Here's an early line on how next Wednesday's NBA draft may go. A
caveat: There's a good chance that trades (some possibilities
are noted) could alter the order of selection.
1. 76ers: Allen Iverson, G, Georgetown. The tip-off that he is
Philly's man came when Iverson announced after last week's visit
with the Sixers that he wouldn't be meeting with any other
teams. The 76ers, desperate for point help, also like Iverson as
a drawing card.
2. Raptors: Marcus Camby, F, Massachusetts. Toronto boss Isiah
Thomas has high hopes for a Camby-Sharone Wright frontline. Some
observers expect a curveball here, but, says Thomas, "I'm
telling you: I'm taking Camby."
3. Grizzlies: Stephon Marbury, G, Georgia Tech. Marbury has made
it clear he doesn't want to play for Vancouver, so this
pick--and Marbury--could wind up being the Timberwolves'. Will
Doug West and the No. 5 pick get it done? Marbury, who is close
to Minnesota's Kevin Garnett, hopes so.
4. Bucks: Ray Allen, G, Connecticut. A mad scramble here, since
Chris Ford was named Milwaukee's new coach only last Saturday.
Bucks are actively trying to trade this pick. If they can't,
they'll also look hard at Antoine Walker.
5. Timberwolves: Antoine Walker, F, Kentucky. If efforts to get
into position to take Marbury fail, Minnesota will try to trade
down and go for Steve Nash. If the Wolves stay at No. 5, they
6. Mavericks: Erick Dampier, C, Mississippi State. Might not be
a franchise center, but Dallas needs to plug a gaping hole in
7. Clippers: Lorenzen Wright, F-C, Memphis. L.A. may lose Brian
Williams to free agency, and coach Bill Fitch has done well over
the years with tall, spindly types (e.g., Kevin McHale). But
will the Clippers be scared off by Wright's bothersome right foot?
8. Nets: Kerry Kittles, G, Villanova. New coach John Calipari
needs some perimeter help. Kittles fits the bill.
9. Celtics: John Wallace, F, Syracuse. Wallace missed his
initial workout with Boston. Early this week, the team was
trying to reschedule. The Celtics are not concerned about
Wallace's transition from power to small forward.
10. Pacers (from the Nuggets): Steve Nash, G, Santa Clara.
Although Indiana cleared the way for Travis Best to be its point
guard of the future by trading Mark Jackson to Denver last week,
the Pacers view Nash as the perfect complement.
11. Warriors: Samaki Walker, F, Louisville. Golden State likes
Walker's good low-post instincts and shot-blocking ability.
12. Cavaliers (from the Bullets): Todd Fuller, F-C, N.C. State.
Is there any doubt that Cleveland needs to go big? Fuller
blossomed as an ACC senior.
13. Hornets: Vitaly Potapenko, F-C, Wright State. Charlotte
lacked interior defense last season. Potapenko, nicknamed the
Ukraine Train, was impressive in predraft workouts.
14. Kings: Zydrunas Ilgauskas, C, Lithuania. Sacramento might
have gone for Dontae' Jones, but there are concerns about a
loose screw in his left foot, in which he suffered a stress
fracture during the preseason. The Kings need to get bigger. The
7'1", 238-pound Ilgauskas has been impressive in workouts after
missing a year of basketball to rehabilitate an injured foot.
15. Suns: Efthimis Retzias, C, Greece. Promising 20-year-old
with good size (6'11", 243 pounds) but not much of a scoring
16. Hornets (from the Heat): Moochie Norris, G, West Florida.
Charlotte needs point guard help with Kenny Anderson a free
agent and Muggsy Bogues still ailing. It was hoping for Nash but
will settle for Norris, a revelation in predraft camps.
17. Trail Blazers: Dontae' Jones, F, Mississippi State. Showed
rapid improvement this season and would have gone much higher if
red flags hadn't been raised about his foot.
18. Knicks (from the Pistons via the Spurs): Roy Rogers, F-C,
Alabama. Excellent shot blocker who also has a nifty hook shot.
Might be able to give Patrick Ewing and New York's power
forwards a breather.
19. Knicks (from the Hawks via the Heat): Kobe Bryant, G, Lower
Merion (Pa.) High. When you have three first-round selections,
this is the kind of chance that makes sense.
20. Cavaliers: Jermaine O'Neal, F, Eau Claire (S.C.) High
School. Cleveland gambles with its second first-round pick.
21. Knicks: Jerome Williams, F, Georgetown. Rugged player. New
York will likely trade this pick; in fact, it has tried to
package multiple picks to bring the Suns' Charles Barkley to the
22. Rockets: Walter McCarty, F, Kentucky. Houston was impressed
with McCarty's poise, but he didn't shoot the ball well in
23. Nuggets (from the Pacers): Travis Knight, C, Connecticut. A
gamble on a big body this late in the game never hurts.
24.Lakers: Tony Delk, G, Kentucky. Los Angeles's backcourt is
unsettled, and Final Four hero Delk jumped out of the gym in his
25. Jazz: Othella Harrington, F, Georgetown. Utah needs some
young bodies up front.
26. Pistons (from the Spurs): Chucky Atkins, G, South Florida.
Detroit will be crushed that Norris is gone. If he isn't, the
Pistons will nab him.
27. Magic: Mark Hendrickson, F, Washington State. Orlando needs
to add depth in its frontcourt.
28. SuperSonics: Drew Barry, G, Georgia Tech. The latest member
of this storied NBA family knows how to dish it. That should
prove to be the right mentality for Seattle.
29. Bulls: Reggie Geary, G, Arizona. Chicago tends to be
unpredictable in its draft selections. Geary looks to pass
first; good idea on the Bulls.