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Grade: A
PF Kenyon Martin, 6-9, Sr., Cincinnati
C Soumaila Samake, 7-2, Mali
Martin was the guy the Nets just had to take. Without an athletic big man to block shots or score, New Jersey couldn't go with Darius Miles. Martin can score and defend. He will start right away at either power forward or center. He's not a 7-footer, but he will block shots like one. Maybe Keith Van Horn moves to small forward and the Jim McIlvaine/Jamie Feick center mess continues, maybe not. Either way, this is a no-brainer pick. No Michael Olowokandi here. Martin's a future star. As for the other guy, Samake, as Kenny Mayne likes to say, "He's tall." Don't look for anything other than a few blocks out of him. We mean Samake, not Kenny.

Grade: A
PF Stromile Swift, 6-9, So., LSU
The Grizzlies really are not that far away. Really. If you add Swift to the other four starters, all of whom started all 82 games last season, this team looks pretty good. Well, at least they should win more than 20 games. There still is no bench here at all. Swift might not have the offensive game of Martin, but he should be a dominant defender. The leaper can block shots, rebound, and is emerging offensively. Put him next to big-time scorer Shareef Abdur-Rahim at forward or put Big Country Reeves out of his misery at center. Again, Vancouver had no choice on this pick. Plus, they actually found someone willing to go to Vancouver. They didn't make any other selections. They could have used some to form some semblance of a bench.

Grade: A
SF Darius Miles, 6-9, East St. Louis (Ill.) HS
SG Quentin Richardson, 6-6, DePaul
PG Keyon Dooling (from Magic), 6-3, Missouri
SG Marko Jaric, 6-7, Italy
PF Derek Strong (from Magic), 6-9
SF Corey Maggette (from Magic), 6-6
C Sean Rooks (from Mavericks), 6-10
Miles is a pure and raw athlete who probably doesn't contribute right away, like a Kobe Bryant. But he is excited to be a Clipper, which is a huge bonus. He has the size to play above the rim and needs more range on his shot. But he can run the floor very well. He's only 18, but in a few years we'll remember when he was drafted. Richardson is a steal as well, since he probably slipped a bunch in the draft, and Dooling, well ... we're not huge fans, but the Clips did need a point guard, and they got arguably the No. 1 or 2 guy from the draft. Meanwhile, thanks to Orlando's dumping for contract reasons, Strong and Maggette could each be major players. Remember, Maggette is younger than many guys drafted this year. And Rooks comes in exchange for Eric Murdock, and has more value at this point. A great draft for the Clips, though technically they only selected three of their seven new additions.

Grade: B
PF Marcus Fizer, 6-8, Iowa State
PG Jamal Crawford, 6-6, Michigan
C Dalibor Bagaric, 7-2, Croatia
PG A.J. Guyton, 6-1, Indiana
C Jake Voskuhl, 6-11, UConn
PG Khalid El-Amin, 5-10, UConn
Jerry Krause certainly didn't tip his hand on this selection, shocking everyone by picking Fizer -- who looks a lot like a power forward to us. So does reigning rookie of the year Elton Brand. Then Bulls seemingly got their center in Chris Mihm, but in the next shocker they inexplicably dealt him away for Crawford. Fizer doesn't block shots at all nor rebound a ton, so maybe he can be a three. He does have decent range, but could be better from the perimeter. Crawford, the first point guard taken, has great size for the position and has plenty of moves, but has never been in love with defense. Chicago had a huge need for a point who could actually score and Crawford can do that. Bagaric may not play in the NBA anytime soon, but he does have size. Guyton and El-Amin may think they can compete with Crawford, but it's unlikely. Maybe they will stick, who knows. Voskuhl isn't the Bulls' center of the future. Overall, had the Bulls kept Mihm and drafted a point later, they would have gotten an A.

Grade: B
SF Mike Miller, 6-8, Florida
A great shooter who has range and can play inside with his size, Miller wasn't supposed to go with the No. 5 pick. But the Magic can definitely use him right away to play small forward. Orlando didn't have much scoring coming from the forward spot, with Bo Outlaw and Ben Wallace just rebounding and blocking shots. Now the Magic have another scorer, and when the bevy of big-time free agents comes to central Florida to play here, Miller will be a nice complement. After starting the draft with three lottery picks, the Magic left with one player. But when free agency starts, they are sure to succeed, so the draft was a success. They really, really wanted to unload Strong for cap room, as you can see by their lopsided Dooling deal with the Clips. Of course, Orlando also has a ton of first-rounders in the next few years, and they might get Tim Duncan.

Grade: B-
SG DerMarr Johnson, 6-9, Cincinnati
PF Hanno Möttölä, 6-10, Utah
PG Scoonie Penn, 5-10, Ohio State
People loved Johnson for his size at the shooting guard spot. He's a decent pick for Atlanta, who doesn't really have a solid, young player at the two or three spots. Jimmy Jackson is the only other Hawk who can score at Johnson's positions. Add this guy to Jason Terry in the backcourt, get a big forward to help Dikembe Mutombo on the boards and maybe Lon Kruger can turn this thing around quickly. Möttölä can shoot, and he's got size, so who are we to judge. We'd be surprised if he made it, though. Same with Scoonie.

Grade: A
C Chris Mihm, 7-0, Texas
Well, congratulations to the Cavaliers, who got the big man they wanted. For some reason that we just cannot figure out, the Bulls, who can't really play Brand at center and definitely can't use Fizer there, dealt away the guy they seemed to want. Mihm went to Cleveland for Jamal Crawford and cash. This is absolutely the player the Cavs needed. Mihm is the best true center in this draft. He can block shots and rebound, he has an offensive game, the Cavs can finally let Shawn Kemp play his natural four spot and they don't have to worry about Zydrunas Ilgauskas and his brittle feet. As Drew Carey might say, "Cleveland Rocks," at least on this draft night.

Grade: C
C Jason Collier, 7-0, Georgia Tech
PF Dan Langhi (from Mavs), 6-11, Vanderbilt
The Rockets drafted Joel Przybilla, universally regarded as the No. 2 center in the draft, but didn't want him. They moved him to Milwaukee for Collier, who was taken six picks later, and Houston took the future pick as well. Doesn't make much sense. Collier did lead the ACC in boards and is a good defender who shoots well, and doesn't try to do too much. He could use some work in the post, however. Collier did average 17 points per game in each of his seasons at Georgia Tech. Houston expects to be much better next season, and Collier, assuming he can handle those Steve Francis passes, should fit right in. As for Langhi, he was a big-time scorer in college and slipped to the second round, so we regard that as a pretty nice pick. But dealing Przybilla for Collier hurts the grade.

Grade: C
PF Jerome Moiso, 6-10, UCLA
SG Josip Sesar (from Sonics), 6-6, Croatia
A lefty who can run the floor very well for a big man, Moiso is tall and thin. He does well off the offensive glass. The Celtics had to get bigger in the draft, and with this Frenchman they do. But Moiso is an undefined player on a team lacking definition. He scored double figures both his seasons at UCLA, and with his long arms does block shots. The Celtics can't rely on him to score too much, but he should help. That's more than we can say for Sesar, who put up crazy numbers in the Croatian league but that seldom translates to the NBA.

Grade: A
PF Etan Thomas, 6-9, Syracuse
SG Courtney Alexander (from Magic), 6-5, Fresno State
PF Donnell Harvey (from Knicks), 6-8, Florida
PF Eduardo Najera (from Rockets), 6-8, Oklahoma
SF John Wallace, 6-9
PG Eric Murdock, 6-1
What a night for the Mavs. There were no Wang Zhi Zhis here! Getting Thomas gives the Mavs another shot blocker, but in a much different mold than Shawn Bradley. A mature guy who played all four years in orange, Thomas really developed in his senior season, though the stats might not show it. A consistent double-digit scorer and solid boardman, Thomas finished seventh on the NCAA list in blocks, but he can also score, which separates him from Big Shawn. Alexander can flat out light it up. He led the nation in scoring at better than 24 points a game, and he has what they call the total pro game. We thought Alexander would be gone maybe seven or eight picks earlier (Orlando took him at No. 13), so the Magic got a steal. Actually, they got a steal for Nellie. Harvey comes via the Knicks and he and Najera (from Houston) are undersized power forwards, but each are tough as nails. Wallace has underachieved in a few places now, so Nellie should love him. Murdock was pretty much shot years ago, and he should get along well with fellow washout Robert Pack.

Grade: B
PG Mateen Cleaves, 6-2, Michigan State
PF Brian Cardinal, 6-8, Purdue
With Crawford and Dooling already gone, and the Pistons having a need for a point guard, getting Cleaves does make sense. He's basically a hometown guy, and while there are questions about his game, there aren't any when it comes to his leadership ability. The two-time Big Ten player of the year is not a great shooter, plain and simple. He can handle the ball and find the right man, though, and is a character guy. The pick will be popular in Pistonland, which will be key if Grant Hill flies the coop. As for Cardinal, he always plays with energy and gets down and dirty. The fans will love him, too. Not a bad second-round pick.

Grade: A-
C Joel Przybilla, 7-1, Minnesota
SG Michael Redd, 6-6, Ohio State
PG Jason Hart, 6-3, Syracuse
Pretty good night for the Bucks. Forget the booing you heard from the Philly-like crowd in Minneapolis. Przybilla can rebound and block shots. George Karl apparently really wanted the guy, and he got him in a trade for No. 16 pick Jason Collier and a future first-rounder. The Bucks were desperate for a big man. Przybilla can play right away -- he's a better defender than Ervin Johnson and probably a wash on offense. Przybilla started to develop last season, finding his scoring game early in his truncated sophomore season. Is he physical enough? Does he have enough moves? Maybe Karl will be patient with him. Redd and Hart are decent second-round picks, though neither is a lock to stick.

Grade: C
SF Hidayet Turkoglu, 6-8, Turkey
C Jabari Smith, 6-11, LSU
Well, Turkoglu can shoot, we know that. There might be no better shooter in Europe. But we stress the Europe part. Who knows, maybe he comes to the States soon. The Kings do have a need at small forward, with Corliss Williamson not likely to return, and Predrag Stojakovic probably not ready to start there because of defensive liabilities. Of course, Turkoglu might have the same problems. As for Smith, he has the bulk to contribute right away, and should garner some boards. And he's a better free throw shooter than Shaq. Of course, we all are.

Grade: B+
SF Desmond Mason, 6-5, Okla. State
PF Olumide Oyedeji, 6-10, Nigeria
Mason was a solid choice for the Sonics, who get a good athlete who can shoot and defend. Mason came on strong in his senior season, averaging 18 points a game and hitting shots from all over the place. The Sonics started Ruben Patterson at the three, but he's more slasher than scorer. Restricted free agent Rashard Lewis is still here, but he is more of a scorer than rebounder. Mason can do both. So there's opportunity for him to step right in, and he might be able to develop into a two-guard. Oyedeji is probably not a guy the Sonics can count on right away, but he did average better than 15 boards a game in the German league, so let's all take a look. He blocks shots, too, and unlike Vin Baker, is in shape.

Grade: C
PF Jamaal Magloire, 6-10, Kentucky
A big man might have trouble finding minutes in Charlotte, but Magloire is still good insurance. You never know with Derrick Coleman and Anthony Mason. Magliore didn't do a whole lot until his senior season, when he produced 13.2 points and grabbed 9.1 rebounds. Originally applied for the draft a year earlier, but improved so much by coming back it was worth it. Still, might not be a great fit in Charlotte.

Grade: B-
PG Speedy Claxton, 5-11, Hofstra
SG Mark Karcher, 6-5, Temple
The Raptors were probably hoping Speedy would slip to them with the next pick, but Philly doesn't care. The Sixers were looking hard at Turkoglu, who was snapped up by the Kings. Claxton's not a big guy, but he performed very well in pre-draft camps and should be able to score. He's mature and easy to coach, and he hits his shots. With Eric Snow the current point guard, Philly can wait awhile for Speedy to develop after playing his college ball at Hofstra. Karcher was probably just a mercy pick for the hometown guy. Don't look for him to stick with the team.

Grade: B-
SF Morris Peterson, 6-7, Michigan State
SG DeeAndre Hulett, 6-8, College of the Sequoias
Surprise! Everyone thought the Raptors would go point guard at pick No. 21, since they desperately need one, but look at the points who were already gone. You couldn't take Khalid El-Amin there. So, MoPete becomes pretty nice insurance if/when Tracy McGrady leaves town. The Big Ten player of the year really doesn't have a major weakness. A scorer who plays the wing well and is smart, Peterson was a fifth-year senior and a great leader. The Raptors should love the guy. Hulett scored 28.7 points a game in the Sequoias, which is probably akin to being the tallest midget in the circus. Anyone care? Bottom line: Raps still need a point guard.

Grade: C-
SG Lavor Postell, 6-6, St. John's
SF Pete Mickeal (from Mavs), 6-5, Cincinnati
SG Erick Strickland (from Mavs), 6-3
The Knicks selected Donnell Harvey in the first round and then sent him packing to the Mavericks, for shooting guard Erick Strickland (Pete Mickeal and John Wallace were also in on the trade). We're not sure why. Harvey only played one year in college, and proved he could rebound the ball and work hard. Everyone was saying the Knicks wanted the guy. But now they have Strickland, who played four seasons in Dallas and just started to distinguish himself last year. He should be in their rotation. Mickeal, the last pick of the draft, has little shot to make it, especially since his game is very close to Postell's. Postell is a St. John's guy taken one year too late if you're a Knicks fan, who wanted Ron Artest over Frederic Weis. But Postell can play. Of course, 10 other Knicks also can.

Grade: B
SG DeShawn Stevenson, 6-5, Wash. Union (Calif.) HS
SF Kaniel Dickens, 6-8, Idaho
Stevenson is a high school kid with a lot of ability. The Jazz have plenty of players under contract and can take their time with him. Stevenson is an athlete who can run and jump, but he's very raw. So, don't expect much right away. The Jazz don't take risks on draft night, but Stevenson was so impressive in a workout, they went against their history. We'll know in a few years how it works out. Dickens put up only average numbers at Idaho as a junior, but decided to come out anyway. Don't look for him to make it. But the grade is good because Stevenson is likely going to be a player.

Grade: A-
C , Iakovos Tsakalidis, 7-0, Greece
Now here's a guy who really slipped. Obviously, his contractual status is the reason, because teams seemed to love the guy's ability. Cleveland was supposedly taking Big Jake at No. 8. Anyway, this guy is big, really big. From his post-selection interview, he seems to think he won't be playing again for his Greek team, which is good news for Scott Skiles. Luc Longley doesn't have the same game he once had (insert joke here) and the Suns need an inside presence. If you can bring Tsakalidis over, here's the presence.

Grade: C
C Mamadou N'Diaye, 7-0, Auburn
C Dan McClintock, 7-0, Northern Arizona
It was thought that N'Diaye might be going earlier to Seattle, but when you look at the stats he put up offensively, you can see why he slipped a bit. N'Diaye does play defense, though, and the Nuggets, well, they didn't. Agile and quick but not real physical, N'Diaye can still develop an offensive game, and the Nuggets can wait. McClintock is another 7-foot center, and he did score well in college, but not as much of a boardman. Maybe the Nuggets can combine these two guys into a decent player and call it Mamadou McClintock. Maybe not.

Grade: D
C Primoz Brezec, Slovenia
PG Jaquay Walls, Colorado
Brezec hasn't played much at all the last few years, but part of that could be because he was on such a good team. The Pacers could have a few openings on their team. Out goes Rik Smits, in comes Brezec? The book on him is that has a low-post game and does rebound, but since he hasn't done it at the NBA level -- nor really on the European level the last few years -- he's a risk. Walls averaged 17 points and hit his 3s his senior year, but if Chris Mullin couldn't get any time, this guy probably won't.

Grade: B-
PG Erick Barkley, 6-1, St. John's
This is a pretty good pick for the No. 28 spot in the draft, but do the Blazers really need the guy, considering that Damon Stoudamire and Greg Anthony are still in town? Of course, that could change. If it does, then Barkley will get a chance to show off some good transition skills and quick hands on defense. This gives Portland point-guard flexibility if Anthony leaves via free agency.

Grade: B+
PF Mark Madsen, 6-9, Stanford
SG Cory Hightower (from Spurs), 6-8, Indian Hill CC
With A.C. Green being released earlier in the day, maybe Madsen steps right in to the starting power forward spot! Maybe not. But Madsen does have nice bulk and makes his shots. Madsen is fundamentally sound and solid on the boards. The Lakers were thought to be interested in him, and it's likely he could take the small amount of minutes Travis Knight was getting. Hightower was drafted by the Spurs and sent West for some future picks. Smart move for L.A., which can wait a few years for him to play.

Grade: B-
SF Mike Smith, 6-8, Louisiana-Monroe
Don't confuse this guy with current Wiz forward Michael Smith, who has a totally different game. On a sidenote, how are the Wizards going to differentiate these guys? Anyway, the Smith the Wiz just drafted averaged 20 points a game and was 15th in the nation in rebounds at 9.4. So he's got college game. Of course, that was the Southland conference. But in Washington's practices, it's hard to tell the difference.

Grade: D
SG Eddie House, 6-1, Arizona State
C Ernest Brown, 7-0, Indian Hill CC
Well, the Heat didn't get a whole lotta help from the draft. House was a big-time scorer, but he's not big enough to play the two and unless he suddenly learns passing skills, he's bound for the CBA. Brown put up decent numbers playing with Hightower at Indian Hills, but does Riley have the patience to give him a few years?

Grade: B
SG Chris Carrawell, 6-6, Duke
We thought this was a pretty nice pick for the second round. Carrawell could have gone in the first round, considering his Duke upbringing and the fact his game is pretty refined. Carrawell can play multiple positions and scored well and passed well in college. Let's put it this way: A lot of lesser guys were taken in the second round. With the uncertainty surrounding Sean Elliott, the guy could stick.

Grade: D
PG Igor Rakocevic, 6-2, Yugoslavia
He's a little guy and the Wolves might need one should Terrell Brandon move on. Rakocevic does have scoring ability and can on occasion get the ball to the right people, but that was in another league in another part of the world. Timberwolves fans got to host the draft, but this was all they got. They deserved to boo.

Grade: C
PF Chris Porter, 6-7, Auburn
A year ago, Porter would have been a first round pick. Now he's No. 55. He goes to a team that had no other picks and the Warriors have some space in the frontcourt, so who knows, maybe he can get a shot. Only scored 14 points a night his final year with Auburn, but we know he has some game. He just needs to work on the rest. But in the second round, you could do worse. Help | Advertiser Info | Contact Us | Tools | Site Map | Jobs at
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