NEW YORK -- LeBron James went No. 1, Andres Gliniadakis went
In between there were trades, one big slippage and a few
An NBA draft that began with James, the high school phenom from
Akron going to the Cleveland Cavaliers, ended with a record 21
international players being chosen in the two rounds.
"I think some of these teams made a mistake,'' said Polish
center Maciej Lampe, who was projected as a lottery pick but fell
all the way to No. 30 -- the first pick of the second round -- where
he was selected by the New York Knicks.
Nobody was accusing the Cavs of making a mistake with their
selection of James, who strode onstage wearing an all-white suit --
appropriate garb for a player expected to be the team's savior.
The most heralded high school player of a generation, James is
considered a can't-miss prospect with the skills of a guard, the
body of a forward and the potential of a superstar.
"I'm one of the highest publicized players in the country right
now, and I haven't even played one game of basketball in the NBA. I
know I'm a marked man,'' James said.
Serbian 7-footer Darko Milicic was chosen second by the Detroit
Pistons, and Carmelo Anthony, who led Syracuse to the national
championship, was chosen third by the Denver Nuggets -- capping the
drama-less first 15 minutes.
"Darko Milicic is not going to have to come here and be the
savior,'' said Joe Dumars, Detroit's president of basketball
operations. "LeBron is going to have to be the savior in
Cleveland, there's no getting around that. Carmelo is going to be
expected to carry a huge load.
"We're going to push (Milicic) to be the best he can be. But,
he's not going to be judged on whether he carried us this year. We
think that's an excellent situation for him and for us.''
The Toronto Raptors, after listening to trade offers throughout
the day, used the No. 4 pick on 6-foot-11 freshman forward Chris
Bosh of Georgia Tech.
Miami then went for Marquette junior guard Dwyane Wade.
The night's first of seven trades came about 90 minutes after
James was chosen, with Memphis sending the rights to the 13th pick,
Marcus Banks of UNLV, and the 27th pick (Kendrick Perkins of
Beaumont, Texas) to the Boston Celtics for the rights to picks 16
(Troy Bell of Boston College) and 20 (Dahntay Jones of Duke).
"His strength is speed. That's why we got him,'' Ainge said.
"It would be silly not to have Marcus Banks running with the
basketball in his hands. It allows Antoine Walker and Paul Pierce
to play more of their natural positions.''
San Antonio later traded the 28th pick, Brazilian point guard
Leandro Barbosa, to Phoenix for a future first-round pick. There
were five deals involving second-round picks.
Central Michigan center Chris Kaman, a 7-footer who averaged
22.4 points last season as a junior, went sixth to the Los Angeles
Kirk Hinrich of Kansas was the first college senior to be
selected, going sixth to Chicago. The Bulls will likely be without
Jay Williams, the second overall pick of last year's draft, for at
least a year after he broke his leg in a motorcycle accident last
T.J. Ford of Texas, winner of the Naismith and Wooden awards,
went at No. 8 to the Milwaukee Bucks -- a possible sign that the
franchise expects point guard Gary Payton to leave as a free agent
over the summer.
The Knicks selected Georgetown power forward Michael Sweetney --
a choice that brought a mixed reaction from a partisan crowd that
was on its feet as Stern announced the selection. The crowd later
went nuts when the Knicks landed Lampe, who responded by holding a
raised fist to the crowd.
Serbian teammates Zarko Cabarkapa (17th, Phoenix) and Aleksandar
Pavlovic (19th, Utah) from Buducnost broke the top 20, while a
third player from that club -- 7-foot-4 center Slavko Vranes went
39th to the Knicks.
Notable second-round selections included Arizona's Luke Walton,
the son of Bill Walton, going 32nd to the Lakers, Greek teenager
Sofoklis Schortsinitis going 34th to the Clippers and Washington
taking Maryland guard Steve Blake 38th. China's Xue Yuyang went to
Dallas on behalf of Denver with the next-to-last pick.
Gliniadakis, of Greece, went last to the Pistons.
New Jersey traded the right to Creighton's Kyle Korver, the 51st
pick, to Philadelphia for cash. The Sixers also sent cash and the
rights to No. 50 pick Paccelis Morlende to Seattle for No. 41 pick
Willie Green of Detroit Mercy.