They need a center, but with none worth this spot, team president Ernie Grunfeld had to go with the best player available. Young is a terrific athlete who can get to the rim and score, and he should fit in with the high-scoring Wizards. He also could be insurance in case starting shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson departs via free agency.
Risky pick. He's a major talent who ranked among the nation's top shot-blockers, but he was kicked off the BC team in January for repeated violations of team rules. But the Nets need help down low, and they scored a year ago with a similar gamble on point guard Marcus Williams.
They need some muscle down low, but with nobody to fit that bill, Don Nelson is going to go with a guy who can put the ball in the basket. This heady shooter can certainly do it, and his vast pro experience overseas should enable him to help right away.
Phil Jackson loves big point guards, and Crittenton has big-time potential if he can improve his decision-making. But it's hard to see how he can help much next season, and that's not going to satisfy Kobe Bryant.
He's headed to the Sixers as part of a flip-flop trade for the No. 21 pick. With a 37-inch vertical leap, solid fundamentals and shooting range out to 15-18 feet, Smith is a decent prospect. But it's hard to imagine Smith and No. 12 pick Thaddeus Young helping much right away.
He's going to the Heat as part of a deal for the No. 20 pick. Cook, the third tenor on last season's NCAA runner-up, is one of the better shooters in the draft and fills a need for a scoring backup guard. But he probably won't see much burn right away under Pat Riley.
Dudley is known for his strong motor and solid fundamentals, but he wasn't rated this high on most boards. With Matt Carroll and Gerald Wallace free agents, Arron Afflalo or Alando Tucker might have made more sense.
Isiah Thomas likes to pull surprises (see Renaldo Balkman), and this would have been a big one had it not leaked out in the days leading up to the draft. Chandler is a fluid athlete and good all-around prospect who can defend multiple positions, but he is going to need time.
He's headed to the Blazers as part of a trade for some of Paul Allen's cash. Fernandez is actually a top-15 prospect in terms of ability, but he fell down here because he is playing professionally in Europe. The Blazers will gladly wait on him in hopes he turns into another Manu Ginobili.
They need a shooter, and this rare NBA product from Rice might be the best one in the draft. He has a chance to join Derek Fisher, Gordan Giricek and Ronnie Brewer in the shooting guard mix next season, but he is going to have to improve his defense if he's going to play for Jerry Sloan.
Apparently acquiring Mike James by trade wasn't enough to solve their point guard issues. The jet-quick Brooks led the Pac-10 in scoring, but his size makes him a defensive question. With the Rockets also in need of an athletic power forward, this pick won't satisfy Rockets fans.
President Joe Dumars gets another big, strong guard in his image to go with No. 15 pick Stuckey and continue bolstering the backcourt depth. Afflalo is a winner, but he doesn't fit the Pistons' glaring need for a more pure backup QB to spell Chauncey Billups (assuming he re-signs).
They're known for picking good foreign prospects and then waiting on them, and this is no exception. Splitter is a lottery-type talent with vast international experience. But he's under contract with his Spanish League team, and it will probably be at least another year before he comes over.
So much for their effort to make a splash in this draft. Tucker is a good scorer and terrific team player, but his outside shooting is questionable and he might not be able to defend shooting guards. Still, the Suns scored a steal with Wisconsin's Michael Finley years ago, so why not take another Badger?
The second Finn to be drafted (after Hanno Mottola), Koponen is headed to the Blazers in exchange for the No. 42 pick. He owns a high hoops IQ and can shoot it from downtown, but will probably stay overseas for at least one more season.
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