Ditto for Zaur Pachulia and Sofaklis Schortsanitis.

That leave high-school players like Kendrick Perkins, James Lang or maybe 7-foot-6 Yugoslavian center Slavko Vranes. When you're on top like the Spurs are, it never hurts to reach just a little bit. .

Ummmmm Ok
05-20-2003, 02:25 PM

NBA Comparison: Keon Clark

The best athlete out there. The next big center out of Senegal. More athletic than all those who have been pros from Senegal before, he has terrific upside. Long arms, wide shoulders, great body. Has soft touch around the perimeter and can hit the open 15ft jumper. Good shot blocker, and outstanding rebounder. He won’t box out but will move his feet to wherever the ball is. Was the African Junior Championships best rebounder, and if Senegal guards were up to his level, he would have been the best player.

Weakness: Only problem… The mind. Has to get tougher mentally in order to get to the next level. He will never go to a US college as he signed with a club team in Germany last month. Still very raw offensively, must develop some go to moves, back to the basket skills, and a better 15 foot jump shot.

-Babacar Sy

Strengths: Very intriguing athlete who needs polish but has considerable potential. Size, agility and instincts. A very good dunker and a great shot blocker. He is very tall with extremely long arms. And has a surprisingly good shot out to 15 feet.

Weaknesses: Lacks strength and true basketball skill. Could add lots of muscle as well as a post game.
Played at the 2002 ABCD high school camp and impessed many with his athleticism and potential.

-Nathan Stacey

05-21-2003, 11:42 AM
Here's an interview with Malik. Dallas is his favorite team!

There was an NBA scout in the game against Ulm and you had a great performance. What are your plans for the future? Do you consider entering the NBA Draft in 2004?

Malick Badiane: I don't know it yet. I'll talk to my agent and we will decide what's best. I played in the States last year at the Global Games in Texas and at the ABCD Camp and I might go to the States again once the season here [in Germany] is over.

Where do you see your strengths and weaknesses on the court?

MB: I really like rebounding and blocking shots -- that's where I'm good at. But I need to gain more experience in my game. Everything is still new to me, as I came from Senegal just a year ago.

Who is you favorite NBA player and which is your favorite NBA team?

MB: My favorite player is Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves, but my favorite team is Dallas. I liked the Lakers last year, but this year Dallas is my favorite team.

Why did you choose to play in Germany instead of going to a high school or a college in the States?

MB: I visited some colleges in the U.S., but the [Frankfurt] Skyliners gave me the chance to practice with big men like Mario Kasun [41st overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft] and Robert Maras, and I learn from them. And the Skyliners really take care of me. They really help me to be a better player.

What are your plans regarding the Senegalese national team?

MB: We want to go to the Olympics, so we have to qualify for the African Championships in Egypt. That's why I will join the team in Senegal, where we will try to win the qualifying tournament for Egypt and then for the Olympics.

Who do you think is the best talent out of Senegal who could become a great player, but is still in Senegal?

MB: I saw Souleymane Camara last year playing at the African Championships and he's a great player. He's playing for Kentucky and he will go to the NBA, I heard. A good player in Senegal right now is Muhammadou Kadir Pene of US Goree. He's playing the two and the three spot and he's very talented but still in Senegal.

05-21-2003, 01:20 PM
Please oh, please don't draft another "soft white boy". For that matter don't draft a "soft " <insert any color here> "boy". Give us someone tough and athletic. Please.

05-23-2003, 10:47 AM
Now the prediction is a PF from Illinois...(please see the 5/23 thread)...

Why is it that no one is predicting that we get a SF ?

Guess it's the "soft in the middle stuff".

What position do you think we need to fill most ?

05-23-2003, 10:55 AM
<< Why is it that no one is predicting that we get a SF ?

Guess it's the &quot;soft in the middle stuff&quot;.

What position do you think we need to fill most ? >>

nbadraft.net is back and forth. They've switched between sf's and pf's for our picks.

Right now they have us picking Viktor Khryapa, which is a small forward.

If I knew we could get Malone or PJ Brown with our MLE I would draft a small forward. The Mavs might be thinking of sticking with Griffin and Bell and draft a power foward.

I think if we could fill either position we wouldn't have to worry about the center position as much.

05-23-2003, 11:53 AM
I'm really love to see us get an athletic defender that can play the SF and SG positions. That would be my dream pick.