PDA

View Full Version : 6/24 ESPN Insider COMPLETE draft (Rds. 1 and 2)


OutletPass
06-24-2003, 09:52 AM
Insider Draft Guide
By Chad Ford
ESPN.com
Send an Email to Chad Ford Tuesday, June 24


Everything can change tomorrow.


A trade, an injury, an unbelievable workout ... Insider's mock draft is always just seconds away from self destructing.

So anyone who tells you they know how this thing is going to play out on Thursday is either lying or not telling the truth.

See, you can't tell the difference, either.

Still we try. ESPN was kind enough to have my cell phone surgically implanted in my ear. And did I mention a late night with a Native American "medicine man" on Sunday?

Without further ado, here's the annual Insider NBA Draft Guide. We break down who's in the running for each pick, team needs and enough analysis to get you through draft night. Just print it out, sit back and yell, "I told you so" every five minutes Thursday night when ESPN broadcasts the draft live (

Go to the Second Round

1. Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron James
Small Forward | 6-8, 240 | Draft Player Card
St. Mary/St. Vincent (Ohio) High School
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Point Guard, Power Forward | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Ummm. . .
Sleeper Pick: You're kidding right?
The Skinny: General manager Jim Paxson and coach Paul Silas are quickly developing a game plan for James. They plan on playing him at the point, using Ricky Davis at the off guard, and Darius Miles at small forward. Dajuan Wagner will come off the bench. Paxson believes that if James eventually will be an NBA point, he might as well dive into the deep end of the pool now.


2. Detroit Pistons (via Grizzlies)
Darko Milicic
Power Forward | 7-1, 250 | Draft Player Card
KK Hemofarm | Serbia
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Power Forward, Shooting Guard | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse
Sleeper Pick: Chris Bosh, Georgia Tech
The Skinny: There's zero truth to the rumors that Larry Brown is trying to strong arm Joe Dumars into selecting Carmelo Anthony over Darko Milicic. Brown knew what he was getting into when he decided to coach the Pistons -- Dumars was making the decisions. And Dumars will take Darko with the No. 2 pick. Forget Anthony. They like him, but even if they had a sudden change in heart, they'd probably take Chris Bosh, who did work out for them, over Melo.


3. Denver Nuggets
Carmelo Anthony
Small Forward | 6-7, 234 | Draft Player Card
Freshman | Syracuse
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Point Guard, Shooting Guard | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Darko Milicic, Serbia
Sleeper Pick: Mickael Pietrus, France
The Skinny: Carmelo may already have a locker in Denver, but will the Nuggets send him packing on draft night? Right now, the answer appears to be no. The Bulls-Nuggets trade talk is dead. No one else really has the right combination of young talent and high draft picks to make it worth Denver's while. The trade talks are hot and heavy below, but right now everyone in the Rocky Mountains is on a Carmelo high.


4. Toronto Raptors
Chris Bosh
Power Forward | 6-11, 225 | Draft Player Card
Freshman | Georgia Tech
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Point Guard, Power Forward | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: T. J. Ford, Texas
Sleeper Pick: Chris Kaman, Central Michigan
The Skinny: The Raptors are desperately trying to move this pick along with a bad contract in hopes of landing another top-flight player. Rasheed Wallace, Antoine Walker, Latrell Sprewell and Raef LaFrentz have all been mentioned. Here's one you haven't heard. Vladimir Radmanovic, Brent Barry and the No. 12 for Jerome Williams, Michael Bradley and the No. 4. With the 12th pick, the Raptors will grab Georgetown's Michael Sweetney, a guy they've been enamored with for a while. Obviously, the Sonics would try to solve their big-guy woes overnight with Chris Bosh and Williams.


5. Miami Heat
Maciej Lampe
Forward | 7-0, 240 | Draft Player Card
Real Madrid | Poland
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Point Guard, Center | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Chris Kaman, Central Michigan
Sleeper Pick: Dwyane Wade, Marquette
The Skinny: The Heat are also looking to move their pick. Like Toronto, they aren't convinced there's anyone left on the board who gets them any closer to the playoffs this year. That's why they're flirting with Lampe at No. 5. He's probably the player with the most upside after the first four guys are off the board. He won't be able to contribute right away, but at least he gives you a solid 7-footer to develop. If they do get a trade done, don't be shocked if it's with Milwaukee. The Heat would send Anthony Carter and the No. 5 to the Bucks for Sam Cassell.


6. Los Angeles Clippers
T.J. Ford
Point Guard | 6-0, 162 | Draft Player Card
Sophomore | Texas
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: New Owner, Center, Point Guard | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Dwyane Wade, Marquette
Sleeper Pick: Nick Collison, Kansas
The Skinny: We'd be lying if we told you we knew what the Clippers are doing. They've liked Ford for a long time, but over the past week the signals from L.A. all say that they don't anymore. It could be smoke or it could just be the Clippers tripping over their own feet. Lately they've been enamored with Wade and apparently owner Donald Sterling is in love with Collison. Given that Elton Brand might be the only one of their free agents to stay around, this of course makes perfect Clippers "sense."


7. Chicago Bulls
Mickael Pietrus
Shooting Guard | 6-6, 210 | Draft Player Card
EB Pau-Orthez | France
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Small Forward, Back-up Point Guard | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Dwyane Wade, Marquette
Sleeper Pick: Maciej Lampe, Poland
The Skinny: The Bulls were shopping this pick for a month and were close to pulling off a deal before Jay Williams' tragic motorcycle accident. Now they're left without much leverage. Many believe that the Bulls' interest in Pietrus is a bluff to convince Jerry West to include Shane Battier in a package to move up. Maybe. But I've seen enough of Pietrus to say with confidence that he shouldn't slip past No. 7. Pietrus isn't a project. He already plays NBA-caliber defense and can score. Of course, it doesn't matter what I think. The real question is whether the Bulls have seen him enough. GM John Paxson hasn't. Assistant GM B. J. Armstrong has and he's sold. If Paxson isn't, will he take Pietrus anyway and try to work out a trade later? That got GM Jerry Krause in trouble on more than one occasion (ask Marcus Fizer). He could play it safe with Wade. Or he could really roll the dice, if Lampe falls this far, and grab the 7-foot shooter. He'd be a big hit with Chicago's huge Polish population.


8. Milwaukee Bucks (via Hawks)
Kirk Hinrich
Point Guard | 6-3 | 186 | Draft Player Card
Senior | Kansas
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Point Guard, Power Forward, Center | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: T. J. Ford, Texas
Sleeper Pick: Maciej Lampe, Poland
The Skinny: The Bucks have too many point guards. So why on Earth would they draft another one? Because no one believes that Gary Payton will be back next season and everyone is wishing that Sam Cassell would follow him out the door. Owner Herb Kohl wants to sell the team. He knows that task is easier if he clears off any bad contracts now. Besides, they really like Hinrich and Ford. One of the two will be there when they pick. If they aren't, that means Lampe has fallen and they snatch up the big man and try to repent from shipping off Dirk Nowtizki for Robert Traylor in 1998.


9. New York Knicks
Chris Kaman
Center | 7-0, 252 | Draft Player Card
Junior | Central Michigan
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Center, Point Guard, Small Forward | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Kirk Hinrich
Sleeper Pick: Mike Sweetney
The Skinny: GM Scott Layden scores a huge break here if Kaman is still on the board. The Knicks need a center and there is exactly one legit center in this draft -- Kaman. Anyone else would be a disaster for the Knicks. Sure there's talk of their love for Ford and Lampe. But no one realistically believes they have the juice to move up. They do, however, have the juice to move down. If they feel Kaman is too flaky, or if he's off the board, they're better of packaging this pick with an untouchable (Shandon Anderson, Howard Eisley) and praying that they get someone who can help them win this year.


10. Washington Wizards
Nick Collison
Power Forward | 6-10, 255 | Draft Player Card
Senior | Kansas
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Point Guard, Power Forward | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Reece Gaines, Louisville
Sleeper Pick: Mike Sweetney, Georgetown
The Skinny: Why Nick Collison when the Wizards have Kwame Brown and Christian Laettner? Because he's safe. And when you don't have a GM, have a brand new coach and string of personnel disasters strewn along the path, you pick safe. Collison is Wonder Bread without the mustard. He goes down nice and easy. So do Gaines and Sweetney. No risk, no reward you say? I think Abe Pollin can live with that after the past few years of lots of risk and even more disarray.


11. Golden State Warriors
Dwyane Wade
Shooting Guard | 6-4, 212 | Draft Player Card
Junior | Marquette
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Point Guard, Power Forward | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Reece Gaines, Louisville
Sleeper Pick: Ndudi Ebi, Western Christian High School
The Skinny: Wade is too talented to slip this far. But every year someone does and the Warriors -- well they deserve a break. With Gilbert Arenas flirting with Denver, they need the next closest thing to step in and take over if he bolts. Enter Wade. He doesn't quite have the handle that Arenas does, but he's a better defender and is creative in finding ways to score. Coach Eric Musselman wants guys who push the ball, defend and put the ball in the basket. Wade qualifies on all accounts. If he's gone, they also like Gaines. The Warriors have needed a solid perimeter shooter for sometime and Gaines has a great stroke. Ebi comes from the weird rumor of the day file. There is an undercurrent going around the league that they are in love with him. We have him slipping into the second round and feel pretty comfortable with that. But if they call his name on draft night here, well, you read it here first, right?


12. Seattle SuperSonics
Brian Cook
Power Forward | 6-10, 240 | Draft Player Card
Senior | Illinois
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Power Forward, Point Guard | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Mike Sweetney, Georgetown
Sleeper Pick: Nick Collison, Kansas
The Skinny: As we said, Seattle is trying to move up. Its targets? Chris Bosh, Kirk Hinrich and Nick Collison in that order. What they'd like to do is get Brent Barry out of the trade talks with the Raptors and just swap Vladimir Radmonovic and this pick for Michael Bradley and the No. 4. Then they'd love to see if they could send Barry and the No. 14 to Miami for Anthony Carter and the No. 5. With the fourth and the fifth pick they'd grab Bosh and Hinrich. That's in a perfect world. In a less perfect world, they're stuck at No. 12 with Collison already off the board. We've been speculating for months that Mike Sweetney was their guy. He isn't anymore. He didn't impress the Sonics in an individual workout. Cook did. He showed toughness, a silky smooth stroke from the perimeter, and he tested well in their psych tests. Cook has the skills to be taken this high. Apparently, the Sonics also feel he has the head.


13. Memphis Grizzlies (via Rockets)
Michael Sweetney
Power Forward | 6-8, 262 | Draft Player Card
Junior | Georgetown
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Center, Shooting Guard | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Brian Cook, Illinois
Sleeper Pick: Alexsandar Pavlovic, Serbia
The Skinny: What to do Jerry West? Everyone he's coveted, from Pietrus to Lampe to Wade to Cook, is off the board here. Sweetney is an interesting possibility here. The Grizzlies don't have a low-post bruiser. They get by in the paint with the finesse games of Pau Gasol and Stromile Swift. Sweetney offers a nice chance of pace. But would he ever get any playing time? The other area of need is two guard. They had Jarvis Hayes in for two workouts


14. Seattle SuperSonics (via Bucks)
Marcus Banks
Point Guard | 6-2, 200 | Draft Player Card
Senior | UNLV
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Power Forward, Point Guard | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Luke Ridnour, Oregon
Sleeper Pick: Leandrinho Barbosa, Brazil
The Skinny: Marcus Banks has to be the success story of the draft. He's an above average college point guard, but not a great one. He's short in stature, struggles from the perimeter and isn't even close to the best playmaker in the draft. However, everyone seems to want him right now. Why? He has an NBA body, he's unstoppable taking it to the basket and he's an aggressive defender. Is that what the Sonics need? If they don't move Barry, he and Ray Allen will do much of the ball handling anyway. Perhaps a spark plug like Banks is what they need.


15. Orlando Magic
Reece Gaines
Point Guard | 6-6, 205 | Draft Player Card
Senior | Louisville
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Point Guard, Center | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Luke Ridnour, Oregon
Sleeper Pick: Leandrinho Barbosa, Brazil
The Skinny: We've had Gaines pegged to Orlando for the past two months and see no reason to change now. His ability to play the one and the two, his size and athleticism and that smooth outside jumper should earn him some minutes in Orlando during year one. If he's off the board, expect Doc Rivers to still push for a point guard. You've got to believe that if Gaines is gone, Ridnour's still on the board. I think he's a questionable fit in Orlando. He lacks the size, toughness and defensive prowess they're looking for in a point. Barbosa would be a great fit -- if the Magic can be patient for another year. Like everyone else, they'd love to move up and get their hands on someone like Hinrich or Wade. The latest has them dangling Gordan Giricek and the No. 15 to get it done. If I'm the Bulls, I take that deal and run.


16. Boston Celtics
Luke Ridnour
Point Guard | 6-2, 175 | Draft Player Card
Junior | Oregon
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Point Guard, Power Forward, Center | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Alexsandar Pavlovic, Serbia
Sleeper Pick: Boris Diaw, France
The Skinny: We're not sure who leaked it that the Celtics were in love with Banks. It backfired. Everyone raised a suspicious eyebrow when he stopped working out and now everyone seems to be enamored with him. The Celtics thought they'd get him with the 20th pick. Now he might not be around at No. 16. That could leave the Celtics choosing between Luke Ridnour, Leandrinho Barbosa and Reece Gaines. They'd love to get their hands on Gaines. But he won't slip this far. Ridnour shoots the ball well enough to survive and his flashy style would be a hit with the fans. If he's off the board, they may dump their point guard pursuits and grab Pavlovic. GM Danny Ainge was blown away in his first workout and he won't be available when they pick again at No. 20. Ainge just left for trip to France to check out Boris Diaw. You don't leave the country this late in the draft process unless you're serious about a guy.


17. Phoenix Suns
Zarko Cabarkapa
Power Forward | 7-0, 235 | Draft Player Card
Serbia/Montenegro
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Small Forward, Back-up Point Guard | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Boris Diaw, France
Sleeper Pick: Leandrinho Barbosa, Brazil
The Skinny: Promises, promises. The rumor has been flying around for weeks that Cabarkapa is the Suns' guy. Apparently, everyone in the West feels like they need a Nowitizki-type player, and the Suns have Cabarkapa pegged as that guy. Cabarkapa is a fine shooter, has a great handle and is pretty mature at age 22. A nice player who can fit several roles. But a promise? The Suns say no. They like Brian Cook and Marcus Banks and would've probably taken both if they were here. But if the draft plays out the way we think it will, Cabarkapa is they guy they like the most. Diaw is another possibility, though the similarities to Joe Johnson may be a little too close for comfort. Everyone seems to be high on Barbosa but there's just one little issue -- GM Bryan Colagnelo has never seen him in person.


18. New Orleans Hornets
Jarvis Hayes
Shooting Guard | 6-7, 220 | Draft Player Card
Junior | Georgia
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Power Forward, Shooting Guard | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Alexsandar Pavlovic, Yugoslavia
Sleeper Pick: Jerome Beasley, North Dakota
The Skinny: The Hornets are slowly edging their way into front office purgatory alongside the Clippers, Wizards and Warriors. They're just flat out goofy. So forgive us if we predict a smart pick here. Hayes could go as high as No. 7 to the Bulls, No. 10 to the Wizards or No. 13 to the Grizzlies. But our guess is that he falls into the Hornets' lap at No. 18. His outside shooting touch and athleticism will be a nice complement to Baron Davis and Jamal Mashburn. If he's not around, they also like Pavlovic. And from the weird rumors department, they've been doing some extensive background checks on North Dakota's Jerome Beasley. Originally, the Hornets' plan was to take someone like Brian Cook here. With Cook moving up and out, at least one source in New Orleans claims that Bob Bass has become enamored with Beasley. This is pretty high for Beasley to go, but factor in the goofy comments above, and it just might make some sense.


19. Utah Jazz
Alexsandar Pavlovic
Shooting Guard | 6-6, 207 | Draft Player Card
Budcunost | Serbia
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Power Forward, Shooting Guard, Point Guard | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Boris Diaw, France
Sleeper Pick: Carlos Delfino, Argentina
The Skinny: Jazz GM Kevin O'Conner has to be pretty happy. The team is going to end up with a pretty good pick no matter what happens. First order of business is to find a long-term replacement for Karl Malone. It won't be easy. They'd prefer Brian Cook if he were still around here. He won't be, so they'll try to find a long-term replacement for Calbert Cheaney. That's a little easier. If Pavlovic falls to them here, they're in good shape. He's arguably the best shooter in the draft and a top-notch athlete. The team has been following Diaw for years and likes his good defense and ball handling abilities. Delfino is a wild card. He's tough, athletic and has a great jumper. He's a Jerry Sloan player all the way.


20. Boston Celtics (via 76ers)
Sofoklis Schortsanitis
Center | 6-10, 287 | Draft Player Card
Greece
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Point Guard, Power Forward, Center | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Zaur Pachulia, Rep. of Georgia
Sleeper Pick: Kendrick Perkins, Ozen High (Texas)
The Skinny: Now you know why they're trying to trade up in the draft. Somehow it's hard to believe that the combination of Ridnour and Schortsanitis will put you over the top. But that's what the Celtics are faced with. They'd like to go big with one of their picks and are said to be mulling Sofoklis, Zaur Pachulia and high school big man Kendrick Perkins here. All three are projects. All three have a flaw that makes teams suspicious. Both Sofoklis and Perkins are bit undersized in the height department and oversized in the waist area. All three are a couple years away from contributing now.


21. Atlanta Hawks (via Pacers)
Boris Diaw
Shooting Guard | 6-9, 225 | Draft Player Card
Junior | Georgia
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Point Guard, Power Forward | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Ndudi Ebi, HS Senior
Sleeper Pick: Leandrinho Barbosa, Brazil
The Skinny: No one has a clue who's pulling the string in Atlanta this year -- including the Hawks' own staff. They keep working away, waiting for the sale of the team to come through. When it does, many of them may be out of a job. So, depending on who you ask, you get a different answer on their favorites. Diaw makes the most sense for them. If the team plans on keeping Jason Terry, he's a good fit in the backcourt because of his ball handling ability. Ebi's name keeps coming up here as well. If you're not going to be around to develop the project anyway, why not take the kid with the most upside and put it on your resume down the road that you "discovered" him. Barbosa is another interesting choice. He's got the size to play in the backcourt with Terry. But how patient are the Hawks willing to be?


22. New Jersey Nets
Zoran Planinic
Point Guard | 6-7, 220 | Draft Player Card
Cibona | Croatia
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Back-up Point Guard, Shooting Guard | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: It's Planinic folks
Sleeper Pick: Seriously, Zoran Planinic
The Skinny: There are very few truths in this year's draft, but Planinic to the Nets appears to be one of them. Insider first reported the story last week. Since then the NBA world has been nodding its head in agreement. The stars always seem to align for Rod Thorn. This year is no different. Planinic could be one of the steals of the draft. He's got great size, instinctual point guard skills and he's very mature, having played big minutes for a top Euroleague team. If Jason Kidd leaves, Planinic won't really soften the blow. But if he stays, he'll buy Kidd and Kerry Kittles some much needed rest during the game.


23. Portland Trail Blazers
Travis Outlaw
Power Forward | 6-9, 220 | Draft Player Card
Starkville High School | Mississippi
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Rap Sheet, Letter from Parole Officer | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Leandrinho Barbosa, Brazil
Sleeper Pick: David West, Xavier
The Skinny: The rumor is that high school power forward Travis Outlaw is the man here. I had him down, but then I got to thinking. If I'm Steve Patterson, and I'm trying to change the image of the "Jail Blazers," do I really draft a guy named Outlaw? The more I thought about it, the more it drove me to change the pick. However, upon learning that Bob Whitsitt would make this pick, I'm putting him back here. I don't believe the Blazers have changed their stripes at all and Outlaw, even without the name, is a typical Blazers pick. He's young, has tons of upside, plays the same position as someone else who's young and has tons of upside and can develop at a leisurely pace. If common sense takes hold, two other guys would be intriguing here. The Blazers were out in force at a Barbosa workout on Sunday. He reminds some of a young Gary Payton. He'd be a great fit if they're willing to wait a year or two. West is the nice guy. Unfortunately, in Portland, nice guys finish last.


24. Los Angeles Lakers
Zaur Pachulia
Power Forward | 6-11, 250 | Draft Player Card
Republic of Georgia
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Power Forward, Point Guard | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: David West, Xavier
Sleeper Pick: Travis Hansen, BYU
The Skinny: The Lakers aren't going to get anyone to help them right away. So they might as well begin developing a project for down the road. Pachulia is a great fit. He has the potential to turn into a Vlade Divac-type player someday. Shaq won't be around forever, and with his frequent injuries the past few years, it's time to get a big man. If he's off the board, the Lakers probably play it safe. West is solid, rebounds and blocks shots. Hansen impressed them in workouts. His maturity and ball handling ability gives him a leg up on all of the other guards left on the board.


25. Detroit Pistons
Travis Hansen
Shooting Guard | 6-5, 200 | Draft Player Card
Senior | BYU
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Power Forward, Shooting Guard | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Carlos Delfino, Argentina
Sleeper Pick: Leandrinho Barbosa, Brazil
The Skinny: The Pistons are going to lose Jon Barry this summer and need someone to step in right away and provide a solid outside presence from the bench. The Pistons have two equally good options. Hansen's athleticism, sweet stroke and maturity would make him a Larry Brown favorite. Delfino's size, toughness and big-game ability make him an intriguing pick. Delfino is probably underrated because of an ankle injury. Or the Pistons could shock everyone and grab Barbosa. He shouldn't have slipped this far and ultimately the Pistons fell the Chauncey Billups is better off playing the two.


26. Minnesota Timberwolves
Carlos Delfino
Shooting Guard | 6-7, 215 | Draft Player Card
Fortitudo Bologna | Argentina
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Point Guard, Shooting Guard | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Travis Hansen, BYU
Sleeper Pick: Carl English, Hawaii
The Skinny: The T-Wolves will lap up the Pistons' leftovers. They love Hansen and Delfino. In most scenarios one of these two guys will be available to them. They feel both players are a big upgrade over Anthony Peeler, who will finally be shown the door in Minnesota. If both are gone, they have a fondness for English. English is athletic, can swing to the one in a crunch and has a sweet outside shot. That's all great, but weren't the T-Wolves supposed to be bolder this year? Weren't they moving and shaking. The Terrell Brandon trade rumors continue to fly, but given the Wolves' past history with these things, we'll believe it when we see it.


27. Memphis Grizzlies (via Kings)
Leandrinho Barbosa
Point Guard | 6-4, 185 | Draft Player Card
Brazil
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Center, Shooting Guard | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Josh Howard, Wake Forest
Sleeper Pick: Dahntay Jones, Duke
The Skinny: Barbosa had a big-time workout in Memphis a few weeks back against Dwyane Wade. As one Grizz source tells it, Barbosa got his nose out of shape a bit over a few remarks Wade made about Barbosa not being that good. Barbosa's intensity in the workout blew away Wade, causing coach Hubie Brown to get up out of his seat and start grilling Wade. At first the Grizz thought Wade may have been tanking it a bit. But they went back to the tape and saw that Barbosa normally plays that way. In other words, they're unbelievably stoked if he slips this far. If Barbosa, Travis Hansen and Carlos Delfino are all off the board, Jones and Howard are the next guys on the list.


28. San Antonio Spurs
Kendrick Perkins
Power Forward | 6-11, 280 | Draft Player Card
Ozen High School | Texas
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Center, Shooting Guard | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Josh Howard, Wake Forest
Sleeper Pick: Slavko Vranes, Serbia
The Skinny: They have to replace David Robinson and Perkins has a big, big upside. While he lacks the athleticism and explosiveness you hope for, he's big, skilled in the paint and a hard worker. At No. 28, that's all you can ask for. Vranes is a much bigger project, but one that may be hard to pass up since he's 7-foot-6. The team will also lose Steve Smith this summer, which means it'll need someone to help out Emanuel Ginobili. Howard would be a solid fit.


29. Dallas Mavericks
Malick Badiane
Power Forward | 6-11, 225 | Draft Player Card
Senegal
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Team Needs: Power Forward | Depth Chart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2: Slavko Vranes, Serbia
Sleeper Pick: Jerome Beasley, North Dakota
The Skinny: Remember back when the Mavs convinced everyone that they were drafting Olumide Oyedeji with the No. 12 pick. Not only did they pass on him at No. 12 and again at No. 13, they passed on him at No. 31 too. Looking back at Oyedeji's career, you understand why. But the story is a cautionary tale about believing anything that comes out of Dallas. (Did Mark Cuban or Marc Stein write that Kidd-to-Dallas story?) All signs point to Badiane being the guy at No. 29. Their top scout is from Senegal. They've followed him for years and unlike Oyedeji, the kid just might be a steal at No. 29. It just all makes a little too much sense. They do need inside toughness. The other rumor has them in love with Vranes. I'm not sure why you need two 7-foot-6 guys, but you know Cuban. He has to have two of everything. One sleeper to watch is Beasley. He's not particularly tough in the paint, but his outside touch for a big man is superb (sound familiar) and a little more time in the weight room could be all that's missing from Beasley's repertoire..


They are the red-headed stepchildren of the NBA. Second round. Second place. Seconds from the NBDL.


They rarely even get their own mock drafts these days. The second round is almost impossible to predict, and until recently was considered a worthless endeavor anyway. Most second-rounders, the thinking went, were bound to be busts, so why bother?

It's tough being in Round 2. While pick No. 29 gets a three-year guaranteed deal, pick No. 30 gets a pat on the back and an invitation to the NBA summer league. If he survives training camp, he'll be rewarded with a minimum, non-guaranteed contract.

Still, it isn't as bad as you think. Some agents actually prefer having their guy slip into Round 2 in certain situations.

"If you have a client who's very talented, but has slipped for whatever reason, it may be in his best interest to slide out of the first round," agent Bill Duffy told Insider. "If he goes to a very good team (late in Round 1), he won't get playing time and the likelihood that he signs a big contract after his three years are up are minimal. If you're drafted early in the second round, you go to a bad team who needs to play you, and after two seasons you're eligible for big money."

Indeed, players like Cuttino Mobley and Rashard Lewis, within two years, were making more money than their first-round counterparts.

With Round 1 turning more and more into a developmental draft, plenty of top seniors are still on the board when Round 2 begins.

That may explain why 12 second-round picks from last June lasted the entire season on NBA rosters.

Carlos Boozer (No. 35), Dan Gadzuric (No. 36) and Rasual Butler (No. 53) all made major contributions last season.

The 2001 second round featured the likes of Gilbert Arenas (No. 31), Mehmet Okur (No. 38), Jarron Collins (No. 54), Trenton Hassell (No. 30) and Earl Watson (No. 40), The 2000 draft had a few Round 2 sleepers, as well. Michael Redd (No. 43) had a great year, Eduardo Najera (No. 38) played a major role on the Mavs, and Marko Jaric (No. 30) looks like he may be the Clippers' point guard of the future.

This year, the second-round pool looks as deep as it's ever been. "This may be the deepest draft in 10 years," one Eastern Conference GM told Insider. "There will be guys drafted in the 40s that we had rated in the 20s on our board. A lot of these guys are going to stick."

Indeed, with players like Xavier's David West, Mississippi State's Mario Austin, Boston College's Troy Bell, Arizona's Luke Walton and Duke's Dahntay Jones on the board, it doesn't get much better than this.

Insider's First Round Draft Guide

30. New York Knicks (via Nuggets)
Slavko Vranes
Center | 7-6, 280 | Draft Player Card
Budcunost | Serbia-Montenegro
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: The Knicks need size, and there is no one bigger than Vranes. While he is pretty raw offensively, he runs the floor, blocks shots and has a nice shooting touch. He's a couple years away and doesn't really have the trappings of an NBA star, but if he can just be Shawn Bradley down the road, the Knicks will be happy.


31. Cleveland Cavaliers
Jerome Beasley
Power Forward | 6-10, 242 | Draft Player Card
Senior | North Dakota
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No 2:
Sleeper Pick
The Skinny: The Cavs struck gold in the second round last year with Duke's Carlos Boozer. Can they do it again this year? Beasley, the top Division II player this year, has the size and NBA body you love in a power forward, and he has a sweet face-the-basket jumper. He isn't as physical in the paint, but the Cavs will have Boozer to do the dirty work. Beasley could be one of the steals of the draft at No. 31.


32. Los Angeles Lakers (via Raptors)
David West
Power Forward | 6-9, 226 | Draft Player Card
Senior | Xavier
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: The Lakers were flirting with West at No. 24, so if he slips to them here, they've got to be pretty happy. West slipped because of so-so workouts and continuing questions about his ability to play power forward in the pros. He's an energetic rebounder and shot blocker, but most teams are convinced he'll struggle until he improves his perimeter game.


33. Miami Heat
Troy Bell
Point Guard | 6-2, 183 | Draft Player Card
Senior | Boston College
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: The Heat get another steal here if Bell falls to them. Pat Riley doesn't necessarily need a pure point guard running the show in Miami. What he needs is scoring and defense, and Bell can provide both. He tested as the top athlete in the draft, is an above average 3-point shooter and an experienced, tenacious defender. Riley should be able to play him right away.


34. Los Angeles Clippers
Ndudi Ebi
Forward | 6-9, 195 | Draft Player Card
High School Senior | Westbury Christian High School
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: One of these high school kids is bound to slip, and right now all signs point to it being Ebi. While he could go as high as No. 21 to the Hawks, Ebi's problem is that he's years away from contributing. He's rail thin, doesn't have a consistent offensive game and isn't the athlete that Outlaw is. But he is a hard worker, strong rebounder and top-notch shot blocker. The Clips seem to be a perfect home for projects like this. Of course, we all know he'll never stick around long enough for them to reap the benefit.


35. Milwaukee Bucks (via Grizzlies)
Szymon Szewczyk
Forward | 6-10, 220 | Draft Player Card
Poland
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: With 12 players under contract, a lottery pick on the way and big salary-cap issues, expect the Bucks to go international with both of their draft picks. The team would love to be able to keep a player or two overseas for a year and let the new owners decide what to do with them. Enter Szewczyk. Everywhere he's gone, he's played to stellar reviews. He has the versatility, outside jumper, great handle and size that Americans love in their Euros. He needs to get stronger and become a better defender, but another year or two in Europe will help with the seasoning.


36. Chicago Bulls
Josh Howard
Small Forward | 6-6, 202 | Draft Player Card
Senior | Wake Forest
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: The Bulls' luck is about to change if Howard slips this far. There's a great chance he could go as high as No. 18 to the Hornets, No. 21 to the Hawks, No. 26 to the T-Wolves, No. 27 to the Grizzlies or No. 28 to the Spurs. But if he slips, he falls into a great situation in Chicago. The team is looking for a versatile swingman with a solid outside jumper, and Howard has it.


37. Atlanta Hawks
Carl English
Guard | 6-5, 205 | Draft Player Card
Senior | Hawaii
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: With DerMarr Johnson, Dion Glover and Ira Newble all hitting free agency, the Hawks have to address their backcourt this summer. We've got them grabbing Boris Diaw, the 6-foot-9 French combo guard in Round 1. Look for them to take another combo guy in Round 2. They desperately need to find a good fit in the backcourt with Jason Terry. If Diaw isn't it, English might be. He's a good outside shooter, can play the point, and impressed teams in Chicago with his feel for the game.


38. Washington Wizards
Maurice Williams
Point Guard | 6-2, 189 | Draft Player Card
Sophomore | Alabama
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: The Wizards need a point guard in the worst way. We actually had them passing on a point in Round 1 one, opting instead for Nick Collison. They redeem themselves in Round 2 with Williams. Most scouts feel he has first-round talent, but the influx of point guards in this year's draft hurt his stock. No problem. On the Wizards, Williams will get playing time right away. With Tyronn Lue hitting free agency and Juan Dixon and Larry Hughes looking to score, Williams' pass-first mentality will be a good fit.


39. New York Knicks
Luke Walton
Small Forward | 6-9, 235 | Draft Player Card
Senior | Arizona
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: Walton is the best passer in the draft. Period. If the Knicks trade Latrell Sprewell as expected, there's no reason why Walton couldn't start earning minutes right away. He's got a great feel for the game. If his jumper improves, he could be a real steal down here.


40. Golden State Warriors
Paccelis Morlende
Point Guard | 6-3, 190 | Draft Player Card
Dijon | France
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: Who? Call this an educated guess. If the Warriors choose Wade in Round 1, they'll need more help at the point in anticipation of Gilbert Arenas' departure. Enter Morlende, considered for a time in France to be a better prospect than Tony Parker. He doesn't quite have the court vision that Parker does, but he very athletic, pushes the ball and looks to score. Kind of reminds you of Arenas a bit.


41. Seattle SuperSonics
Mario Austin
Power Forward | 6-9, 260 | Draft Player Card
Junior | Mississippi State
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: It's hard to believe we're at 40 and Austin is still on the board. It's probably a crime. He's not as undersized as people thought; he improved his work ethic tremendously this year; and he's got an emerging face-up game. What's the problem? No one can put their finger on it. It's possible Austin could go in the late first, but if he slips, this would be a nice place to land. The Sonics need power forwards, and Austin could easily turn out to be just as good as (or better than) the guy they get at No. 12.


42. Orlando Magic
Dahntay Jones
Shooting Guard | 6-6, 215 | Draft Player Card
Senior | Duke
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: Jones is one of the best athletes in the draft, and the Magic got a great look at him while he was working out in Florida at IMG. The only question mark with Jones is his outside shooting touch. He improved this season at Duke, but he couldn't get much to fall at individual workouts. Coach Doc Rivers just prays he's not another Jeryl Sasser.


43. Milwaukee Bucks
Kristaps Valters
Point Guard | 6-2, 185 | Draft Player Card
Latvia
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: That crowded roster probably pushes them to go international again. With the futures of Gary Payton and Sam Cassell in question, the Bucks should take another chance on a point guard. Valters could be this year's Milos Vujanic. He's active, has an impressive perimeter shot and has a really good feel for running his team. His defense and strength are lacking, but the Bucks don't need him to contribute right away.


44. Houston Rockets
Ronald Dupree
Small Forward | 6-7, 210 | Draft Player Card
Senior | LSU
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: Another tip from a source in Houston. Dupree wowed teams in Portsmouth with his jaw dropping athleticism. If he had anything resembling an NBA jumpshot, he'd have been a mid-first rounder. The Rockets have experimented with James Posey and Terrance Morris as their swingman. Both have been decent. Dupree should fit the same mold.


45. Chicago Bulls (via Suns)
Jason Kapono
Small Forward | 6-8, 215 | Draft Player Card
Senior | UCLA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: The Bulls were looking for that sweet-shooting small forward. Did one just fall into their laps? Kapono is right when he claims he would've been a first-round pick had he declared after his freshman season. All the turmoil at UCLA rubbed off on him. That doesn't change the fact that he has one of the sweetest shots in the draft. He'll have a great chance to make this team.


46. Denver Nuggets (via Celtics)
Sani Becirovic
Guard | 6-4, 194 | Draft Player Card
Slovenia
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: Two years ago, Becirovic was a sure-fire lottery pick At the age of 20 he was averaging over 20 ppg in the Euroleague, and many were calling him the best Euro two guard since Drazen Petrovic. He's an explosive scorer who also can play the point. But major knee surgery put his career on hold for two years. He had the patellas in both of his knees realigned in September and is now looking to make a comeback. He worked out for several teams, including the Nuggets, in Treviso, Italy, two weeks ago. They walked away impressed. There's no guarantee anyone takes the risk on him. But if anyone does, it will be Denver.


47. Utah Jazz
Theron Smith
Forward | 6-8, 234 | Draft Player Card
Senior | Ball State
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: A second-round pick isn't ever going to replace the likes of Karl Malone. But Smith has that lethal combination of strength and shooting touch that had many people excited after a top performance in Chicago. Where will he play in the NBA? Some claim he's three, others a four. But he's got a knack for rebounding, is one of the strongest players in the draft (he benched the 185-pound bar 26 times in Chicago) and he's an explosive athlete. Combine that with an emerging perimeter game, and you have a nice sleeper for the Jazz at No. 47.


48. New Orleans Hornets
Josh Powell
Forward | 6-9, 227 | Draft Player Card
Sophomore | North Carolina State
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: The Hornets aren't going to replace P.J. Brown with a second-round pick, but Powell may have too much upside to pass on here. He's one of the draft's best athletes. He's an explosive leaper (38.5 inch vertical), has a great wingspan and his game seems to be emerging. Had he stayed in school, he would've been a lock for the first round next year. Hornets get in on the game a bit early.


49. Indiana Pacers
Jermaine Boyette
Guard | 6-2, 187 | Draft Player Card
Senior | Weber State
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: Boyette is a big time scorer who can play the one or the two. The Pacers have missed a little scoring guard since they shipped off Travis Best. Boyette is a good defender, is very strong and shoots a high percentage from the floor. He's a nice change of pace from Jamaal Tinsley.


50. Philadelphia 76ers
Marquis Estill
Power Forward | 6-9, 260 | Draft Player Card
Senior | Kentucky
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: The Sixers need size, and Estill may be the best left on the board. He's got a great wing span, is a solid rebounder and shoots a high percentage from the field. There's nothing flashy about this pick, but he's solid.


51. New Jersey Nets
Kyle Korver
Small Forward | 6-8, 211 | Draft Player Card
Senior | Creighton
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: The Nets need perimeter shooting in the worst way, and Korver is the best shooter left on the board. He knows how to score, and despite a disappointing Chicago, he has worked out well everywhere he's gone. While teams worry about his lack of lateral quickness defensively, he's a nice role player to bring off the bench.


52. Toronto Raptors (via Lakers)
James Lang
Power Forward | 6-9, 316 | Draft Player Card
Central Park Christian High | Alabama
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: The big fella impressed everyone with his play in Chicago. He's very skilled for a big man, but the weight issue really hurt his stock. Will he be able to keep the pounds off? Or will he be the next Oliver Miller? He's worth a gamble in Round 2.


53. Miami Heat (via Pistons)
Rick Rickert
Power Forward | 6-11, 216 | Draft Player Card
Sophomore | Minnesota
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: This is awfully low for Rickert to go. However, his workouts left everyone feeling a bit limp. He's not tough enough to play in the post, and he's not athletic enough to play small forward. He'll get stronger -- eventually. But someone's going to have to wait a while. Not a bad pick-up for Miami here. This is one kid who should've stayed in school.


54. Portland Trail Blazers
Jason Keep
Center | 6-11, 270 | Draft Player Card
Senior | San Diego
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: He looks like a biker on steroids. That alone would justify the Blazers taking him here. But he also proved to be tough enough to provide a quality defensive presence in the paint. Keep won't be a star in the league, but he'll give you five very hard fouls every night.


55. Minnesota Timberwolves
Tommy Smith
Forward | 6-10, 200 | Draft Player Card
Senior | Arizona State
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: He's a freak athlete who never developed a consistent game. One night he looked like the best player on the floor. The next he would completely disappear. Teams love his length, explosiveness and shot blocking. But he's going to have to get much stronger to compete at a high level.


56. Boston Celtics (via Kings)
Brandon Hunter
Power Forward | 6-8, 266 | Draft Player Card
Senior | Ohio
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: He's a monster. He's undersized to play the four, but his 7-foot-3 wingspan will help compensate for things. He may be the strongest player in the draft. He aslo has a nice vertical and is pretty quick for someone his size. He can score in the post, is a tenacious rebounder and runs the floor well. If he was two inches taller, he'd be a lottery pick, but as it is, the Celtics get a nice player late in the second.


57. Dallas Mavericks
Zoltan Bencze
Center | 7-0, 240 | Draft Player Card
Hungary
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: The Mavs don't have room on their roster for a second round pick, but Bencze is an interesting addition. He's a classic European center. He can handle the ball, is an excellent passer, runs the floor well, and he can face the basket. He lacks strength, defensive intensity and a low-post game. But in the long run, he's not a bad prospect this late in the draft.


58. Detroit Pistons (via Spurs)
Boyko Mladenov
Center | 7-0, 260 | Draft Player Card
Bulgaria
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insider's Pick: You know the Pistons will pull out a surprise late in the draft. It could be Bulgarian big man Boyko Mladenov, once ranked as one of the best young prospects in Europe. But then he returned to Bulgaria and disappeared from the scouting scene. He's got really soft hands and nice jumper. He plays defense better than most prospects, runs the floor well and plays pretty aggressively. I saw him play against Darko in Serbia last winter, and he was very impressive, though he got into foul trouble pretty early. He's a sleeper pick, but worth the risk.

Mandyahl
06-24-2003, 10:04 AM
this is really nice...thanks, op!

Chicago JK
06-24-2003, 10:14 AM
I would be doing back flips if West, Howard, Bell, Ebi (my fav) are all available. Perkins going to SA hurts a little. West is undersized at 6'9, but has been a double-double guy in a good conference since the day he arrived in school 4 years ago. That means something.

Here are some names for the second round I sorta like: Valters, Sani Becirovic, Estill and Steve Blake. I think Estill and Blake are being severly underated right now in Mock drafts. Although it may be best to draft and stash a foreign player, because the Mavs don't have many spots available on their roster.

Mandyahl
06-24-2003, 10:25 AM
i agree. there's no way the 57th pick is going to have a spot on our roster next year, so the easiest route seems to be to pick some young foreign kid and leave him overseas next year.

madape
06-24-2003, 10:36 AM
Chicago JK - I would pass on all those guys if Vranes or Badaine were available.

Chicago JK
06-24-2003, 10:40 AM
Originally posted by: madape
Chicago JK - I would pass on all those guys if Vranes or Badaine were available.

Maybe. I have never seen these kids play, so it is tough for me to say. Although who knows what the mavs will do. It should be fun. If we can't move up, I would love to get an early second. Would we need to take a bad contract back? Some nice value there.

OutletPass
06-24-2003, 10:50 AM
Jk...looking at this latest Mock...I got the same feeling...maybe what happens is the Mavs try to move up into the early to mid 2nd...rather than trying to move up in the first. Could keeping our #2 instead of sending it to Miami be the start of that ?

ocelot_ark
06-24-2003, 04:50 PM
Vranes ape? Are you f'ing kidding me? In the 1st round? No f'ing way...

You could probably grab him with the 57th...

Doesn't matter, dude's gonna suck.

ocelot_ark
06-24-2003, 05:02 PM
Okay, okay...

I thought about it a little more. I think the kid MIGHT be worthy of an early 2nd round pick. BUT, I don't think he fills anything we're looking for. You make it sound like you hope he's as good as Bradley (which is really all that can be expected). Well that's simply not good enough. There are a ton of journeymen centers in the league I would rather have than Shawn. I really root for him, cause I feel for all the trash he's had to put up with, but he is not a contributor and to hope for another one of Shawn is rediculous.

I'd rather we break the mold and draft (gasp) an athletic, no 3-point range, offensively challenged, defensive stud.

madape
06-24-2003, 06:02 PM
no-three point range? offensively challenged? Athletic (for his size)? Potential defensive stud? That sounds like Vranes to me. A project sure... but his upside is about a foot taller than fire hydrants like Lang and West. Undersized big men who do well in college often turn out to be worthless sacks of shit in the NBA. But has there ever been a guy over 7'5" that HASN'T made some kind of impact? Nope. I think an 18 year old 7'7" athlete with the quickness and agility that Vranes has shown certainly warrants a look at #29. His upside is Yao Ming and his downside is Shawn Bradley. Shawn Bradley is an elite shotblocker, efficient rebounder, and powerful defensive presense. Even fools who can't see past Shawn's llilly white image would agree that he would be a steal at #29. So what in the hell makes you think Vranes isn't worthy of a #29? If he were Chinese would you think differently?

You can find dozens of 6'8" big banger" types on any street corner. There is nothing special about them. Dozens in this draft won't even get drafted. Why? Because in the NBA, size matters. Naturally athletic non-pituitary giants like Vranes come around maybe once every ten years or so. If one as athletic as Vranes falls to you at #29, you do NOT pass him up. Especially not for some undersized, unskilled dung beetle like West or Uche.

Shit man, in this league a player's got to have one of two attributes: size or skill, preferably both. You make it sound like you want someone with niether. Thugs are fine if you want to steal someone's lunch money. But if you want someone to block some shots and grab some boards, I'll take the tall skinny dude any day.

Chicago JK
06-24-2003, 06:23 PM
Originally posted by: madape
no-three point range? offensively challenged? Athletic (for his size)? Potential defensive stud? That sounds like Vranes to me. A project sure... but his upside is about a foot taller than fire hydrants like Lang and West. Undersized big men who do well in college often turn out to be worthless sacks of shit in the NBA. But has there ever been a guy over 7'5" that HASN'T made some kind of impact? Nope. I think an 18 year old 7'7" athlete with the quickness and agility that Vranes has shown certainly warrants a look at #29. His upside is Yao Ming and his downside is Shawn Bradley. Shawn Bradley is an elite shotblocker, efficient rebounder, and powerful defensive presense. Even fools who can't see past Shawn's llilly white image would agree that he would be a steal at #29. So what in the hell makes you think Vranes isn't worthy of a #29? If he were Chinese would you think differently?

You can find dozens of 6'8" big banger" types on any street corner. There is nothing special about them. Dozens in this draft won't even get drafted. Why? Because in the NBA, size matters. Naturally athletic non-pituitary giants like Vranes come around maybe once every ten years or so. If one as athletic as Vranes falls to you at #29, you do NOT pass him up. Especially not for some undersized, unskilled dung beetle like West or Uche.

Shit man, in this league a player's got to have one of two attributes: size or skill, preferably both. You make it sound like you want someone with niether. Thugs are fine if you want to steal someone's lunch money. But if you want someone to block some shots and grab some boards, I'll take the tall skinny dude any day.


Curious..have you see Vranes play, or are going off Chad Ford write-ups? I am not trying to start an argument here, just curious. It is worrisome that Vranes only averaged around 1 point and 2 rebounds this past season. No matter how bad the coaching is, a legit prospect would produce more. It will be interesting to see how he does.

I also don't think he should be mentioned anywhere near Yao. They may have height in common, but if this guy could play, he would go early first. I am skeptical at best. Although if you want to gamble in round two, I wouldn't have a problem moving up and taking him.

Who knows how West will turn out, but again he has averaged a double-double the moment he arrived in a good conference 4 years ago. Those guys don't grow on trees either.

You might be hyping sight unseen the next Serge Zwicker(sp) or 7'4 Big Continent who went undrafted a few years ago.

BTW here are the tallest players in the world:
1 242 Kosen Sultan TUR Galatasaray (TUR)
2 235 Ri Myong Hun PRK PRK NT (PRK)
3 230 Muresan George ROM Pau-Orthez (FRA)
4 229 Sidibe Malik SEN Kapfenberg (AUT)
5 228 Bradley Shawn GER-USA Dallas M. (USA)
6 228 Vranes Slavko YUG Buducnost (YUG)
7 228 Fingleton Neil ENG Holy Cross (USA)
8 227 Van Volkenburgh Andy USA Akron W. (USA)
9 226 Yao Ming CHN Houston R. (USA)
10 225 Hoger Ivan CZE Kranj (SLO)
11 223 Rindin Alexandr AZE AZE NT (AZE)
12 223 Warlika Ujang IDN ASPAC (IDN)
13 222 Popa Constantin ROM-ISR Hapoel Lev Hasharon (ISR)
14 222 Zabolotny Viktor UKR Voznesensk (UKR)
15 222 Podkolzin Pavel RUS Varese (ITA)
16 222 Sabonis Arvydas LTU Portland T.B. (USA)
17 221 Lauderdale Priest USA Akademik S. (BUL)
18 221 Sun Heo Hua CHN Zhejiang Horses (CHN)
19 221 Ehlert Joerg TUR-GER Berlin ASV (GER)
20 221 Shaefer Dave USA High School USA (USA)
21 221 Minor Luke USA USC (USA)
22 221 Slaninka Matt USA Maryland (USA)
23 221 Narr Oliver GER Trier (GER)
24 221 Johnson Curtis USA St.John's (USA)
25 221 Dodik Bojan YUG Buducnost (YUG)
26 221 Dragicevic Nick CAN Oakland (USA)
27 221 Robahani Jaber IRI Zob Ahan (IRI)
28 221 Sundov Bruno CRO Boston C. (USA)
29 221 Schoenmakers Hanno NED Gravelines (FRA)
30 220 Lakos Jere CRO Vodice (CRO)
31 220 Beck Boris GER Rattersdorf (GER)
32 220 Atuashvili Sergo GEO Valencia (ESP)
33 220 Closs Keith USA Pennsylvania V. (USA)
34 220 Corona Carlos MEX Tuberos de Colima (MEX)
35 220 Ershov Denis RUS Khimki (RUS)
36 220 Lukas Roman RUS Dinamo-RGAFK (RUS)
37 219 Radojevic Aleksandar YUG Bonn (GER)
38 219 Mytiko Viacheslav BLR Vitebsk (BLR)
39 219 Varas Fernando ESP-ARG Estudiantes BB (ARG)
40 219 Dousa Daniel CZE Sparta Praha (CZE)
41 219 Harris Sam AUS Austral.Inst.Sport (AUS)
42 218 Schiopu Dorin ROM Cluj (ROM)
43 218 Mc Cleod Kevin USA New York P. (USA)
44 218 Hovanesian Armen ARM Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO)
45 218 Duenas Roberto ESP Barcelona (ESP)
46 218 Moore Josh USA Zhejiang Horses (CHN)
47 218 Christoffersen Chris DEN Pesaro (ITA)
48 218 Ilgauskas Zydrunas LTU Cleveland C. (USA)
49 218 Gingold Eric USA-ISR Hitachi Sunrockers (JPN)
50 218 Zankl Peter

madape
06-24-2003, 06:41 PM
No, I have never had the pleasure of seeing Vranes play. But I have read several reports, not just from Ford, proclaiming his athelticism to be very good for his size. That and the fact that he's 7'7" makes me think he's a no brainer at #29. I think many people are scared off by the "downside" that Vranes might turn out to be like Shawn Bradley. Needless to say, if he turns out to be like Bradley in three years, I'll be thrilled. Plus, like I said. What's the gamble? How many 6'8" guys who have had success have been worthless in the NBA? Plenty. How many natural 7'6" giants have been worthless in the NBA? I sure can't think of any.

And as for West, I have seen him play. Wasn't he the guy that had his ass handed to him by a lower seeded Maryland in the tournament this year? If he's too small to have success against big time NCAA programs when it counts, what makes you think he can handle the Western Conference. The dude is sliding because he has a power game in a shooting guard's body. If he played in 1978, I might pick him. But now? No thanks. Go sit next to Najera on the bench.

madape
06-24-2003, 06:43 PM
That list contains dozens of mutants and cold war growth hormone experiments gone awry. Natural, athletic, humans who just happen to be tall. That's what I'm talking about.

ocelot_ark
06-24-2003, 06:57 PM
Sorry Ape, but since you have never seen the guy play, I'll take your manlove with a grain of salt.

And where are you getting the 6'8" thing from? I'm not suggesting we draft ANYONE 6'8" and expect him to play PF in the NBA. I'm hoping we draft that 6'11" guy who everyone RAVES about his athleticism, not for his SIZE, but period.

Seriously, how many of these scouts thought Shawn Bradley would change the game? Tons. The fact is, hardly a giant has made a significant contribution in this league. The fact is, the only reason they are in the league (aside from Yao) is because they are tall. I have no affinity for anyone just because they are tall. You on the other hand hold some sort of fetish for anyone who has to duck to get into their bedroom. You know nothing about what kind of player he is, you just want another pet project to root for and to chastise everyone else for not liking.

Upside is Yao? Are you kidding me? What makes you think that? That's by far the most ludicrous thing I've read all day. That's like me saying that Badiane could potentially be a Ben Wallace...only 3 inches taller. Wait, perhaps that's NOT so much of a stretch. It's a whole lot easier for Badiane to fill the role of a dominant, defensive role-player.

Not to mention, it's about time the Mavs got some freaking respect. Do you think anyone in this league respects Shawn Bradley? Even after almost a decade? Nope. They don't. Will it be different for Vranes? Nope, not unless he (laugh) turns into Yao.

Who do you think is more of a longshot, Badiane or Vranes? I, along with every other sane person, would probably say Vranes. Of course, then there's you...and Scott Layden.

Bayliss
06-24-2003, 07:14 PM
Ocelot, Bradley is a bad example, but not because he lacks talent... because for the majority of his career he has lacked desire. He would rather be going off to Africa and helping the underprevileged than playing basketball. Last summer was really the first year he put forth any effort into improving his weaknesses (outside of his body style).

Vranes may never pan out. But him being 7'5".... could he become a Rik Smits type player but with shot blocking ability? Would you have taken Rik Smits at 29?

I personally believe Vranes can slip to the 2nd round where we can snatch him up. At 29, I'd much rather use go for for a much more athletic guy like Badiane.... or a swingman a la Ebi.

madape
06-24-2003, 07:49 PM
I don't know about a fetish, but I am a big proponent of size in the NBA. I big, tall guy with athleticism beats out a short "bruiser" in my book any time. The West statement was targeted towards Chicago JK who said that he'd flip over backwards if he were there. I like what people are saying about Badaine too. If he's as good as Fall and some of the other scouts say he is, the Mavericks should pick him over Vranes. There are other skill position players I'd like over Vranes too... Planinic especially. But if the choice comes down to Vranes or some run of the mill undersized power forward, I'll choose Vranes any day. I like his upside.

Chicago JK
06-24-2003, 08:00 PM
Originally posted by: madape
I don't know about a fetish, but I am a big proponent of size in the NBA. I big, tall guy with athleticism beats out a short "bruiser" in my book any time. The West statement was targeted towards Chicago JK who said that he'd flip over backwards if he were there. I like what people are saying about Badaine too. If he's as good as Fall and some of the other scouts say he is, the Mavericks should pick him over Vranes. There are other skill position players I'd like over Vranes too... Planinic especially. But if the choice comes down to Vranes or some run of the mill undersized power forward, I'll choose Vranes any day. I like his upside.

I live in MD, despite the name, and I get to see most of UM games. West didn't play well against MD in the tourney. He may prove not to be a good player, but I think he is going to surprise. I think he will be an excellent role player. It might be tough for him to be a starter in the big western conference, but IMO would be the ideal fit for the Lakers next to Shaq. Rebounding and block shots tend to carry over to the pros, so I have a strong feeling he will be a good rebounder. Not the ideal size, but good production. He is 6'9 with a 7'2 reach. Plus Xavier has a very good history of producing power forwards.

This is why this draft is so exciting. There are so many different opinions out there on these players. It will be a few years until we see who can play, but this draft should be really fun.

I like some of the seniors in this draft, but I am all for the mavs taking a swing on this draft. Draft a player you can stash and develop is fine with me. I jus think Vranes is the wrong player. Give me Ebi, Perkins, Malick, Delfino, Zoran etc.

ocelot_ark
06-24-2003, 09:17 PM
Originally posted by: madape
I don't know about a fetish, but I am a big proponent of size in the NBA. I big, tall guy with athleticism beats out a short "bruiser" in my book any time. The West statement was targeted towards Chicago JK who said that he'd flip over backwards if he were there. I like what people are saying about Badaine too. If he's as good as Fall and some of the other scouts say he is, the Mavericks should pick him over Vranes. There are other skill position players I'd like over Vranes too... Planinic especially. But if the choice comes down to Vranes or some run of the mill undersized power forward, I'll choose Vranes any day. I like his upside.

Can't argue with that.

jayC
06-25-2003, 12:31 AM
Back when Bradley was drafted they said the next kareem , so thats why i shake my head about 7 foot 6 centers? At 29 its a gamble aren't a lot of guys are projected to be from 25-40 so you really don't know what your getting.

Mandyahl
06-25-2003, 12:35 AM
at 29, it really is a gamble, which is why drafting vranes isn't a terrible idea. being so tall, he would have to have some effect in games. but there will probably be better players available. it will be intersting to see what we do.

madape
06-25-2003, 08:28 AM
The bulls have the #36 pick. That be definitely be a nice spot for Vranes (hehehe)

seelenjaeger
06-25-2003, 11:01 AM
I still think the Mavs will go Szewczyk.

madape
06-25-2003, 11:46 AM
#36 would be a nice spot for Szymon Szewczyk, too.