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Chicago JK
06-09-2003, 01:37 PM
Some good info here. Ford may have some more info on the foreign players, but Andy Katz really knows his stuff. He has been very good the past several years.
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NBA Mock Draft II
By Chad Ford and Andy Katz
ESPN.com
Send an Email to Chad Ford Monday, June 9
Updated: June 9
12:56 PM ET

CHICAGO -- Nothing is certain -- well, except LeBron James in the Cavs' new colors. So, with the Chicago pre-draft camp in the rear-view mirror and 2 weeks still to go before the real thing, Insider's Chad Ford and ESPN.com's Andy Katz break down the first round as it could unfold June 26.


We'll have two more mock drafts before draft night. Today, Katz makes the odd-numbered picks, while Ford fills in the even-numbered picks.

Note: For players who participated in the Chicago pre-draft combine, heights (with shoes) and weights listed are official combine results. Non-combine participants are listed with their roster or media-guide measurements.

Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron James
Small Forward | 6-8, 240 | Draft Player Card
St. Mary/St. Vincent (Ohio) High School
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Andy Katz's Pick: The Cavs need plenty of help, but they have to get James to lift the spirits of the employees and the fans. James brings instant credibility, whether he becomes a star next season or not. Paul Silas is probably the perfect coach to massage James' ego. James isn't used to losing so the transition will be tough at first, but he'll get plenty of minutes to learn from his mistakes. Chad Ford's Take: James already has made a major impact on the organization. For the first time in years the arena is selling out, the team has a big-time coach, and fans finally have some hope. Even one of James' future teammates has gotten into the act. Darius Miles has been in the gym since May 1 working on his jump shot and conditioning in preparation for the increased expectations with the coming of the King.


Detroit Pistons
Darko Milicic
Power Forward | 7-1, 250 | Draft Player Card
KK Hemofarm | Serbia
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Chad Ford's Pick: No one is more stunned than Carmelo Anthony that Joe Dumars & Co. have already decided on Darko -- before Anthony even comes to visit. But if you know Dumars, you understand why he's sold on the 7-foot-1, 17-year old Serbian. Dumars has been following Darko all year and is in love with his tough, aggressive play in the post. The team needs a go-to guy in the paint in the worst way, and Darko will be able to give them that sooner than you think. Besides, Anthony would take playing time away from another Joe D favorite, Tayshaun Prince. Andy Katz's Take: The Pistons would have been pleased to take either Milicic or Anthony but are willing to give Tayshaun Prince a go over the next season. Milicic answers the inside scoring questions and could cause some matchup problems when he's facing the basket in a lineup with Ben Wallace anchoring the interior. Milicic is only 17, but he's probably more ready to make a contribution than any other international teenager in the draft. The Pistons won't announce Milicic like the Cavs did with James, but they might as well go public with this done deal.


Denver Nuggets
Carmelo Anthony
Small Forward | 6-7, 234 | Draft Player Card
Freshman | Syracuse
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Andy Katz's Pick: The Nuggets could flirt with drafting Pavel Podkolzine, and they will bring him in for a workout. Going with a future all-international frontline with Nene Hilario and Nikoloz Tskitishvili is intriguing, but probably unlikely. Instead, the Nuggets will go with the sure thing. Anthony should be more ready to produce as a rookie than any other player in the draft. The few diehard Nuggets fans are actually excited about landing Anthony. And his arrival should help in the recruitment of free agent Gilbert Arenas, who wants money, playing time and a chance to win. Chad Ford's Take: After Pavel Podkolzine's unbelievable workout in Chicago, a few were quietly whispering that Nuggets' GM Kiki Vandeweghe might grab the 7-foot-4 Siberian. It's pretty unlikely. Not only would it be a public-relations disaster, but it would also put Vandeweghe's rebuilding program back a year or two. Still, both Anthony and Denver seem uncomfortable with the fit, which is why trade rumors keep flying around. Toronto, Miami and Chicago would love to move up. Can they make it worth the Nuggets' while?


Toronto Raptors
T.J. Ford
Point Guard | 6-0, 162 | Draft Player Card
Sophomore | Texas
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Chad Ford's Pick: GM Glen Grunwald's job is on the line. The Raptors have to improve now. They'd love to add Anthony to the mix, but unless they move up, they only have two choices that could bring an immediate impact. One, they can trade down (or out) and acquire a more established player like Stromile Swift, or they can take Ford and hope he can make a quick transition at the point. Rookie point guards normally don't fare well in the NBA, but Ford is so intelligent, he has a great chance. The Raptors were blown away by Ford's improved shooting at a private workout on Thursday. Andy Katz's Take: Grunwald made an impassioned plea of forgiveness to the fans after the last home game this season. He told them the Raptors wouldn't go through another season like 2002-03. The Raptors aren't that far away from returning to the playoffs behind a healthy Vince Carter, regardless who becomes the head coach. That's why Toronto has to add a player who can help them next season. They can't afford to take a project or someone without name recognition. Selecting Ford makes the most sense, because it answers a number of their pressing needs.


Miami Heat
Chris Bosh
Power Forward | 6-11, 225 | Draft Player Card
Freshman | Georgia Tech
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Andy Katz's Pick: Podkolzine piqued Pat Riley's interest during his workout in Chicago, and the Heat is expected to go through an extensive interview process with the Siberian center. But Miami can't afford to be too patient. Like the Raptors, the Heat need someone who can come in and make a contribution as a rookie. They got that type of player in Caron Butler a year ago and could do the same in Bosh. He's a shot-blocker and a developing low-post player. He won't be as physical as Podkolzine, but he's more ready to aid in the rebuilding process. Chad Ford's Take: My head says Bosh could be a real star in a year or two. But my heart says Podkolzine here. Riley and company were blown away by his workout. The Heat will have him in late this week to test his knowledge of the game, ability to read game tape and his general intelligence. If he passes the test, I just don't know how the Heat could pass on the kid.


Los Angeles Clippers
Pavel Podkolzine
Center | 7-5, 303 | Draft Player Card
Siberia
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Chad Ford's Pick: If Miami passes on the big fella, the Clippers will snatch him up at No. 6. Clippers scout Fabrizio Besnati discovered him in Russia more than two years ago and has been on the Clippers to draft the kid for the last six months. Will Pavel's workout on Friday be enough to wake GM Elgin Baylor out of his perpetual slumber? Andy Katz's Take: Podkolzine's workout in Chicago will go down in pre-draft camp folklore. Podkolzine's overall mammoth size created such a buzz that NBA personnel were talking about the draft changing as soon as they caught a glimpse of him. Podkolzine's workout with former UNLV coach Billy Bayno was aggressive, diversified and productive. While questions remain about his endurance, whether or not his body can take the pounding and just how much he understands the game, he's still worth the risk. The Clippers were the first to discover him, and Besnati should get a bump in pay from Donald Sterling for his efforts.


Chicago Bulls
Dwyane Wade
Shooting Guard | 6-4, 212 | Draft Player Card
Junior | Marquette
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Andy Katz's Pick: Wade could end up being the best player in this draft next season. Sure, Anthony is ready to score, but so is Wade, who has leadership skills that should play well in Chicago. If the Bulls start talking trade with some of their perimeter players, then Wade becomes even more valuable. He's not an exceptional shooter, but he finds a way to get to the basket and finish. There is still a chance the Bulls could package this pick or go with a foreign product like Michael Pietrus. But right now, it's still too hard to pass on the proven Wade. Chad Ford's Take: Wade's going to be a big-time NBA player, but the Bulls won't take him here. They're high on France's Mickael Pietrus right now, and for good reason. He's taller than Wade, is a better defender and he's got a better perimeter shot. GM John Paxson was in France this weekend getting yet another look at Pietrus. Wade does have some nice intangibles and a freakishly long wingspan, but I think the size issue hurts him in Chicago. With an already crowded backcourt of Jay Williams and Jamal Crawford, why draft yet another combo guard when you already have two fighting for playing time? If the Bulls, however, decide to trade Williams or Crawford, Wade would start to make more sense.


Milwaukee Bucks
Kirk Hinrich
Point Guard | 6-3 | 186 | Draft Player Card
Senior | Kansas
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Chad Ford's Pick: Gary Payton is all but gone, and they're running out of patience with Sam Cassell. And with owner Herb Kohl contemplating a sale, the Bucks are in the youth-mode right now. So the team would be remiss to pass on one of the best point guard crops in recent draft history. Right now, Hinrich is No. 2 on their board behind T.J. Ford. That may change this week when Hinrich, Luke Ridnour, Reece Gaines and Marcus Moore square off in a big-time workout. But until then, Hinrich is the guy. Andy Katz's Take: Hinrich should be a star in the league. Next to Ford, he's the quickest end-to-end guard in this draft. Hinrich has the hops to compete above the rim in the NBA, and his game will play well in the uptempo league. Hinrich loves to rip-and-run off rebounds and find the open man. He's a shooting/slashing point who can cause defenses to react to him before he finds a shooter in the corner. The Bucks desperately need another flashy player like Hinrich with Payton's situation in flux and Cassell on the back end of his career. Hinrich would be a hit in Milwaukee, because of his strong midwestern roots and values.


New York Knicks
Chris Kaman
Center | 7-0, 252 | Draft Player Card
Junior | Central Michigan
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Andy Katz's Pick: The Knicks need help after last year's bust of a draft. They traded Nene Hilario and got damaged goods in Antonio McDyess and Frank Williams. Kaman said he's ready to contribute, and he better be if the Knicks take him this high. He claims he's not going to be just another player taken because he's tall. If that's the case, he better be a legitimate scoring forward. Knick fans might groan a bit when this pick is announced in the Garden, and they don't take kindly to projects. They need Kaman to produce immediately. If there is any trepidation with this pick then don't be surprised to see someone like Michael Sweetney or Nick Collison shoot up this high. Chad Ford's Take: The Podkolzine workout was the best thing to happen to Scott Layden. He couldn't afford to take the risk on yet another Euro project, and with Pavel now expected to be off the board earlier, the guy Layden really likes falls to him at No. 9. While Kaman doesn't have the trappings of a superstar, his unbelievable footwork, ability to shoot with both his left and right hand, and his above average athleticism for a big man will make him a solid center in the league.


Washington Wizards
Michael Pietrus
Shooting Guard | 6-6, 210 | Draft Player Card
EB Pau-Orthez | France
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Chad Ford's Pick: Who really knows what the Wizards will do? Without a coach or GM, it's hard to predict. The Wizards need a point guard in the worst way, but Pietrus will be tough to pass on here. He's the best player left on the board, plays tough defense and has the superstar potential everyone else on the roster lacks. I personally expect Pietrus to be off the board here. If he is, the Wiz will grab Wade. Andy Katz's Take: The big question is who is making this pick? No one seems to know less than three weeks out from the draft. The Wizards have done a better job of scouting Europe of late and need help with a scoring wing. Pietrus is a good scorer from the perimeter and also can drive and play defense. If Michael Jordan were still in control, the Wizards probably wouldn't go foreign. They still might not, but Pietrus is the likely candidate at No. 10. If the Wizards decide to stay local then don't be surprised to see a big man like Sweetney or Collison, either. Washington could end up shipping someone up front if they go big in this draft.


Golden State Warriors
Luke Ridnour
Point Guard | 6-2, 167 | Draft Player Card
Junior | Oregon
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Andy Katz's Pick: The Warriors know that taking a guard all but ensures Gilbert Arenas will leave. But they can't take a chance and pass one up in hopes Arenas will stay. Ridnour is the best available point guard at this pick, and he's too good for the Warriors to pass up. He would play well in Eric Musselman's system. Ridnour is just a tad behind Ford and Hinrich in end-to-end quickness. He'll give the Warriors a Steve Nash-like, heady point guard who will play well in the Bay Area. The name recognition in the Pac-10 city will be key for the fans who will quickly get attached to Ridnour's floppy hair. Reece Gaines is a possibility here, but every indication is that Ridnour is ahead of him. Chad Ford's Take: This is a tough call. Right now all signs point to the Warriors losing Arenas, which makes point guard a priority. The problem with Ridnour is he's not even close to being ready to be a starting point guard in the NBA. Besides, word is coach Musselman isn't enamoured. If Arenas stays, Ridnour actually makes more sense. If he bolts, Musselman is pushing GM Garry St. Jean to lure a veteran like Gary Payton and use the pick on a kid like Maciej Lampe, who could turn into something special in a few years.


Seattle SuperSonics
Michael Sweetney
Power Forward | 6-8, 262 | Draft Player Card
Junior | Georgetown
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Chad Ford's Pick: He's got the chance to be an Elton Brand-type player. He's a little undersized, but his huge wingspan and clever inside game make up for it. That's exactly what the Sonics need. Remember, undrafted rookie Reggie Evans started 60 games for them last year. Sweetney will give the team toughness, rebounding and an inside scoring threat. Andy Katz's Take: The Sonics want Hinrich with this first pick, and trading up isn't out of the question. But if Hinrich and Ridnour are gone, the Sonics will go big. Leandrinho Barbosa is a possibility, but probably not likely at this spot. The Sonics will probably decide between Sweetney and Collison. Both would be ideal choices for the power-position deprived Sonics. Sweetney is a low-post scorer who attracts double teams and eats rebounds for lunch. Collison is more of balanced scorer and a great find at the back end of the lottery. But the Sonics might go with more of a traditional low-post presence in Sweetney.


Memphis Grizzlies
Maciej Lampe
Center | 7-0, 240 | Draft Player Card
Real Madrid | Poland
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Andy Katz's Pick: Jerry West will likely fall in love with Lampe's competitiveness, drive and hunger to succeed in the NBA. Talk to Lampe and you'll be shocked that he's only 18. He was the youngest player, at 15, to sign with Real Madrid and is as worldly as any player coming from overseas. He was born in Poland, grew up in Sweden and played in Spain. He's ready to make the jump, but not begging for the chance. If he is not projected to go in the lottery, he has no problem going back to Spain for another season. He's a shooting forward who would cause a bit of a glut for the Grizzlies but would give them another young, talented European with the coveted "upside" quotient. Chad Ford's Take: Jerry West has spent a lot of time targeting the Euros this year. They're high on both Pietrus and Podkolzine and will try to move up in the draft to grab them. However, Lampe would be a great score here. His shooting ability from the perimeter, combined with his size, makes him an intriguing prospect.


Seattle SuperSonics
Leandrinho Barbosa
Point Guard | 6-4, 185 | Draft Player Card
Barcelona | Brazil
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Chad Ford's Pick: With two first-round picks, the Sonics can afford to gamble with their second. The Sonics replaced Payton with Ray Allen this winter and moved Brent Barry to the point. That's a short-term fix. The Sonics would like to start developing a young, tough point guard, and Barbosa has the most potential. He's strong, quick and an explosive leaper. His long wingspan will help him on defense. While some worry about his awkward shot, lack of big-time competition and fledgling English-speaking ability, the potential to be the next Payton is there. Andy Katz's Take: Barbosa is a long, rangy point guard and would fit in Seattle if the Sonics can't get Hinrich or Ridnour at 12. Barbosa is probably the next point on the list. The biggest question is his English. A point guard has to speak the language to be successful in the NBA. Basketball has its own language, but Barbosa must be able to communicate. The Sonics could get turned off by the language barrier and might look at someone like Gaines instead if the decision is close. Taking an international player like Barbosa with their second pick in the first round makes sense because there isn't as much pressure to play Barbosa next season.


Orlando Magic
Reece Gaines
Point Guard | 6-6, 205 | Draft Player Card
Senior | Louisville
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Andy Katz's Pick: Gaines has the potential to sneak up higher in the draft. But he has been slotted behind Ford, Hinrich, Ridnour and Barbosa. If he drops this far, the Magic likely would snatch him up before Boston. The Magic also could take a look at UNLV's Marcus Banks, or Boston College's Troy Bell. But the Magic have taken a keen interest in Gaines since he has been working out at the IMG Academy in nearby Bradenton, Fla. Doc Rivers wants players who can contribute right away and don't need babysitting. Gaines fits the criteria. Chad Ford's Take: Doc Rivers loves big point guards, and unlike Jeryl Sasser, Gaines can both play the point and shoot the ball. The team will also take a look at Banks with this pick, but in the end Gaines' versatility wins out.


Boston Celtics
Alexsandar Pavlovic
Shooting Guard | 6-6, 207 | Draft Player Card
Budcunost | Serbia
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Chad Ford's Pick: The Celtics need a lot of things -- a center, point guard and the elusive third scorer. At this point in the draft, the scorer is the best player left on the board. Pavlovic has great size and athleticism at the two, and he's one of the top shooters in the draft. His experience playing in the Euroleague this year should allow him to come in and play big minutes right away in Boston. GM Danny Ainge fell in love with him at a workout two weeks ago and immediately scheduled to bring Pavlovic back just days before the draft. Andy Katz's Take: The 19-year old Yugoslavian is one of the best shooters in the draft. The Celtics are looking for scoring help on the perimeter, and Pavlovic fits the profile. His agent, Marc Cornstein, looks at him as another version of San Antonio's Emanuel Ginobili. If that is the case, the Celtics would have quite a find in the first round. Ainge isn't going to draft unskilled players, or simply just athletes. He wants shooters and scorers, and Pavlovic could end up being the right player for the Celtics. The sleeper players still on the board could be Jarvis Hayes and Collison.


Phoenix Suns
Ndudi Ebi
Power Forward | 6-9, 195 | Draft Player Card
Westbury Christian (Texas) High School
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Andy Katz's Pick: This is a tough call. Ebi certainly didn't look like he was heading into the draft when he had a sluggish and downright dull workout last week in Chicago. But everything he said indicated he would stay in the draft. Phoenix has plenty of time to develop players and doesn't need immediate help next season. The Suns were non-committal on their interest as rumors swirled they had made various guarantees. If Ebi gets word he's guaranteed to go in the first round, he'll stay in the draft. If he's clearly in the second round, he will pull out. If that occurs, don't be surprised to see Zarko Carbakapa in this spot. Chad Ford's Take: When you have a little of everything, you can gamble a little bit at 17. That's why no one is really sure where the Suns will go. Over the past week, I've heard that the Suns had "promised" this pick to Ebi, Marcus Banks, Boris Diaw and Zarko Cabarkapa. Ebi, however, makes the most sense. His upside is enormous. He's long, athletic, a big-time shot-blocker and is an aggressive defender. While he's a few year away from competing right now, the Suns have the time to be patient.


New Orleans Hornets
Nick Collison
Power Forward | 6-10, 255 | Draft Player Card
Senior | Kansas
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Chad Ford's Pick: The team will most likely lose P.J. Brown this summer to free agency. Collison is the same type of hard-working, no-nonsense, blue-collar player who can step right in and contribute. While teams will always question his strength and athleticism, Collison's knowledge of the game and intangibles make him this year's Shane Battier. Andy Katz's Take: Wow, what a steal for the Hornets. Getting Collison at No. 18 would be unheard of, and clearly a stroke of good luck for New Orleans. Collison said he doesn't need to go higher in the draft as long as he gets to the right team. He would make perfect sense in New Orleans and could flourish running the floor alongside Baron Davis. Collison may not drop this far. If he doesn't, Jarvis Hayes is a natural with the Hornets. New Orleans could also look at Brian Cook and Mario Austin at this spot.


Utah Jazz
Jarvis Hayes
Shooting Guard | 6-7, 220 | Draft Player Card
Junior | Georgia
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Andy Katz's Pick: Hayes has lottery talent, but the influx of international players likely will push him down a few notches. Hayes skipped the Chicago workouts and wasn't invited in the physical-only group. That usually means he'll end up right in the middle of the first round. Hayes is a big-time scorer and should help the Jazz feel less stressed about the potential departure of Karl Malone. Hayes has a pro body that can handle the pounding of being a more physical small forward. Chad Ford's Take: The Jazz know Calbert Cheaney isn't the long-term answer at the two and Deshawn Stevenson still hasn't done enough to earn Jerry Sloan's trust. They like Pavlovic, but it looks like he won't be around when they pick. Enter Hayes. He's one of the best shooters in the draft, has great size for his position. His questionable handle and a lack of defensive prowess cause him to fall this far, but the Jazz can afford to take the risk if he stays in the draft.


Boston Celtics
Marcus Banks
Point Guard | 6-2, 200 | Draft Player Card
Senior | UNLV
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Chad Ford's Pick: J.R. Bremer is nice, but the team needs a real point guard in the worst way. The most prominent rumor in Chicago was that Banks skipped the pre-draft camp because he had a promise from Ainge at No. 20. Ainge denies it, but there's some teeth to the rumor. Ainge knows the Mountain West players well and has supposedly fallen in love with the kid many scouts compare to a poor man's Baron Davis. Andy Katz's Take: The Celtics need to grab a point guard with one of their two picks. The best points will likely be gone by the time they pick at No. 16, leaving a point a must at No. 20. Boston could give serious thought to Boston College's Troy Bell, but the early word is that Banks might be ahead of Bell on the Celtics' depth chart. If Bell's Chicago camp success pushed him ahead, Boston won't hesitate to take him at No. 20. The darkhorse at this spot is BYU's Travis Hansen. The Celtics likely would only take him if they do get a point at No. 16. Hansen is a favorite of Ainge.


Atlanta Hawks
Boris Diaw
Shooting Guard | 6-9, 220 | Draft Player Card
Pau Orthez | France
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Andy Katz's Pick: Diaw is a combo guard and is considered quite a passer. The Hawks weren't thrilled with last year's first-round pick Dan Dickau. But Dickau was hurt and never really given the chance to flourish. He has to get more minutes next season to re-discover his shot. Drafting Diaw would put less pressure on Dickau than a ready-made senior who doesn't have as much time to develop. The Hawks could be patient with Diaw and not force his maturity on the court. Chad Ford's Take: No one knows for sure what the Hawks are doing here. They still don't have an owner or a GM, which makes it a little hard to project what they want. Diaw is really a 6-foot-9 point guard, which should get Hawks fans smiling. Diaw isn't really a threat to score, but with Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Glenn Robinson and Jason Terry in the house, who needs him to be? Pair him in the backcourt with Terry, and the Hawks' point-guard woes could be over.


New Jersey Nets
Viktor Khryapa
Small Forward | 6-9, 220 | Draft Player Card
Autodorozhnik Saratov | Russia
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Chad Ford's Pick: Last year the Nets drafted Yugoslavian center Nenad Kristic sight unseen. It turned into a major, major home run when Krstic went from project to Euroleague star last year. The word in Chicago is they're high on Khryapa, a versatile forward who can play the three or four with a nice shooting touch, long arms and great defense. Khryapa plans on staying in Moscow one more year. That won't scare the Nets away after the way Krstic played last year. Andy Katz's Take: The Nets were successful in getting one of the sleeper Europeans out of last year's draft with Krstic. They didn't need him last season and kept him overseas. They would do the same with Khryapa and not have him come over for a season or two because of contractual issues. But that's fine with the Nets, since they would be getting a future 3-point shooter and small forward. New Jersey doesn't need immediate help. If the Nets wanted to take someone for next season, they would have some tantalizing prospects like David West, Josh Howard or Brian Cook still on the board.


Portland Trailblazers
David West
Power Forward | 6-9, 226 | Draft Player Card
Senior | Xavier
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Andy Katz's Pick: Portland has to think image with this pick. David West comes with no baggage, and he's a legit scoring forward. The Blazers have made too many picks that involved question marks on a personal level. West was a model citizen at Xavier, was a four-year guy and enters the NBA as a mature and developed forward. Portland could get a similar good-character player in Josh Howard, if it wanted to go for a big guard. Chad Ford's Take: I don't think David West will sneak into the first round. I understand West is a good guy and a proven college commodity, but as long as Bob Whitsitt is hanging around (he was in Chicago at the pre-draft camp), I still don't believe the Blazers have changed their stripes. Besides, West hasn't proven to anyone he can play small forward in the pros. The review from a few recent workouts was that he's still not comfortable on the perimeter. I think the Blazers either try to trade up into the lottery to get their hands on Podkolzine, Bosh or Lampe, or they take a chance on Illinois' Brian Cook, another guy with lottery talent and a questionable head.


Los Angeles Lakers
Sofaklis Schortsianides
Center | 6-10, 287 | Draft Player Card
Greece
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Chad Ford's Pick: Nicknamed "Baby Shaq" by the Greeks, this 6-10 (or 6-8, depending on who you believe) power forward is the type of bruiser Shaq has always wanted at his side. At 17, he won't get any playing time in L.A. next year, but he is the type of talent who can help the Lakers tremendously down the road. If his agent really believes he's falling this far, however, he may pull him out of the draft before the June 19 deadline. If Sofaklis is gone, the Lakers will probably grab Zarko Carbakapa. Andy Katz's Take: If Baby Shaq drops this low, agent Marc Fleisher might pull him out of the draft. The big questions continue to be how tall he is, with various reports listing him 6-6 to 6-10. The Lakers will likely go out and get a free-agent power forward, but they could do with a project at the same position. If Schortsianides ends up being a hit, the Lakers have struck gold with a late first-round pick. And, why shouldn't the team with Shaq get his namesake?


Detroit Pistons
Travis Hansen
Shooting Guard | 6-5, 200 | Draft Player Card
Senior | BYU
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Andy Katz's Pick: Someone always makes it into the first round out of the Chicago camp. Bell, Hansen and James Lang seem to be the most discussed candidates. Hansen fits the profile of a hard-working guard who can do just about anything. He can make 3s, hit the mid-range jumper, dive on the floor for loose balls and take a charge. He would fit in well with Detroit's system under Larry Brown and be a hit on a team trying to win a title next season. Chad Ford's Take: BYU's "Eminem" has wowed scouts with his great combination of athleticism, strength, defensive prowess and long-range shooting skills. The Pistons have to replace Jon Barry with someone, and at 25, Hansen has the maturity to contribute now. Still, I have a sneaking suspicion the Pistons' international scouts are in Dumars' ear, urging him to take another foreign player. Guys like Zaur Pachulia, Zoran Planinic, Alexsander Vujacic, Zarko Cabarkapa and Carlos Delfino are still on the board here.


Minnesota Timberwolves
Carlos Delfino
Shooting Guard | 6-7, 215 | Draft Player Card
Fortitudo Bologna | Argentina
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Chad Ford's Pick: The 6-7 two guard from Argentina is underrated because of a late-season ankle injury. The NBA scouting circuit missed him completely, and that's too bad, because the kid can really play. He's tough, has a great handle, shoots the lights out and is an excellent rebounder. His inconsistency really bothers a lot of scouts, but he's too good to pass up here ... if his agent leaves him in the draft. Andy Katz's Take: The Timberwolves are back in the first round for the first time since 1999, when they took William Avery from Duke. That didn't work out too well. The Timberwolves could go in a number directions, and the early read is to go international. Delfino has to prove that an ankle injury isn't serious enough to prevent him from being in the first round. If it isn't, then he's got a shot to be here. If not, the Timberwolves could go a safer route with either Howard or Cook.


Memphis Grizzlies
Josh Howard
Small Forward | 6-6, 202 | Draft Player Card
Senior | Wake Forest
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Andy Katz's Pick: Howard is a big guard/small forward who should come in and give the Grizzlies instant credibility. Jerry West wants experience with one of his two picks. If he goes with Lampe at No. 13, then he has to go with one of the seniors at the back end of the first round. Howard was the ACC player of the year, and that should count for something with the veteran general manager. Howard should interview well and give the Grizzlies a strong locker room presence. Chad Ford's Take: The ACC player of the year is what he is -- a pretty good shooting guard with long arms (a 7-foot-2 wingspan) and a great feel for the game. Sounds like a Jerry West player, but I'm not sold the Griz go this route. I think Hansen probably will fall to them here, and they'll snatch him up in heartbeat. West loves him, and his upside is better than Howard's.


San Antonio Spurs
Zaur Pachulia
Power Forward | 6-11, 250 | Draft Player Card
Republic of Georgia
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Chad Ford's Pick: The Spurs can go in any number of directions here, but with David Robinson retiring, Pachulia makes a lot of sense. He's a talented big man who could turn into this year's Nenad Krstic if he stays in Turkey for another year and hones his skills. Of course, Pachulia may be pulled from the draft if he is projected to slip this far. Andy Katz's Take: The Spurs could use a center with the departure of Robinson. Pachulia was nearly in this spot a year ago but pulled out of the draft. The 6-11 teenager would be a traditional low-post presence. The Spurs wouldn't need him to be a major player next season and could afford to wait for him to develop. The Spurs, like the Nets, are a team that doesn't need immediate help. Pachulia could turn out to be a worthy gamble. If Cook or Austin are still available, don't be surprised to see one of them go near the end of the first round.


Dallas Mavericks
Malick Badiane
Power Forward | 6-11, 225 | Draft Player Card
Senegal
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Andy Katz's Pick: Badiane got mixed reviews for his private workouts in Chicago. His representation claims he is moving up in the first round. He might be, but the more likely scenario is for him to go to Dallas with the round's last pick. Badiane is close with the Dallas scouts and won't stay in the draft if he's not certain he'll get picked in the first round. He has the potential to be a strong presence in the post by controlling the offensive backboard. If he brings a nasty streak, the Mavs will covet him. Chad Ford's Take: The 6-11 African had one great workout and one so-so one last week, but it doesn't really matter. Mavs director of scouting Amadou Fall has a great feel for him and believes he's a talent. Badiane's still very raw offensively, but he has Ben Wallace potential because of his stength and explosivness in the paint. That's what the Mavs need, but like several other international players, he may pull his name if he slips this low.

OutletPass
06-09-2003, 01:46 PM
Funny...a Mock that will make Madape very happy...and very unhappy...all at the same time...

Looks like a consensus is devleoping around badiane...


Meaning we probably won't get him.

Ummmmm Ok
06-09-2003, 01:53 PM
Denver Nuggets
Carmelo Anthony
Small Forward | 6-7, 234 | Draft Player Card
Freshman | Syracuse
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Andy Katz's Pick: The Nuggets could flirt with drafting Pavel Podkolzine, and they will bring him in for a workout. Going with a future all-international frontline with Nene Hilario and Nikoloz Tskitishvili is intriguing, but probably unlikely. Instead, the Nuggets will go with the sure thing. Anthony should be more ready to produce as a rookie than any other player in the draft. The few diehard Nuggets fans are actually excited about landing Anthony. And his arrival should help in the recruitment of free agent Gilbert Arenas, who wants money, playing time and a chance to win. Chad Ford's Take: After Pavel Podkolzine's unbelievable workout in Chicago, a few were quietly whispering that Nuggets' GM Kiki Vandeweghe might grab the 7-foot-4 Siberian. It's pretty unlikely. Not only would it be a public-relations disaster, but it would also put Vandeweghe's rebuilding program back a year or two. Still, both Anthony and Denver seem uncomfortable with the fit, which is why trade rumors keep flying around. Toronto, Miami and Chicago would love to move up. Can they make it worth the Nuggets' while?


Toronto Raptors
T.J. Ford
Point Guard | 6-0, 162 | Draft Player Card
Sophomore | Texas
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Chad Ford's Pick: GM Glen Grunwald's job is on the line. The Raptors have to improve now. They'd love to add Anthony to the mix, but unless they move up, they only have two choices that could bring an immediate impact. One, they can trade down (or out) and acquire a more established player like Stromile Swift, or they can take Ford and hope he can make a quick transition at the point. Rookie point guards normally don't fare well in the NBA, but Ford is so intelligent, he has a great chance. The Raptors were blown away by Ford's improved shooting at a private workout on Thursday. Andy Katz's Take: Grunwald made an impassioned plea of forgiveness to the fans after the last home game this season. He told them the Raptors wouldn't go through another season like 2002-03. The Raptors aren't that far away from returning to the playoffs behind a healthy Vince Carter, regardless who becomes the head coach. That's why Toronto has to add a player who can help them next season. They can't afford to take a project or someone without name recognition. Selecting Ford makes the most sense, because it answers a number of their pressing needs.




Rocky Mountain News (http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/nuggets/article/0,1299,DRMN_20_2022968,00.html)

7-5 Russian teen center of attention
By Chris Tomasson, Rocky Mountain News
June 9, 2003

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Imagine if Gheorghe Muresan had been agile. His name would be Pavel Podkolzine.

The Denver Nuggets still are likely to select Syracuse forward Carmelo Anthony with the No. 3 pick in June 26 draft.

But they can't help but be intrigued with Podkolzine, a 7-foot-5, 303-pound Russian center who wowed scouts at a workout Friday at the NBA pre-draft camp in Chicago.

"He opened a lot of eyes," general manager Kiki Vandeweghe said Sunday. "He's likely a top-10 pick."

Vandeweghe was noncommittal when asked how strongly the Nuggets will consider Podkolzine at No. 3. But he said they plan to bring him to Denver next week for a workout.

"He looks really good," said Vandeweghe, who attended the Chicago workout with assistant general managers David Fredman and Jeff Weltman. "He moves really well. And he's huge."

Podkolzine, 18, barely played last season in an Italian league. But he had more than 100 scouts, representing all 29 teams, salivating in Chicago.

"He's got a tremendous upside," said Utah director of player personnel Walt Perrin.

"He'll be a force in this league. You've got to consider him at No. 3. He's got a body of Shaq (Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal) and the touch of (Houston center) Yao Ming."

The cell phone of Podkolzine's agent, Justin Zanik, has been ringing nonstop since Friday.

He said Podkolzine will work out this week for some Eastern Conference teams and next week for some Western Conference teams.

The Nuggets have workouts scheduled Sunday with Anthony and June 19 with Serbian center Darko Milicic.

Vandeweghe said the Nuggets also are hopeful next week of bringing in Georgia Tech forward Chris Bosh, Texas point guard T.J. Ford and Central Michigan center Chris Kaman.

Ford and Kaman said Saturday they did not expect to work out in Denver.

But Vandeweghe, keeping his options open in case the Nuggets end up with a lottery pick lower than No. 3, wants to look at many of the top players.

Anthony, who signed an endorsement deal with Nike, will travel to Oregon on Tuesday to meet with company officials. His agent, Calvin Andrews, said he will be outfitted for his new shoes.

Would Denver be better off trading #3 to Toronto for Mo Pet and their #4. Anthony would be "exactly" what Toronto needs and Denver would have Podkolzine and Mo Peterson. Thoughts?

Lonely PSU Mavs Fan
06-09-2003, 01:56 PM
If i were denver i would do it.

Lonely PSU Mavs Fan
06-09-2003, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by: Chicago JK
After Pavel Podkolzine's unbelievable workout in Chicago, a few were quietly whispering that Nuggets' GM Kiki Vandeweghe might grab the 7-foot-4 Siberian. It's pretty unlikely. Not only would it be a public-relations disaster, but it would also put Vandeweghe's rebuilding program back a year or two.

Who cares about "public-relations" if you can get a huge Siberian guy that everyone else is drooling over. Public-relations is not going to win Denver any basketball games.

madape
06-09-2003, 02:03 PM
No Zarko Cabarkapa in the first round? Oooooh, what if the Mavs could land both the senegalise beast AND el Chupacabra? We need another pick. Hansen as a backup plan? What about the 7'7" Vranes with at #57? Hold on, I may have to go pleasure myself. There is too much talent in this draft.

COOLJAZZ
06-09-2003, 02:07 PM
Reading these kind of articles makes me think of Paul Pierce sliding to the Celts after being projected somewhere in the top 5.
Could this happen again this year?
Somebody like Carlmelo of Darko slide to 9th or 10th. This would benefit us for sure.

Lonely PSU Mavs Fan
06-09-2003, 02:11 PM
I dont think darko will get by detroit at #2, but anthony could slide. i dont think all the way to 9 or 10 though.

Lonely PSU Mavs Fan
06-09-2003, 02:54 PM
When can teams start trading draft picks?

MFFL
06-09-2003, 02:55 PM
Dallas Mavericks
Malick Badiane
Power Forward | 6-11, 225 | Draft Player Card
Senegal
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Andy Katz's Pick: Badiane got mixed reviews for his private workouts in Chicago. His representation claims he is moving up in the first round. He might be, but the more likely scenario is for him to go to Dallas with the round's last pick. Badiane is close with the Dallas scouts and won't stay in the draft if he's not certain he'll get picked in the first round. He has the potential to be a strong presence in the post by controlling the offensive backboard. If he brings a nasty streak, the Mavs will covet him. Chad Ford's Take: The 6-11 African had one great workout and one so-so one last week, but it doesn't really matter. Mavs director of scouting Amadou Fall has a great feel for him and believes he's a talent. Badiane's still very raw offensively, but he has Ben Wallace potential because of his stength and explosivness in the paint. That's what the Mavs need, but like several other international players, he may pull his name if he slips this low.


Yeah baby!

OutletPass
06-09-2003, 03:22 PM
Trading can begin after the Finals are over I believe...

Quiz:

Does anyone know how many draft picks were traded in the 2002 Draft.


Answer will follow if no one gets it right.

LRB
06-09-2003, 05:09 PM
OK OP I'll take a WAG. No draft picks were traded in the 2002 draft.

OutletPass
06-09-2003, 05:16 PM
11 trades involved draft picks.....

according to Patricia's.

Ummmmm Ok
06-10-2003, 09:19 AM
Originally posted by: madape
No Zarko Cabarkapa in the first round? Oooooh, what if the Mavs could land both the senegalise beast AND el Chupacabra? We need another pick. Hansen as a backup plan? What about the 7'7" Vranes with at #57? Hold on, I may have to go pleasure myself. There is too much talent in this draft.

Heres some info on your man Ape:

http://www.azcentral.com/sports/cheapseats/gambo/0609rant.html

Suns eye Yugoslavian forward in draft

John Gambadoro
azcentral.com
Jun. 9, 2003 09:00 AM

He stands 6-foot-11 inches tall, can shoot the lights out and is a member of the Yugoslav National team. And if Zarko Cabarkapa is available when the 17th pick in the first round of the June 26 NBA draft comes around, the Phoenix Suns will likely jump at him.

There are several other players the Suns are considering with their only pick in this coming draft, but Cabarkapa is the skilled forward they covet. He worked out for two days with the Suns in Phoenix and was impressive. He then had a stop in Los Angeles to showcase his skills for the Lakers before suddenly leaving a lot of teams high and dry to go back to Yugoslavia, claiming a family matter. That incident has caused rumors that the Suns are set on selecting him.

The Suns could easily fit Cabarkapa in their rotation. He is a versatile 22-year old with a long wingspan who can play all three forward positions, but most likely will play small forward in the NBA. His versatility makes it very possible that he and Shawn Marion could find a lot of time on the floor together. He averaged 11.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in 13 games playing for B.C Buducnost in the 2002-03 Euroleague season. He shot 48 percent from the field, but struggled with his free-throw shooting (66 percent).

Cabarkapa was a member of the Yugoslav Under-20 National Team and won a gold medal at the 2002 World Championships. He has played professionally since 1997 when he played with B.C Beopetrol.

With the Suns playing an up-tempo offense, keyed by point guard Stephon Marbury, Cabarkapa could fit in well as he has good court vision, good ball handling skills and likes to run in the open court. Like most Europeans he could probably afford to put on a few pounds if he is going to bang around in the paint.

Cabarkapa was at the Nike Desert Classic in Phoenix four years ago as an 18-year-old, but apparently didn't turn any heads. He has improved in each year since and has worked himself into the first round of the draft. Early predictions had him as a late first-round pick, but his stock is moving up. The Seattle Supersonics at No. 14 could take Cabarkapa if one of the point guards they covet (Luke Ridnour or Kirk Hinrich) is not there. Phoenix did scout him overseas before he came in for his workout.

The Suns have had 14 players in for workouts as of now and more are planned. They are expecting to see Sofaklis Schortsianides, who is nicknamed Baby Shaq, in the next two weeks. The Suns also liked what they saw out of Brian Cook of Illinois in the Chicago camp and consider him an intriguing player. Players such as Nick Collison from Kansas, 7-foot native of Poland Maciej Lampe and sophomore Mike Sweetney of Georgetown are all players the Suns could have interest in, but all three will likely be gone by the time the Suns' selection in the first round. If one of those players is still available, it could make things interesting for Phoenix. Mississippi State's Mario Austin also looked well in a workout in Phoenix, but he would be considered a stretch for the Suns. Anderson Varejao, the 6-10 forward from Brazil, could also garner some attention from the local team.

The Suns don't have a second-round pick, having traded it along with Samalia Samake to the Chicago Bulls for Jake Voskuhl. They also won't be very active in free agency, not having the cap room available. They could make a trade, but they can't add on salary because they are scheduled to pay a luxury tax next season. They still want to sit down with Marbury and work out an extension. But for the next two weeks the focus will be on the draft.

The Suns will have players in and out of America West Arena. Names will come up as potential picks. The Suns will attempt to set smoke screens all over the NBA so teams don't know who they want to take. But make no mistake, their interest in Cabarkapa is real. And if he is on the board when the No. 17 selection comes up, don't be surprised if David Stern steps to the podium and announces Cabarkapa as the newest member of the Phoenix Suns.

mavsfanforever
06-10-2003, 01:49 PM
New projected pick for the mavs. OP do you have further info on this guy.

29 SF Ndudi Ebi Houston, Tex. 6'9' 206 19
The Mavs would like to go big here, but you have a better chance of finding Atlantis than you do of finding quality size this late in the draft. That's why they'll gamble on Ebi, who has height and could put on the requisite muscle while the Mavs let him develop. I can't wait to see David Stern pronounce this guy's name, so I hope he goes in the first round (the NBA brings Russ Granik out of the bullpen for Round 2).

MavsFanFinley
06-10-2003, 11:26 PM
mff, I looked the name up on nbadraft.net and they don't even have him listed. I couldn't find him in the other mock drafts unless I completely overlooked his name on one of the lists.

mavsfanforever
06-10-2003, 11:38 PM
Originally posted by: MavsFanFinley
mff, I looked the name up on nbadraft.net and they don't even have him listed. I couldn't find him in the other mock drafts unless I completely overlooked his name on one of the lists.

Here's the link. I picked it from cnnsi.com.



Link (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/2003/draft/news/2003/05/22/mock_draft/)