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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that the underclassmen have finally made up their minds, it's time for teams to do the same.

Mike Dunleavy, Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Curtis Borchardt, Casey Jacobsen and even Nenad Kristic are in.

French shooting guard Boris Diaw is the only significant player out of the draft.

Just when you think you have pinpointed who a team likes and doesn't like, trade rumors start to corrupt the picture.

The Warriors already have a deal in place to pick up a mid first-round pick (try Philly's at No. 16). The Heat and Grizzlies are also trying to pick up another first-rounder. The Blazers look like they've got their claws into the Clippers' No. 12 pick and there's lots of talk about the Blazers, Suns and Magic moving up and the Grizzlies, Cavs and Nets moving down or out of the draft completely.

And several prospects are still all over the place. Nikoloz Tskitishvili could go as high as No. 3 to the Warriors or slip all the way to the Suns at No. 9. Dajuan Wagner could fall anywhere from No. 5 to Denver all the way down to No. 11 at Washington. Curtis Borchardt could go as high as No. 7 to New York or fall all the way to Milwaukee at No. 13. And Dan Dickau has been mentioned going anywhere from No. 11 to Washington all the way to No. 20 to Toronto.

Ugh! The picture will clear up significantly four or five days from now, but now that we're fairly certain who is and isn't in the draft, here's our third mock draft.

1. Houston Rockets
Insider's Pick: Yao Ming, C, China
No. 2: Mike Dunleavy, F, Duke
Sleeper Pick: Caron Butler, F, UConn
The Skinny: It looks like the Rockets are on the home stretch with Yao. They seem to have the blessing of both the Shanghai Sharks and the Chinese Basketball Association. All they are waiting on is Yao to figure out his buyout with the Sharks. Now comes the moment of truth: Do the Rockets really want Yao? The only other real option for them at this point is grabbing Mike Dunleavy. All signs, however, point to China.

2. Chicago Bulls
Insider's Pick: Jay Williams, G, Duke
No. 2: Yao Ming, C, China
Sleeper Pick: Mike Dunleavy, F, Duke
The Skinny: Williams has already moved in, draped himself in Bulls gear and learned to lie about Jerry Krause. If the team can keep Jamal Crawford from pulling a Tonya Harding and whacking Williams in the knee, the Bulls may have hit the jackpot.

3. Golden State Warriors
Insider's Pick: Mike Dunleavy, F, Duke
No. 2: Drew Gooden, F, Kansas
Sleeper Pick: Nikoloz Tskitishvili, F, UConn
The Skinny: The team is still trying to figure out a way to land Jay Williams. However, despite the denials, the Warriors have acquired a mid first-round pick to grab either Frank Williams or Dan Dickau. So addressing the point guard position isn't as essential as it once was. Dunleavy's the consensus No. 3 pick whether he fits on the Warriors or not. If nothing else, he'll be fabulous trade bait for Memphis, Miami and the slew of other teams that are hungry for him. Gooden had a stellar workout in Golden State and could be the versatile combo forward Antawn Jamison thinks he is. Tskitishvili would give them something at small forward they've never had -- a potential superstar.

4. Memphis Grizzlies
Insider's Pick: Nikoloz Tskitishvili, F, Georgia
No. 2: Caron Butler, F, UConn
Sleeper Pick: Jared Jeffries, F, Indiana
The Skinny: This may be the hardest pick in the draft to nail down. The Grizzlies are involved in trade talks with several teams and no one is sure what way they are leaning. Jerry West may have to throw in a top player and this pick to steal Dunleavy away from the Warriors. But if he can't, there's a number of intriguing possibilities here. The rest of the Grizzlies' braintrust loves Tskitishvili; however, West hasn't been to Italy to see him play. He's hoping to sneak Tskitishvili in for a workout before the draft, but Skita's visa problems may make it impossible. A list-minute international flight isn't out of the question, but now that Skita is in Georgia, not Italy, things are more complicated. Butler's first workout in Memphis went so-so, but that hasn't deterred the Grizzlies. They're bringing him back for another visit this week. Butler told Insider that West gave him a little message this time around, "Make sure you come to play this time." Drew Gooden is another possibility, but West isn't sold. The only other person they've been impressed with in workouts is Jeffries, sources tell Insider. This is awfully high to take him, and that's the main reason West is talking to several teams about moving down in the draft.

5. Denver Nuggets
Insider's Pick: Drew Gooden, F, Kansas
No. 2: Dajuan Wagner, G, Memphis
Sleeper Pick: Maybyner "Nene" Hilario, F/C, Brazil
The Skinny: The Nuggets wanted Tskitishvili, but with him off the board, they have to decide between big and small. Wagner may be the next best thing to Jay Williams. He's not a true point guard, but the Nuggets need help at both backcourt positions. They want to make a run at Jason Kidd next year anyway, and a Wagner-Kidd backcourt would be lethal. Gooden gives them more size up front. Both Antonio McDyess and Juwan Howard are free agents next summer and there's a growing chance the Nuggets won't re-sign either of them. Nene may be the real sleeper here. This is higher than anyone has projected him, but the team desperately needs a big man and Nene's shot blocking and ability to crash the boards intrigue Denver. He's a project, but may be worth the risk.

6. Cleveland Cavaliers
Insider's Pick: Caron Butler, F, UConn
No. 2: Chris Wilcox, F, Maryland
Sleeper Pick: Dajuan Wagner, G, Memphis
The Skinny: The Cavs need a real power forward in the worst way, but if Butler falls to them at No. 6, he'll be very tough to pass up. He has the ability to come in and immediately contribute. Wilcox will also get a look here, but may be a little raw for the Cavs' purposes. Wagner is a bit of a reach, but on talent alone, he has to get a look. He'd give Cleveland a very small backcourt, but he'd give them a much-needed scoring punch and is the type of player who can put fans in the seats. If GM Jim Paxson is going to save his job in Cleveland, he can't wait around for another long-range prospect to develop.

7. New York Knicks
Insider's Pick: Chris Wilcox, F, Maryland
No. 2: Curtis Borchardt, C, Stanford
Sleeper Pick: Dajuan Wagner, G, Memphis
The Skinny: Knicks president Scott Layden is in love. Wilcox, if he's available here, would give the Knicks a young, strong and explosive power forward they've been looking for. Lots of folks have Borchardt projected here just because he's a big man. The problem is that the Knicks still believe in Marcus Camby as a center. There are a lot of rumors about Wagner and the Knicks floating around New York. Unless Layden can find a way to move Charlie Ward or Mark Jackson, he just can't afford to put another guard on the roster.

8. Los Angeles Clippers (from Atlanta)
Insider's Pick: Dajuan Wagner, G, Memphis
No. 2: Maybyner "Nene" Hilario
Sleeper Pick: Qyntel Woods, F, Northeast Mississippi CC
The Skinny: The Clippers are trying to move this pick, but if they keep it, it will be hard to pass on Wagner if he slips this far. Point guard isn't really a need, but he's great insurance if Keyon Dooling or Marko Jaric don't work out. He's got the requisite swagger and chip on his shoulder to play with the Clippers. The other alternative is to shore up the middle and draft either Borchardt or Hilario as insurance in case Michael Olowokandi decides to bolt. The fact that teams are beginning to project Hilario as a center could make him a smart pick for L.A. The Lakers are still trying to get into the mid-to-late lottery. The Lakers worked out Qyntel Woods this weekend and are trying to pry this pick away from the Clippers.

9. Phoenix Suns
Insider's Pick:Maybyner "Nene" Hilario, F/C, Brazil
No. 2: Jared Jeffries, F, Indiana
Sleeper Pick: Amare Stoudemire, F, HS Senior
The Skinny: The Suns love Wilcox but Hilario has the potential to play both power forward and center in the pros. The team won't let him slip if he's still around when the Suns draft at No. 9. Jeffries has also been impressive in workouts. He's smart, polished and has really buffed up. But he doesn't have the raw power of someone like Nene or Wilcox. No one is sure exactly what you'll get with Stoudemire. He too has an NBA body and plays with a lot of determination. But he is very raw on both ends of the court -- no one is sure exactly what he can do besides dunk. Still, several teams told Insider that with the proper coaching (Stoudemire bounced around a lot in high school) he could be the best power forward in the draft.

10. Miami Heat
Insider's Pick: Jared Jeffries, F, Indiana
No. 2: Qyntel Woods, F, Northeast Mississippi CC
Sleeper Pick: Curtis Borchardt, C, Stanford
The Skinny: Pat Riley has pined for a tall small forward in the mold of Lamar Odom for the last few years. There really isn't a player in this draft who fits the description exactly. He'd love to get his hands on Butler, but he'll like have to part with Eddie Jones to do it (see above). Jeffries may be the closest, but doesn't have the athleticism or the ball-handling skills Odom does. Considering he was recruited by Bob Knight, however, means he must have the discipline that Riley covets. Woods is the athlete Riley has searched for at small forward. The team has scouted him as extensively as anyone, but the word inside the Heat is that Riley prefers Jeffries. If both players are gone, they could take a chance on Borchardt. With Zo's health constantly in question, it's good to have a backup plan.

11. Washington Wizards
Insider's Pick: Qyntel Woods, F, Northeast Mississippi CC
No. 2: Bostjan Nachbar, F, Slovenia
Sleeper Pick: Dan Dickau, G, Gonzaga
The Skinny: If Woods falls this far, the Wizards will snatch him up. Some scouts still insist that on talent alone, he's the best player in the draft. Michael Jordan is looking for a dynamic small forward to replace him when he retires at the end of next season, and if Woods is anywhere near the talent scouts say he is, he's worth the risk. A year playing under the watchful eye of Jordan should be enough to teach this kid what he needs to do to succeed in the NBA. If Woods is gone, the Wizards have several possibilities. The team has been enamored for some time with Nachbar and will get one last look at him Monday. Dickau is a real sleeper here. This may seem high, but Jordan would really like to upgrade the point guard position. He's already been in for workouts twice.

12. Los Angeles Clippers
Insider's Pick: Amare Stoudemire, F, HS Senior
No. 2: Curtis Borchardt, C, Stanford
Sleeper Pick: Kareem Rush, G, Missouri
The Skinny: Several league sources told Insider late Tuesday that the Blazers and Clippers are working on a deal that would send the No. 12 pick in the draft to Portland for Zach Randolph and $3 million. The Blazers will use the pick to draft high school phenom Stoudemire, if he's still on the board. If he's gone at No. 12, they feel that another big man, either Nene Hilario or Curtis Borchardt, will still be available. The Clippers plan to use the money to help defray the cost of bringing in their 2000 second-round pick, Marko Jaric. If L.A. can't move this pick, Borchardt would be some nice insurance if the Clippers can't afford to re-sign Michael Olowokandi. They could alway use Rush's shooting.

13. Milwaukee Bucks
Insider's Pick: Curtis Borchardt
No. 2: Jiri Welsch, G, Czech Republic
Sleeper Pick: Marcus Haislip, F, Tennessee
The Skinny: Several GM's feel that the lottery really extends 15 or 16 picks deep this year, so the Bucks are in a great position to pick up a player who slips. Even though the team has Joel Przybilla and Ervin Johnson, it can always use another shot blocker, especially a kid who can step away from the basket and sink jumpers. Because of luxury tax issues, the Bucks could also decide to go with Welsch or even Bostjan Nachbar and keep them overseas for a year or too. Haislip is a bit of a sleeper here. He's a tough athlete who can block shots and rebound. But he's very raw and won't be able to help Milwaukee for another year or two.

14. Indiana Pacers
Insider's Pick: Jiri Welsch, G, Czech Republic
No. 2: Kareem Rush, G, Missouri
Sleeper Pick: Dan Dickau, G, Gonzaga
The Skinny: The Pacers don't have any glaring holes. They're young, but have solid players at every position. Eventually, the team will need to figure out how to replace Reggie Miller. They face a tough choice between Welsch and Rush. But ultimately, cap considerations will probably push them to Welsch. Both players can shoot the ball and have handles, but Welsch's ability and willingness to play overseas next season combined with his point guard skills kill three birds with one stone. Dickau seems like a stretch, but the team has put on the full-court press to get him into workouts. With Jamaal Tinsley already on the roster, you wonder whether there's room, but he would give them the shooting ability that Tinsley lacks.

15. Houston Rockets (from Toronto)
Insider's Pick: Bostjan Nachbar, F, Croatia
No. 2: Mladen Sekularac, F, Yugoslavia
Sleeper Pick: Tayshaun Prince, F, Kentucky
The Skinny: If the Rockets get Yao, and if Stoudemire (who they love) is off the board, expect them to address their need at small forward with this pick. The best small forward left on the board is Nachbar, a sharp-shooting 6-foot-8 forward who also has the athleticism to take it the basket. Earlier this year, Nachbar was virtually unstoppable for his team, Benetton Treviso. He leveled off toward the end of the year and his stock slipped just a bit. Teams compare him to the Sonics' Vladimir Radmanovic. At 22, he will be able to contribute right away. The same goes for Sekularac and Welsch. Both players have the maturity and the skill set to come in and contribute immediately.

16. Philadelphia 76ers
Insider's Pick: Dan Dickau, G, Gonzaga
No. 2: Marcus Haislip, F, Tennessee
Sleeper Pick: Melvin Ely, F, Fresno State
The Skinny: Multiple league sources continue to insist that the Warriors have acquired a mid first-round pick and all signs point toward it being the 76ers'. The Sixers still owe a first-rounder to Golden State from the trade that sent Derrick Coleman to Philly. The Sixers continue to deny that they've struck any deal with the Warriors. We won't know until draft night, (league rules prohibit the Sixers from dealing this pick to the Warriors before the draft because they already owe a pick to Boston), but if Golden State does get hold of this, it'll grab a point guard. Dickau and Illinois' Frank Williams are in the running. Williams has already worked out for the team alongside Jay Williams. Dickau worked out in Golden State Tuesday. If the Sixers do keep the pick, expect them to add more size. Haislip and Ely will be the best power players still on the board.

17. Charlotte Hornets
Insider's Pick: Kareem Rush, G, Missouri
No. 2: Dan Dickau, G, Gonzaga
Sleeper Pick: Marcus Haislip, F, Tennessee
The Skinny: If Rush falls this low, the Hornets will have the steal of the draft. He's one of the more polished players in the draft. He can shoot the NBA three, is silky smooth taking the ball to the hole and has nice size at shooting guard. The team struggled when Baron Davis was out.They would also love to get its hands on Welsch, but if he and Rush are gone, Dickau's shooting along with his ability to run the point would allow the Hornets to move Davis to the two in certain situations. The team could also use more frontcourt help. Ely and Haislip are the best big men still left on the board.

18. Orlando Magic
Insider's Pick: Melvin Ely, F/C Fresno State
No. 2: Marcus Haislip, F, Tennessee
Sleeper Pick: Frank Williams, G, Illinois
The Skinny: The Magic were really impressed with Stoudemire but will have to get up high to get him. If he's gone, Ely and Haislip are the closest things to him. Ely is a more polished low-post player and could help the Magic at both the four and the five. Haislip is more athletic, but he's much more raw. Williams would give them a bigger, defensive-minded point guard to help out Darrell Armstrong. Of course, the Magic thought they drafted that guard last season when they grabbed Jeryl Sasser. If the Magic are serious about winning next year, Ely, one of the few seniors in the draft, might be the best choice.

19. Utah Jazz
Insider's Pick: Jason Jennings, C, Arkansas State
No. 2: Marcus Haislip, F, Tennessee
Sleeper Pick: Casey Jacobsen, G, Stanford
The Skinny: Go ahead, start screaming Jazz fans. He didn't play particularly well in Chicago, but two different sources at the camp told Insider that the Jazz were leaning hard toward Jennings. Clearly neither Greg Ostertag nor John Amaechi is the answer in the middle, but the 7-foot-1 Jennings may only be marginally better. They also need to start thinking about replacing Karl Malone. If Haislip falls this far, he might be too good to pass up. He's raw and still doesn't have a position, but he's also the strongest player in the draft, can jump out of the gym and could give the Jazz a new look once Stockton and Malone head out to pasture. Jacobsen is a long shot here, but he's probably the best shooter in the draft and the Jazz still miss Jeff Hornacek.

20. Toronto Raptors (from Seattle)
Insider's Pick: Mladen Sekularac, G, Yugoslavia
No. 2: Frank Williams, G, Illinois
Sleeper Pick: Jiri Welsch, G, Czechoslovakia
The Skinny: They signed Alvin Williams to a long-term deal last summer, but clearly he isn't the answer at point guard. They need a floor leader and Dickau could be a slam dunk here if he is still around. If Welsch were to fall this far, he'd be hard to pass on. Williams is another possibility, but the early word is that they aren't impressed. They also need to fill the void left by Chris Childs and Dell Curry. Sekularac is a scorer who could give Vince Carter a blow or two during the season.

21. Portland Trailblazers
Insider's Pick: Zaur Pachulia, F, Georgia
No. 2: Dan Gadzuric, C, UCLA
Sleeper Pick: Nenad Kristic, C, Yugoslavia
The Skinny: This is a very difficult pick to call. The Blazers may be using this pick to move up in the draft. The team is looking for help down low and there isn't much left this far down in the draft. Pachulia wowed the team in a recent workout, but he's a project. If the team drafted him, it would probably stash him in Europe for a year or two. Kristic is also a possibility here. Gadzuric has the most upside. His workouts for teams have been phenomenal, but with Gadzuric you never know. Was it bad coaching at UCLA or is Gadzuric a talented athlete who just doesn't understand the game? Teams are struggling to figure that out, but it might be worth the gamble for the Blazers.

22. Phoenix Suns (from Boston)
Insider's Pick: Marcus Haislip, F, Tennessee
No. 2: Frank Williams, G, Illinois
Sleeper Pick: Casey Jacobsen, G, Stanford
The Skinny: Call it the best of both worlds. If Haislip really falls this far, he'd be a steal. His athleticism is off the charts, but teams say he's very raw. Questions about what position he plays also may cause him to slip a bit. If the Suns don't strike gold, and if they don't get Tskitishvili or Hilario in the lottery, don't be surprised to see them go international. Pachulia is very young, but has the body to play down low in the NBA.

23. Detroit Pistons
Insider's Pick: Frank Williams, G, Illinois
No. 2: Mladin Sekularac, G, Yugoslavia
Sleeper Pick: Roger Mason, G, Virginia
The Skinny: Williams may not be around when the Pistons pick, but if he is, he'll be a steal here. The team needs an upgrade at the point. Williams already has the defense that coach Rick Carlisle demands and has shown flashes of offense at Illinois. He has nice size at the position, has NBA strength and has shown good leadership skills. However, he can be woefully inconsistent and struggles with his outside jumper. If he's gone, either Mason or Sekularac might not be a bad consolation prize. If Mason can show teams that he can run the point, he'd be very hard to pass up here.

24. New Jersey Nets
Insider's Pick: Nenad Kristic, C, Yugoslavia
No. 2: Casey Jacobsen, G, Stanford
Sleeper Pick: Tito Maddox, G, Fresno State
The Skinny: The team is pretty set at every position, but luxury tax issues and roster problems will probably force them to either trade the pick or draft an international player. Kristic has the potential and size to be something down the road. The Nets can afford to wait. They thought Brandon Armstrong was the answer to their shooting woes last year, now they're not so sure. Jacobsen is probably the best shooter in the draft and may get a look here. The team could use help at the point and a more consistent long-range gunner for Jason Kidd to drive and dish to. Maddox was the best point guard at Chicago and plays a similar game to Kidd. If the Nets are afraid that Kidd will bolt, adding Maddox to the mix is decent insurance.

25. Denver Nuggets (from Dallas)
Insider's Pick: Chris Jefferies, F, Fresno State
No. 2: Rod Grizzard, G, Alabama
Sleeper Pick: Nenad Kristic, C, Yugoslavia
The Skinny: The Nuggets will either address their backcourt needs with Dajuan Wagner or their forward needs with Drew Gooden or Caron Butler at No. 5. With their second pick, don't be surprised to see them take a chance on a someone like Jefferies or Grizzard. Or, they may decide to go with a foreign player who they can develop overseas for a few years. That's why Varejão looks like a real possibility here. He's big, athletic and can shoot the ball. He won't be able to play in the NBA next season, but the Nuggets don't mind. If he's gone, Sekularac, Pachulia or Kristic could eventually give them some size down low.

26. San Antonio Spurs
Insider's Pick: Dan Gadzuric, C, UCLA;
No. 2: David Andersen, F, Brazil
Sleeper Pick: Anderson Varejão, F, Brazil
The Skinny: The Spurs are another team that would be willing to take a chance on Gadzuric, and with the way things are falling in the draft, he may be around. With David Robinson ready to retire after the season, Gadzuric may be worth the risk. If he isn't there, the Spurs will continue to mine Europe, this time for a big man. They'll take a long look at Andersen here. He's more polished than Papadopolous and could play in the NBA right away. To make things sweeter, Andersen is a teammate of Emmanuel Ginobili, the Argentinean shooting guard the team wants to bring over to the NBA next season. They also are high on Varejão. He's young, but he's another big man who has the athleticism to do something down the road.

27. Los Angeles Lakers
Insider's Pick: Tayshaun Prince, F, Kentucky
No. 2: Chris Jefferies, F, Fresno State
Sleeper Pick: Casey Jacobsen, G, Stanford
The Skinny: Free agency could hit the Lakers hard this summer. The team is especially anxious about the possibility of losing small forward Devean George. If they can't get their hooks in Woods, Prince may be a nice consolation prize. He shoots and handles the ball well and should be a great fit in the triangle offense. Jefferies is the type of athletic scorer who would go higher had he played for a different program. The Lakers love to capitalize on those type of guys. The Lakers love Jacobsen's shooting range and could use someone to stretch defenses. Still, there may be enough questions about his athleticism and defense to keep him out of the first round.

28. Sacramento Kings
Insider's Pick: Carlos Boozer, F, Duke
No. 2: Nenad Kristic, C, Yugoslavia
Sleeper Pick: David Andersen F, Australia
The Skinny: The Kings can go any direction here. They have plenty of cap problems and may try to get out of this pick or draft another international player. But they'd be hard pressed to pass on Boozer if he's still on the board. They'd love to get their hands on Kristic as well, but it looks like he won't be around. They're still kicking themselves that they let Jerome James slip through their fingers. Don't be surprised if they take a chance on Kristic. While few people know him in the U.S., he plays for a team that Vlade Divac owns in Yugoslavia. One scout described him as the best young true center in Europe. He's Vlade's best player and you can bet that he's sold the Kings on Krisitc as an eventual replacement once he retires.


· Beware of Elbows
18,412 Posts
Mock Draft

That is a good Mock Draft. It's in depth, an will probably be accurate. Atleats the top 2 picks will definitely be right on the money.:D

· Registered
1,207 Posts
Everyone hears you, but you can't just expect everyone to change their opinions just because you say so. I like alot of your posts, but you don't have to get worked up on something that is just an opinion. We'll see what happens.

· Beware of Elbows
18,412 Posts
Woods or Jeffries

Woods is ten times better on the offensive end. Let's just get that cleared up. But, LUNATIC as you and I both know, Pat Riley wants guys on his team that play defense.

And Jeffries is ten times better on the defensive end. Miami's choice will come down to what Pat Riley wants more...offense or defense.
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