MAGGETTE TOPS SCOUTS' WISH LIST
NBA drafts are a lot easier to figure out in retrospect.
Take 1995, when everybody was starting to look at this Kevin Garnett kid
around this time of year and to wonder where he would go in the draft if he
bypassed college for the NBA. Sure, he's a talent, NBA executives said, and he
may be a star, but he's so young and thus a risk.
Garnett ended up going No. 5 to Minnesota after Joe Smith, Antonio McDyess,
Jerry Stackhouse and Rasheed Wallace.
If that draft were held today, Garnett undoubtedly would be the No. 1 pick.
As Shawn Kemp probably would be if the 1989 draft were held now. Kemp, whom
scouts loved, ended up No. 17 because he hadn't played in college, attending
junior college for a year. A decade later, only No. 14 pick Tim Hardaway has
had a career comparable to Kemp's.
And look at 1996, when Allen Iverson was No. 1, Marcus Camby No. 2, Shareef
Abdur-Rahim No. 3, Stephon Marbury No. 4 and Ray Allen No. 5. Shouldn't Kobe
Bryant be in that group? He was No. 13 because he was thought to be too young
and immature coming out of high school.
It's perhaps the most common mistake NBA executives make when looking at
collegiate--and high school--players. You go with talent and don't worry about
how much that player can help immediately.
Which is why the No. 1 pick in June's NBA draft, if he were to leave college
this spring, would probably be Duke's Corey Maggette, from Fenwick High School.
NBA executives have learned their lesson.
Their scouts regard Maggette, a 6-foot-6-inch, 210-pound freshman, as no
worse than the fifth-best player in college today. He's being compared with the
Lakers' Bryant and the Rockets' Scottie Pippen, but with a better shot. Among
Duke players, perhaps only Grant Hill had more talent, scouts say, and in the
long run Maggette should be better than anyone in the 1999 draft, grading out
as the player with the most potential.
Scouts don't expect Maggette to leave, but based on interviews with a
half-dozen NBA personnel men, here's an early peek at what the first round of
the draft might look like if every player in college were eligible:
1. Maggette: He could fit into an NBA position as a wing player now with his
size and quickness. Last year, former Bulls coach Phil Jackson said Maggette
was the only high school player he had ever seen whom he'd project as an NBA
2. Steve Francis, 6-3, 194, jr., Maryland: Shooting point guard in the
Iverson mold, and bigger.
3. Elton Brand, 6-8, 260, soph., Duke: Smallish NBA power forward. But
strong, with big hands, and takes up space, important qualities to scouts.
4. Lamar Odom, 6-9, 220, soph., Rhode Island: The pick everyone fears. Magic
Johnson-like talent, but lifestyle leaves them wary. Some say he could project
only somewhat better than Jalen Rose.
5. Baron Davis, 6-3, 190, soph., UCLA: Questions about summer knee surgery
could hold him back, but a big-time talent who is more of a scoring point
6. Wally Szczerbiak, 6-8, 240, sr., Miami (Ohio): Not particularly fast, but
can get to the basket and is a terrific shooter, which is becoming a lost art
in the NBA.
7. Terence Morris, 6-9, 205, soph., Maryland: Long-armed and thin, but very
athletic. Some regard him as a better prospect long term than teammate Francis.
8. William Avery, 6-2, 180, soph., Duke: So that's why Duke is No. 1--its
lineup is stocked with pros. Avery plays the point well for a converted
shooting guard and hits more than 40 percent of his threes.
AND HE SHOULD BE SHOULD HIGHER!!! HIGHER THAN DAVIS, AT LEAST!!! BUT, THERE'S
ANOTHER LIST BELOW THAT GETS IT RIGHT...WELL, SORTA RIGHT.
9. Andre Miller, 6-2, 200, sr., Utah: Not a great shooter, but pros love him
as a leader and believe he could run a team today. Strong.
10. Jason Terry, 6-2, 170, sr., Arizona: Skinny point guard, but a good
shooter who has come on fast the last year.
11. Quentin Richardson, 6-6, 220, fr., DePaul: A basketball player. Pros
believe he needs to play shooting guard, perhaps small forward. But he can
shoot with range and has a feel for the game. One scout compared him with
Adrian Dantley. Could be worth a higher pick because of his potential.
12. Shawn Marion, 6-7, 215, jr., UNLV: Has a great floor game, but not a
13. Brendan Haywood, 7-0, 265, soph., North Carolina: Best center in
14. Tim James, 6-7, 220, sr., Miami (Fla.): An athlete who can jump and has
15. Jumaine Jones, 6-7, 210, soph., Georgia: Another Dominique? No, but an
16. Ron Artest, 6-6, 230, soph., St. John's: An undersized power forward,
but tough and determined.
17. Richard Hamilton, 6-6, 180, jr., UConn: In the Kerry Kittles, Reggie
Miller mold of shooting guards.
18. Chris Porter, 6-7, 220, jr., Auburn: A terrific all-around athlete with
19. James Posey, 6-8, 210, sr., Xavier: Strong inside game. Senior starter
after excelling as sixth man.
20. Kenny Thomas, 6-8, 250, sr., New Mexico: Hasn't always met his
potential, but has good skills.
21. Trajan Langdon, 6-3, 195, sr., Duke: In the words of one NBA exec:
"Watch Duke-Maryland and you'll see the first round." A great shooter.
22. Todd MacCulloch, 7-0, 280, sr., Washington: Perennial field-goal
percentage leader. You can't teach height.
23. Evan Eschmeyer, 6-11, 245, sr., Northwestern: Another in the line of
Will Perdue wannabes. It's a nice living.
24. Shane Battier, 6-8, 230, so., Duke: Pro-style defender already with good
25. Ma*** Cleaves, 6-2, 195, jr., Michigan State: Point guard with a Vinny
26. Hanno Mottola, 6-10, 230, jr., Utah: Good big man who can move outside.
27. Chris Herren, 6-3, 185, sr., Fresno State: Good shooter and can handle
28. Lee Nailon, 6-9, 225, sr., TCU: Has been a big-time college scorer, but
pros see Tom Hammonds in this 'tweener.
29. Khalid El-Amin, 5-10, 200, soph., UConn: If you like comparisons, try
Copyright Chicago Tribune
From the Sunday L.A. Times this morning:
1. Corey Maggette, Duke "He's a freshman, doesn't start and isn't coming out
but is considered next in the line of Kobe Bryant and Larry Hughes - and closer
to Kobe than Hughes. Only Grant Hill, among the Dukies, was as gifted as he
2. Steve Francis, Maryland "Made for the pros...great body, major hops."
3. Wally Szczerbiak, Miami (ohio)
4. Lamar Odom, Rhode Island "He's not Magic or Scottie or even Toni but he can
5. Elton Brand, Duke "Pros fear he's 6-7 or (shudder) 6-6. He's not earthbound,
but he's not Charles Barkley"
6. Terence Morris, Maryland "Often called the Terrapins' best prospect, which
is saying something"
7. William Avery, Duke "Great athlete, plays point well, especially for a
converted shooting guard"
8. Baron Davis, UCLA "Looks as if he's gone....Some wonder about playmaking; on
a three-on-two once, he passed to himself, banking the ball off the board."
9. Andre Miller, Utah "...lacks some things - quickness, range - but is
well-schooled and takes the ball anywhere he wants"
10. Brendan Haywood, UNC
11. Quentin Richardson, DePaul
12. Jason Terry, Arizona
13. Shawn Marion, UNLV "All-around player, but not a great shooter yet"
14. Tim James, Miami "Fine athlete who can sky, improved every season."
15. Ron Artest, St. John's "Hard-nosed power forward with skills, but a tad
16. Hanno Mottola, Utah "Big youngster with perimeter skills. Should be in
lottery next spring" -
17. Richard Hamilton, UConn -
18. Evan Eschmeyer, Northwestern "Not overpowering, but has touch and many
19. Kenny Thomas, New Mexico "Good skills. Finally lost some weight and played
a good game in the NCAA Tournament"
20. James Posey, Xavier "Late bloomer"
21. Ma*** Cleaves, Michigan State "Good point but range only 15-18 feet"
22. Jumaine Jones, Georgia "Athletic, raw" - assuming he studied real hard to
discover this stuff about him...
23. Michael Redd, Ohio State "needs only consistency from the arc to tie a
ribbon on the package"
24. Shane Battier, Duke "Expected to stay and improve more"
25. Dan Gadzuric, UCLA "Unpolished, but a high-energy big man, which is rare
enough... if he doesn't improve, he's just the next Jelani McCoy" - .
26. Trajan Langdon, Duke "Small for NBA shooting guard, but admirers see Dell
27. Mike Miller, Florida "...could make lottery some day"
28. Khalid El-Amin, UConn "Last year, I got all e***d, mistaking him for a
playmaker... Fireplug body, but makes lots of big plays" Hmm, so is he or isn't
29. Jerome Moiso, UCLA "Pros want to see him get stronger, but he has some
Others: Roberto Bergersen, Boise State; Lee Nailon, TCU; Laron Profit,
Maryland; Luke Recker, Indiana; A.J. Guyton, Indiana; Etan Thomas, Syracuse;
Todd MacCulloch, Washington; Mark Madsen, Stanford; Chris Porter, Auburn;
Quincy Lewis, Minnesota.
DUKE FANS, BELIEVE IN YOUR TEAM!!!!