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Chicago JK
06-17-2003, 09:15 PM
I know all these mock drafts are guesses, but here is another one. I would be thrilled if Malick, Zoran, Howard and the high schoolers were all available at 29. That would make it a very interesting choice.



Mocking draft: Think international, learn to spell
By Dan Wetzel
SportsLine.com Senior Writer
Tell Dan your opinion!





Predicting the NBA Draft gets more difficult by the year. It was difficult enough when all of the players were American born and trained and everyone had a chance to watch them develop for four years in NCAA basketball.


The Pistons seem set on taking 7-foot-1 Darko Milicic with the second pick.(AP)
But now? Forget it. A dozen foreign players could go in the first round, which isn't much of a shock considering the Spurs just won the title with Tim Duncan (Virgin Islands), Tony Parker (France) and Manu Ginobili (Argentina).

So there are complications. A conversation about the draft can go like this:

WRITER: I heard they like Zoran Planinic.

NBA GM: The guy from Georgia?

WRITER: Georgia? No, he didn't play in college. That's Jarvis ...

NBA GM: No, the Republic of Georgia.

WRITER: Oh. No, not him, that's Zaur Pachulia.

NBA GM: Oh.

Add this to the natural inclination of NBA teams to lie about their own interests -- there is almost no incentive to tell the truth -- add the basic unpredictable nature of all drafts and you have a mess on your hands. A mock draft is a work of journalistic hopefulness that only the New York Times can print without disclaimers.


LeBron James at least makes one spot easy.(AP)
But SportsLine.com has burned up the phone lines, watched the individual workouts, been lied to by agents, scouts and middle men and come up with the best effort we can give you.

This we think we know. The top three picks are all but set. Everything else is subject to change. We'll update the predicted draft as soon as new info comes in, most likely as soon as later in the week.

In the meantime, don't mock us unless you can spell Sofoklis Schortsanitis without looking it up.

Here's one look at the first round of the 2003 NBA draft:

1. CLEVELAND: LeBron James, 6-8, 240, Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary

The no-brainer of the draft, King James stays in Northeast Ohio and attempts to revive the Cavaliers. He sells tickets, draws in fans and, perhaps, develops into one of the all-time greats. The only question is can he play point guard from Day One and how will he deal with the inevitable growing pains?

2. DETROIT: Darko Milicic, 7-1, 245, Serbia

Joe Dumars doesn't normally tip his hand, which ought to tell you how much the Pistons general manager loves Milicic. And for good reason, there is plenty to like about this ambidextrous, inside/outside 17-year-old. Perhaps most exciting to the workmanlike Pistons is Milicic's focus on the game and his European-big-man-stereotype-busting mean streak.

3. DENVER: Carmelo Anthony, 6-7, 234, Syracuse

The Nuggets would have loved getting LeBron but the lottery balls didn't go their way. Fortunately Anthony is a heck of a consolation prize. The high-scoring small forward has the look of a long-term star and, maybe most impressively, the heart of a winner. He became the first freshman to be named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four in April when he led the Orangemen to a national title.

4. TORONTO: T.J. Ford, 6-0, 162, Texas

Seven-foot-five Russian Pavel Podkolzine is certainly intriguing here but the need for the Raptors -- especially GM Glen Grunwald -- is to win right away. That means Ford, who despite being small and lacking a consistent outside game, is a dynamic playmaker that changes the game offensively. Georgia Tech's Chris Bosh is a consideration here and rumors have the Raptors high on Georgetown strong man Mike Sweetney.

5. MIAMI: Chris Bosh, 6-11, 225, Georgia Tech

Bosh is more ready to contribute immediately than Podkolzine, which with the current state of the Heat and Pat Riley's advancing age is a prime consideration. So expect Miami to grab this fluid big man from Tech and hope they didn't pass on the next Shaquille O'Neal.

6. CLIPPERS: Pavel Podkolzine, 7-5, 303, Siberia, Russia

If he is still available, this is a no-brainer. The Lakers may have the original Shaq, but now the Clippers can have the Siberian Shaq. The upside here is amazing. Podkolzine showed light feet, an ability to run the court and good hands on a frame that is already huge and could easily add 50 pounds. Did we mention he is just 18? Injuries have limited his playing time in an Italian pro league, which is a concern.

7. CHICAGO: Dwyane Wade, 6-4, 212, Marquette

The backcourt is already a bit crowded with Jamal Crawford and Jay Williams, but it is difficult to pass up a shot at perhaps the most NBA ready player in the draft. Wade is an all-around star, something he proved when he recorded just the third triple-double in NCAA Tournament history in leading Marquette to the Final Four. Chicago could also look at 7-foot Maciej Lampe of Poland, a mature and talented big man.

8. MILWAUKEE: Kirk Hinrich, 6-3, 186, Kansas

The Bucks need a point guard -- Gary Payton is probably gone and Sam Cassell's career is fading. Hinrich is a perfect choice, a speedy, heady point who also knows how to score. He has the look of a star in the NBA.

9. NEW YORK: Chris Kaman, 7-0, 252, Central Michigan

The Knicks need a center and this is the best true one left out there. There is a lot to like about Kaman, who possesses good feet, hands, touch and timing. Then again, can a small-town guy, who admits he is still afraid of flying post-9/11, thrive in Manhattan? Numerous NBA teams have been less than thrilled with his workouts and interviews, making him -- even as a legitimate 7-footer -- a candidate to slide.

10. WASHINGTON: Maciej Lampe, 6-11, 240, Poland

If Lampe is still in the draft, he could be going right here. The 18-year-old is adamant that he will return to his European team, Real Madrid, if he is not guaranteed a top-10 slot. Scouts say he has skill to go along with his size. He definitely is more mature than his age, not surprising since he turned pro and moved away from home at 15 to help support his family. Sweetney is a likelihood here also.

11. GOLDEN STATE: Luke Ridnour, 6-2, 167, Oregon

If the Warriors don't think they can re-sign Gilbert Arenas, this becomes a priority, even if Ridnour needs some seasoning. But the Pac-10 Player of the Year is a terrific lead guard with terrific instincts and good speed. If Arenas is settled, Golden State could go in another direction.

12. SEATTLE: Mike Sweetney, 6-8, 262, Georgetown

He isn't going to be a dominating center like fellow Hoyas Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo and Alonzo Mourning, but he is an effective low-post scorer, rebounder and banger. A real space-eater who may get the nod over Kansas' Nick Collison, another likely choice. All of this could change if Ridnour is still available though -- Brent Barry is a stopgap solution at the point.

13. MEMPHIS: Mickael Pietrus, 6-6, 210, France

Highly touted European off-guard could be gone by here, but if not, then grabbing a big-time scorer makes sense for the Grizzlies. He gives Memphis another young player to build around.

14. SEATTLE: Leandrinho Barbosa, 6-3, 176, Brazil

If the Sonics don't take a point at 12, they will at 14. Scouts call Barbosa fast, strong and in possession of long arms that can lock guys up defensively.

15. ORLANDO: Reece Gaines, 6-6, 205, Louisville

Another point-guard-desperate team (it basically cost them the series with Detroit), the Magic may have to trade up if there is a run on lead guards. The Magic would love to get Hinrich or Ridnour. If not, Gaines, who played combo in college, is probably the best selection. UNLV's Marcus Banks could get a look here, too.

16. BOSTON: Jarvis Hayes, 6-7, 220, Georgia

Two scorers (Paul Pierce, Antoine Walker) will only take you so far, and if all of the top PGs are gone by this selection, Hayes makes perfect sense. Long, athletic and capable of pouring in points, he'll help almost immediately. Six-six off-guard Alexsandar Pavlovic of Serbia is also an option here in Danny Ainge's first draft.

17. PHOENIX: Viktor Khryapa, 6-9, 210, Russia

Another big, athletic body for the Spurs frontcourt, a guy who should fit in well with reigning NBA rookie of the year Amare Stoudemire on a fast-rising club. There will be thoughts of Ndudi Ebi, but rumor has it Phoenix likes Khryapa.

18. NEW ORLEANS: Nick Collison, 6-10, 255, Kansas

Fundamentally sound, mature and ready to contribute, Collison could be a steal at No. 18. He has disappointed some scouts with his physical strength, but he has a knack for rebounding and scoring in traffic that will translate. A better athlete than people think.

19. UTAH: Alexsandar Pavlovic, 6-7, 210, Serbia

The Jazz can add what scouts call a potentially go-to scorer in grabbing Pavlovic, your prototypical Euro shooting guard. With John Stockton retired and Karl Malone almost assuredly gone, someone in Salt Lake needs to score some points.

20. BOSTON: Marcus Banks, 6-2, 200, UNLV

If the Celtics feels threatened by a run of point guards, they might take Banks at 16. But if not, this is the spot for the scoring lead guard out of Vegas. There is some talk of going with a high school big man, but Banks is a fine fit for the Celts.

21. ATLANTA: Boris Diaw-Riffiod, 6-8, 203, France

Diaw may be gone at this point, but if not, he is an intriguing pick because of size and skill set. At 6-9, scouts claim Diaw can play both guard positions, and while not much of a scorer at this stage of his career, he is a deft passer. Other big guards/wing prospects possible include 6-6 Croatian Zoran Planinic and 6-7 Argentinean Carlos Delfino.

22. NEW JERSEY: Carlos Delfino, 6-6, 230, Argentina

Said to be a talented small forward who suffered a late-season ankle injury that reduced his exposure to scouts. Might be a steal here. The Nets need an outside shooter -- as the NBA Finals proved -- and Delfino can help. If Banks is available, Nets may grab a point. Team may also go with a European it can stash for a year because last year's pick, Nenad Kristic of Yugoslavia, will join the roster this season, the Nets still don't make money and a ton of cash needs to be available for the Jason Kidd bidding war.

23. PORTLAND: David West, 6-9, 225, Xavier

The Trailblazers could get themselves a reliable, mature all-around talent here in West. At 6-9 he is a battler inside but has shown improved face-up game away from the basket. He will contribute right away. Could also gamble with a high-schooler here.

24. LAKERS: Sofoklis Schortsanitis, 6-9, 255, Greece He is called Baby Shaq, so where else should he go with the original? Scouts claim Schortsanitis is physically imposing with nice touch around the basket. He provides a bigger version of Mark Madsen.

25. DETROIT: Travis Hansen, 6-6, 200, Brigham Young

No one helped himself more in the Chicago pre-draft camp than the Cougar off guard. Scouts knew he could play, but he showed tremendous open-court speed, strength and agility. He is mature, steady and a team-first kind of guy. Just the kind of player Joe Dumars usually goes for.

26. MINNESOTA: Brian Cook, 6-11, 234, Illinois

Cook has always teased scouts with his upside -- he has skills to match the size. He just needs to get stronger and tougher. At this stage of the first round taking a chance on him developing into such a player might be worth the risk. Xavier's West, if still available, or Wake Forest wing Josh Howard also might be a possibilities here.

27. MEMPHIS: Ndudi Ebi, 6-9, 196, Houston Westbury Christian

The Grizzlies are tough to figure, so this is a guess. But if Ebi is still in the draft then he believes he will be a first-round pick. Gambling on the athletic, active high schooler might work. Ebi might not be polished offensively, but he is lanky, young and fast enough to run the break.

28. SAN ANTONIO: Zaur Pachulia, 6-11, 240, Republic of Georgia

The NBA champs are losing center David Robinson, and while neither Pachulia nor Malick Badiane of Senegal are going to replace the Admiral, this looks like a smart pick for the future. Also a possibility is Croatian combo guard Zoran Planinic. The likelihood is the Spurs will grab a European they can send back and defer the contract, freeing up maximum money for free-agent targets Jason Kidd and Jermaine O'Neal.

29. DALLAS: Malick Badiane, 6-10, 230, Senegal

The Mavs employ the ultimate Senegal scout -- native Amadou Falls -- and probably know this African center better than anyone else. High schoolers Travis Outlaw, a great but unpolished athlete, and two out-of-shape big men, James Lang and Kendrick Perkins, are possibilities here too. Ditto for college seniors Howard of Wake Forest and Dahntay Jones of Duke.

madape
06-18-2003, 09:52 AM
Another Badaine draft. I like it. I also like that el Chupacabra and Plananic aren't picked ahead of Dallas. If we can choose between those three, I just might go nuts and pull out my hair.

Drbio
06-18-2003, 10:58 AM
We could do a lot worse at 29 than Badiane.