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OutletPass
05-23-2003, 11:25 AM
Our projected pick, Boris Diaw has been projected much higher in every mock that I've seen.

2003 NBA Mock Draft
By Tony Mejia
SportsLine.com Staff Writer



The LeBron-a-thon is already in full swing, with the promise of a rise out of NBA obscurity delivered by one mighty ping pong ball.

By securing the No. 1 pick, Cleveland has resuscitated its franchise, securing the services of a hometown hero. With new unis, a new coach and a new icon, ticket sales will go through the roof.

The lottery's biggest loser ends up being Memphis, which could have become an immediate playoff contender with the addition of James. Instead, their only lottery pick falls at the very end, No. 13, courtesy of the Houston Rockets.

Detroit's anemic offense will get the boost of adding Carmelo Anthony or Darko Milicic, all thanks to Otis Thorpe. You can bet Jerry West isn't liking former GM Stu Jackson very much about now. He did the Grizz as much good as Maynard the goat.

Here's the first version of my mock draft:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: LeBron James, G/F, St. Vincent/St.Mary HS (Ohio). The best thing that happened to the city of Cleveland since ... the best thing to happen to the city of Cleveland.

2. Detroit Pistons (from Memphis Grizzlies): Carmelo Anthony, F, Syracuse. The Pistons are obviously already in championship contention, so adding Anthony, who's more ready to help immediately than Darko is, makes sense.

3. Denver Nuggets: Darko Milicic, F/C, KK Hemofarm Vrsac (Yugoslavia). A left-handed 7-footer with terrific raw skills? Hopefully he has more of an early impact than Nikoloz Tskitishvili.

4. Toronto Raptors: Chris Bosh, F, Georgia Tech. With Antonio Davis' career winding down, the Dallas native looms as the heir apparent. The top three got all the hype, but mark it down: Bosh is can't miss too.

5. Miami Heat: T.J. Ford, PG, Texas. So Pat, what's your pleasure? You need a point; you need a big man. Alonzo Mourning's health will be a huge factor, but at this point, Ford is more liable to put butts in the seats than Chris Kaman. This will be a definite swing pick.

6. Los Angeles Clippers: Chris Kaman, C, Central Michigan. With Michael Olowokandi an unrestricted free agent, the selection of Kaman gives tight-fisted owner Donald Sterling some leverage. In other words, don't expect to see Kandi in L.A. next season.

7. Chicago Bulls: Jarvis Hayes, SG, Georgia. The first pick of the Jerry Krause-less era sure is a toss-up. Don't be shocked if Chicago, already loaded with young talent, shops the pick. Maciej Lampe could be a nice fit due to Chicago's heavy Polish contingent, but he's quite the gamble.

8. Milwaukee Bucks (from Atlanta): Michael Sweetney, PF, Georgetown. Already loaded at guard, the Bucks know they have to pass on hometown favorite Dwyane Wade and get their hands on a post threat. Sweetney is the best available, but don't blame the Bucks if they're snake bit over the Tractor Traylor episode.

9. New York Knicks: Sofoklis Schortsianitis, PF/C, Iraklis (Greece). Scott Layden is a big player on the European scouting scene, and the Greek "Baby Shaq" is definitely on the radar. If he measures up physically, he becomes an intriguing possibility for a Knicks frontline that lacks beef.

10. Washington Wizards: Kirk Hinrich, PG, Kansas. The offense essentially ran through Michael Jordan last season, but now that he's gone, a true point becomes a must-have.

11. Golden State Warriors: Maciej Lampe, PF/C, Complutense (Spain). He certainly won't help immediately, but if the promising youngster develops like some think he will, the Warriors will have quite the young nucleus in place for a run in the next half of the decade.

12. Seattle Supersonics: Dwyane Wade, G, Marquette. Wade will be this draft's Caron Butler/Paul Pierce. He's a marvelous player who is being slept on and will make immediate contributions in Seattle.

13. Memphis Grizzlies (from Houston): Luke Ridnour, PG, Oregon. Jason Williams is much too inconsistent to lead West's team to where he wants it to go. Ridnour, a deft passer who can expertly run the up-tempo game, may be a better fit.

14. Seattle Supersonics (from Milwaukee): Marcus Moore, PG, Washington State. While this could be a bit of a reach, the Sonics have to recognize the potential for Moore to deliver deja vu. There's no guard in this draft more similar to Gary Payton than Moore, provided his ankle is 100 percent healthy.

15. Orlando Magic: Reece Gaines, G, Louisville. The Magic are obsessed with big guards, and have the opportunity to bring in a solid one who can both handle and hit the 3-pointer. A true playmaker is overrated when you have Tracy McGrady on board.

16. Boston Celtics: Nick Collison, PF, Kansas. He could be a strong system player for Jim O'Brien, given his great footwork in the post and ability to knock down the open jumper.

17. Phoenix Suns: Mickael Pietrus, SG/SF, Pau Orthez (France). Athleticism is a premium in Phoenix, and there are few athletes better conditioned than the exciting Frenchman. He must work on his jumper, but the potential lottery pick wouldn't slip past the Suns.

18. New Orleans Hornets: Aleksander Pavlovic, KK Buducnost Podgorica (Yugoslavia). Another Euro with a strong skill set, he can potentially make an immediate contribution off the bench.

19. Utah Jazz: Brian Cook, PF, Illinois. The multitalented forward can go anywhere from the middle of the first round to somewhere in the second. Another possibility would be Anderson Varejao, who plays for the same European club as the team's future point guard Raul Lopez.

20. Boston Celtics (from Philadelphia): Leandrinho Barbosa, PG, Tilibra Copimax Bauru (Brazil). From an athletic standpoint, he's the best point guard in the draft. The language barrier and some holes in his game need work, but this would be a very smart gamble for the Celts.

21. Atlanta Hawks (from Indiana): Zarko Carbakarpa, F, KK Buducnost Podgorica (Yugoslavia). He's got a lot of the physical gifts Toni Kukoc displayed without the wear and tear. Obviously, he's a project, but at this pick, the Hawks have no choice but to shoot for the moon.

22. New Jersey Nets: David West, F, Xavier. The Nets are building quite the powerhouse, and can add a potential gold mine to the fold in West, who some scouts are shunning due to his "tweener" status. In Jersey, he can be brought along slowly and be a potential contributor a la Tayshaun Prince in Detroit.

23. Portland Trailblazers: Pavel Podkolzine, C, Varese (Italy). The Siberian Bear is definitely a project, but he'd give Maurice Cheeks' veteran club an interesting ingredient for next year's playoff run.

24. Los Angeles Lakers: Kendrick Perkins, PF/C, Ozen HS (Texas). The fallen champs will make the majority of their improvements through free agency, but adding another huge presence to learn the ropes under Shaquille O'Neal would be a move for the future.

25. Detroit Pistons (may be conveyed to Sacramento): Mario Austin, PF, Mississippi State. He's improved rapidly in his time in Starkville and could end up being the Carlos Boozer of this year's draft.

26. Minnesota Timberwolves: James Lang, C, Central Park Christian HS (Alabama). This is technically a bonus pick for the T-Wolves, who had this selection and its 2005 pick reinstated by the league. Picking up a high school player worked for them before.

27. Memphis Grizzlies (from Sacramento via Orlando): Anderson Varejao, PF, Barcelona (Spain). The Brazilian may not stay in the draft, but if he does, look for his slide to end somewhere late in the first round. He's got a considerable upside, and at this stage of the first round, packs the most bang for the buck.

28. San Antonio Spurs: Rick Rickert, F, Minnesota. The versatile Rickert should have stayed in school, but has the potential to be a solid NBA contributor given time to develop.

29. Dallas Mavericks: Boris Diaw-Riffiod, F/G, Pau-Orthez (France). Athletically, he's gifted enough to play right away and could develop into a defensive stopper. The Mavs love to cause matchup problems, and players like Diaw, Viktor Khryapa, Carlos Delfino and preps Ndubi Ebi and Travis Outlaw have the potential to be that type of player.




Boris Diaw
Birthdate: 4/16/82
NBA Position: Small Forward
Ht: 6-8
Wt: 201
Hometown: France
Euro Team: Pau Orthez
Euroleague Profile
Telebasket Profile
2002 Euro U-20 Profile

Stats

NBA Comparison: Bruce Bowen


Strengths: Athletically there isn't much Diaw doesn't posses with superior leaping ability, length, and quickness ... An underrated post passer who might be the best at his position ... Has the defensive skills that NBA team's love such as foot speed, long arms and quick hands ... Shows the ability to be a solid offensive rebounder on put backs ... Excels in the open court where his athleticism allows him to finish with flair ... Unselfish although almost to a fault he looks constantly for open teammates ... Possesses amazing body control and combined with his basket skills to make some impressive drives to the basket ... Even when the defense adjusts, his creativity allows for impressive finishes in traffic ... When aggressive, he can be a explosive scorer around the rim on dunks ... Diaw's long arms and quick hands enable him to be a threat to steal the ball and disrupt passing lanes ... Plays the game with poise and maturity no matter what the situation ... Does a good job of using the baseline to gain the advantage over the defense on quick lay-ups ... Fundamentally he is very sound and able to do a multitude of tasks well ... Makes solid court decisions when the ball is on his hands ... Team player who does all the little things that don't show up on the stat sheet ... Has excellent court vision rarely seen at his position ...

Weaknesses: Needs to improve on his upper body strength ... Offensively Diaw must focus on becoming more aggressive ... Perimeter shooting remains a very underdeveloped part of his game ... Struggles to make the 3-point shot with consistency ... Diaw has yet to learn how to drawl fouls from opposing defenders on a consistent basis ... Added improvement of his ball handling could enable him to take defenders off the dribble more efficiently ... Lacks the consistency to shoot off the dribble ... Confidence has a tendency to wavier at times ... Doesn't always finish in the lane after contact occurs ... Has few post up skills to take advantage of height mismatches of opposing defenders ... Should work on improving at moving without the ball as he has a habit of watching ... Doesn't play with the intensity level many coaches look for as Diaw approach's the game with a laid back demeanor ... Needs to display more effort on the court consistently ... Sometimes he will defer to teammates instead of looking for his shot ...

-Matthew Maurer
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Strengths: Great athlete. Not a shooter or a scorer, if he cared about his stats he could increase his scoring average. His biggest strength is his strong defensive-oriented-game, as he often is in charge of the main opposing scorer, whether they play the 1, 2, or 3 positon. His footwork, athlecism, elevation, and quick hands help him to lock down opponents. Incredible feel for the game. Shooting is his only weakness but otherwise he does it all. Very good defensive player, easily his best attribute. Had a very solid season for Pau this year, being a consistant contributor. Wiry athletic, a Kirilenko-type of frame. Great offensive and defensive abilities. Has quickness, nice wing-span. His penetration skills are awesome, as he has superb foot speed and body control allowing him to use his above average athlecism to score. Offensively his strength is his ability to read the defensive play and to penetrate or find an open man.

Weaknesses: No real shooting touch. Must develop more intensity. Can become very good, but seems to settle for being just good. Mental toughness must get stronger. is game is still developing, especially shooting, but his fundamentals are very good.

Notes: A leader: captain of the France Champs with the Under-21. in clubs National Team acquired experience both with the young and A team. His impact on the game goes beyond his stats.


-Uros Velkavrh
-Eric Winterstein
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Explosive athlete... Has all the necessary attributes to be an NBA player, esplosiveness, speed, mobility, perhaps lacks strength and muscles, but is improving his physical strength ... His fundamentals are improving.. He can shoot it from 3p, but isn't comfortable if he is rushed ... Has a first step and ball handling but it's his body control that makes the difference... He uses ball fakes in order to get by defenders and then penetrates ... A player of great instincts... Doesn't have great vision, but anticipates well ... Improves his teammates ... Gets a lot of touches and really enjoys controlling the tempo of the game ... has the ability to pass in traffic... Has a tendency to go stretches of being lazy ... Unselfish to the extreme that it hurts his game ... Must develop his finishing ability because it can be a great weapon with his body control and athleticism ... Defensively his skills are at the highest level... Has great one-on-one defensive ability with anticipation and lateral quickness ... Can at times get too enticed by the steal and lose track of his man ...

-Cristian Biagini

LRB
05-23-2003, 11:38 AM
Boris Diaw-Riffiod sounds good to me. I'd rather take a very athletic defender with a medicore jump shot and teach him to shoot than another shooter with little athletism and medicore defense and teach him to be an athelete and a defender. This guy is very young and with the Mavs shooting coach has a great chance to develope a solid offensive game. For the 29th pick he sounds excellent. Personally I like him better than Oggy.

LRB
05-23-2003, 11:40 AM
<< You can bet Jerry West isn't liking former GM Stu Jackson very much about now. He did the Grizz as much good as Maynard the goat. >>



Actually he's been so bad since moving intot the NBA office he makes his work with the GRizz look good by comparison. i/expressions/face-icon-small-disgusted.gif

Chicago JK
05-23-2003, 11:48 AM
Ha ha about Stu LRB. I saw Stu before the season started at the NBA official orientation. I was at a hotel in NJ for business and all the officials were there getting ready for the season. I believe he was one of the people putting on the session for the officials. Safe to say.... Stu must have not done to well training the officials. if I would have known what I did now, I would have locked Joey in a closet and made a run for it.

I only got to talk to a few refs while I was there, but the ones I talked to were very friendly. I was watching a Monday night football game with a few and I was asking them about how they deal with players. It was very interesting.

LRB
05-23-2003, 11:52 AM
<< Ha ha about Stu LRB. I saw Stu before the season started at the NBA official orientation. I was at a hotel in NJ for business and all the officials were there getting ready for the season. I believe he was one of the people putting on the session for the officials. Safe to say.... Stu must have not done to well training the officials. if I would have known what I did now, I would have locked Joey in a closet and made a run for it.

I only got to talk to a few refs while I was there, but the ones I talked to were very friendly. I was watching a Monday night football game with a few and I was asking them about how they deal with players. It was very interesting. >>



The problems with NBA officials is it only takes one bad one out of the three refing the game to ruin the officiating. i/expressions/face-icon-small-disgusted.gif