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OutletPass
06-03-2003, 12:47 PM
SportsLine.com's Tony Mejia takes a look at past draft lotteries.



2002 Lottery
Team/Player 1st (Probability) 2nd (Probability) 3rd (Probability)
Team Houston (8.9) Chicago (22.5) Golden State (22.5)
Player Yao Ming J. Williams M. Dunleavy

Mejia's Top 5: Yao (1), Stoudemire (9), Butler (10), Gooden (4), J. Williams (2)
Biggest Steal: Carlos Boozer, 35th to Cleveland
Biggest Bust: Too early to tell; plenty of candidates.

Draft Notes: After clearing some pretty substantial international red tape, Yao Ming became the first foreign-based player to go No. 1 (1998 top pick Michael Olowokandi, of British descent, was drafted out of Pacific). The 7-foot-5 product of China lost out on rookie of the year honors to surprising prep Amare Stoudemire, but became the poster boy for the league's rising international flavor when he displaced Shaquille O'Neal as the Western Conference's starting center in the All-Star Game. Caron Butler, who had to wait until the No. 10 pick to hear his name called, led Miami in points scored.


2001 Lottery
Team/Player 1st (Probability) 2nd (Probability) 3rd (Probability)
Team Washington (15.7) L.A. Clippers (2.9) Atlanta (8.9)
Player K. Brown T. Chandler P. Gasol

Mejia's Top 5: Gasol (3), Jefferson (13), J. Richardson (5), Arenas (31), Randolph (19)
Biggest Steal: Gilbert Arenas, 31st to Golden State
Biggest Bust: Sagana Diop, 8th to Cleveland.

Draft Notes: The high school invasion reached full throttle in 2001, with Brown becoming the first prep to go No. 1 overall, Chandler filing in right behind him, and Eddy Curry being selected fourth. Although the dust has yet to settle on this draft, it appears that the top talents will all have either gone to college, or in Gasol's case, gotten pro experience in Europe. Gasol's stock soared in individual workouts, prompting the Grizzlies to send franchise player Shareef Abdur-Rahim to Atlanta in exchange for his rights. Golden State may have solidified its nucleus for the next decade with the selections of Richardson, Troy Murphy and Arenas.


2000 Lottery
Team/Player 1st (Probability) 2nd (Probability) 3rd (Probability)
Team New Jersey (4.4) Memphis (12.0) L.A. Clippers (25.0)
Player K. Martin S. Swift D. Miles

Mejia's Top 5: Martin (1), Mason (17), Magloire (19), M. Miller (5), Redd (37)
Biggest Steal: Michael Redd, 43rd to Milwaukee
Biggest Bust: Chris Mihm, 7th to Chicago.

Draft Notes: New Jersey took a huge gamble by spending its No. 1 pick on Martin, who despite being hands-down the top prospect in the draft, had broken his leg only three months earlier. The risk has paid off, as despite tearing his right fibula with 12 games left in his rookie year, Martin has been this draft class' most productive player. The rest of the 2000 draft is filled with question marks, from overachievers like Mason, Magloire and Redd, to players who are still too raw to gage their future worth (Swift, Miles, J. Crawford). At these early stages, this draft looks to rival the 1986 version as one of the weakest in league history.


1999 Lottery
Team/Player 1st (Probability) 2nd (Probability) 3rd (Probability)
Team Chicago (15.7) Vancouver (25.0) Charlotte (0.5)
Player E. Brand S. Francis B. Davis

Mejia's Top 5: Francis (2), B. Davis, (3), Brand (1), Marion (9), Hamilton (7)
Biggest Steal: Emanuel Ginobili, 57th to San Antonio
Biggest Bust: Trajan Langdon, 11th to Cleveland.

Draft Notes: Two of the NBA's top young point guards, Francis and Davis, followed Brand in what might be the strongest collective top-three since the inception of the lottery. Wally Szczerbiak, Lamar Odom, Andre Miller, Jonathan Bender and Jason Terry join our top five in an exceptionally solid Top 10. In a move that still irks all New Yorkers, the Knicks passed on hometown product Ron Artest to draft Frederic Weis, a stiff French center who will likely never suit up for the club. Even the late first round of this draft was strong, with sleepers Kenny Thomas, Devean George and Andrei Kirilenko being landed with picks 22-24. In the second round, foreigners Gordan Giricek and Manu Ginobili were tabbed.


1998 Lottery
Team/Player 1st (Probability) 2nd (Probability) 3rd (Probability)
Team L.A. Clippers (22.6) Vancouver (19.02) Denver (35.9)
Player M. Olowokandi M. Bibby R. LaFrentz

Mejia's Top 5: Nowitzki (9), Pierce (10), Carter (5), Jamison (4), Bibby (2)
Biggest Steal: Rashard Lewis, 32nd to Seattle
Biggest Bust: Robert Traylor, 6th to Dallas.

Draft Notes: The 1998 draft was so strong that you can bet the Clippers would love a mulligan on their pick of Olowokandi, who has turned out to be nothing more than a serviceable starting center. In their defense, his combination of size and athleticism made him an intriguing pick, but the upside of Bibby, Carter and Nowitzki were common knowledge even back then. Nowitzki is fast developing Garnett-like skills, while Carter, when healthy, remains one of the league's top ticket-sellers. The Clips weren't alone in missing out on top talent. Pierce, tabbed by most scouts as a top-five talent, inexplicably fell to the Celtics at No. 10, while talents like Ricky Davis, Al Harrington and Rashard Lewis also had to suffer through a long night before beginning their NBA careers.