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  1. #1
    KoriEllis
    Guest
    2003 NBA Draft
    Top 15 point guards
    Chad Ford
    NBA Insider

    It's been three pretty long years since the point guard explosion of 1999 brought us Steve Francis, Baron Davis, Andre Miller and Jason Terry in the lottery.

    Since then, only 11 point guards have been drafted in the first round. Only two, Jay Williams and Jamal Crawford, have been drafted in the lottery.

    We spend a lot of time talking about centers being a dying species. But is the pass first point guard also following the center into the evolutionary abyss?

    "Who knows," one prominent GM told Insider. "Last year, I would've told you that smallish point guards were a thing of the past. Teams were obsessed with big point guards who could shoot the ball. Now, with the emergence of Earl Boykins and Tony Parker, who knows? There just isn't a protypical point guard anymore. To each their own."

    This year you have your choice of the 5-foot-9 pure Texas point guard or the skinny 6-foot-3 kid from Iowa who does everything, the Nene Hilario of point guards or a 6-foot-6 shoot the lights out combo guard from the Rick Pitino school of basketball.

    Everyone has their place. With one major caveat.

    "I think there's a still a major fear of the tweener," the GM said. "Nothing scares a team off more than an undersized two guard trying to make the switch to point guard in the pros. It's already the hardest position to learn in the NBA -- and that's if you've played the position you're whole life. Gilbert Arenas is a great story this year. But he's the exception not he rule."

    Here's a look at what should be the best point guard class since the 1999 draft:

    Note: The list includes all players seriously considering entering the 2003 draft. A (*) by the player's name indicates that the player is an underclassmen who has officially declared.

    1. T.J. Ford, Texas
    The line: 5-10, 165, Sophomore
    The skinny: Ford is the top point guard in college hoops despite being only 5-foot-10. He may be the fastest player in basketball, pro or college. Has an uncanny ability to see the floor and deliver it with laser-like accuracy. Call it a kind of point guard sixth sense -- the same stuff that fuels Jason Kidd's mojo. His only real weakness is his size and lack of a consistent jumper. Still some teams feel he's the best playmaker to come out of college since Kidd. He's not for everybody, but there's almost no way he falls out of the Top 10.

    2. Kirk Hinrich, Kansas
    The line: 6-3, 190, Senior
    The skinny: If seniors are out and young kids with 40-inch verticals are in, how does a skinny kid from Iowa sneak into the lottery? Poise. Savvy. Intelligence. A killer jumper. Surprising athleticism. Hinrich has the size, floor vision, ball handling, unselfishness and long-range jumper that scouts beg for in a point guard. While some worry about his strength and lateral quickness, most teams feel he's a lock for the mid to late lottery.

    3. Leandrinho Barbosa, Brazil*
    The line: 6-4, 220, 21 years old
    The skinny: Considered the best player in Brazil. He's very long and an explosive athlete. The thing that has scouts buzzing is the speed at which Barbosa plays for someone his size. He's constantly attacking the basket on offense, and aggressively harassing his man on defense. With his long arms (6-foot-10 wingspan) he gets an unusual amount of steals and blocks for a point guard. Only a few teams have actually been to Brazil to see Barbosa play. He averaged 29.6 ppg, 7.8 apg, 4.2 rpg, 2.6 spg and 0.8 bpg while shooting 57 percent from the field, 47 percent from beyond the arc and 85 percent from the free-throw line. Several NBA scouts who have seen him feel that he could move his way into the late lottery with strong workouts.

    4. Reece Gaines, Louisville
    The line: 6-6, 205, Senior
    The skinny: He's 6-6, has legitimate point guard skills, is a great athlete and has developed into a legit 3-point marksman. Several scouts used words like "slick" and "savvy" to describe his play. If teams are convinced he can be a full-time point guard in the pros, he's got a great shot at the late lottery. If he they think he's a combo guard, he's looking at a mid to late first round selection.

    5. Luke Ridnour, Oregon*
    The line: 6-2, 185, Junior
    The skinny: Ridnour is a point guard with a flair for the dramatic. Despite his frail-looking frame, scouts say he's tough. Ridnour has great floor vision, is a natural leader and he can really shoot. Still concerns about his ability to create his own shot in the pros and his athleticism will hurt him. He's tough to gauge. Several scouts still prefer him to Hinrich and Gaines. But most feel he could be in for a Dan Dickau like draft day drop.

    6. Marcus Moore, Washington State
    The line: 6-6, 208, Junior
    The skinny: Size. Size. Size. Scouts love his explosiveness and claim that he's a legitimate point guard prospect, but his 35 percent shooting from the field may scare many of them off. Moore averaged 18.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg and 4.7 apg this season. He scored a career-high 42 points against Gonzaga and also had a 35-point effort against Arizona. Rumors have been circulating for a month that he's considering the draft. Will he declare? Scouts want him to stay in school under the tutelege of new head coach Dick Bennett. However, Moore is worried that his offense will suffer in Bennett's more conservative system. Right now he's looking at a mid to late first round pick. That could go up or down depending on he works out.

    7. Maurice Williams, Alabama
    The line: 6-1, 183, Sophmore
    The skinny: Williams is a slick point guard with all of the requisite tools. He has great ball-handling ability, superb handles and a killer crossover that helps him get the ball to the basket. Loves to drive and dish and is also solid running the pick and roll. Plays in control. Has a nice mid-range game. He's a strong floor leader. He does have his flaws however. He gets abused at times on the defensive end. He has the strength and size to be a good defender, but hasn't shown the effort. He isn't a great athlete. He's quick, but not explosive. He needs to work on his jumper, especially his three ball. Like Moore, scouts want him to stay in school, but admit that he's a mid-to-late first-round pick if he came out now.

    8. Marcus Banks, UNLV
    The line: 6-2, 200, Senior
    The skinny: Think a poor man's Baron Davis. Banks already has an NBA body and an NBA type of game. He's strong, can get to the basket at will and already plays solid defense. He's got great court vision and can really run the break. However, he has issues. He's an inconsistent shooter from the perimeter, is turnover prone, and scouts fear he's closer to 6-0 than 6-2. He's on the late first round, early second round bubble.

    9. Zoran Planinic*
    The line: 6-6, 215, 21 years old
    The skinny: Gets a lot of comparisons to Jiri Welsch. He plays both guard positions, but his NBA future is at the point. Unlike Welsch, he's more of a one than two. He's coming off an injury, which has limited his exposure a bit. But now that he's healthy, the scouts are flocking to Cibona, Croatia to check him out. He's very thin, but teams will always take a risk on a 6-6 point guard. Should be a late first-rounder.

    10. Chris Thomas, Notre Dame
    The line: 6-1, 182, Sophmore
    The skinny: Thomas is one of the few "true" point guards in the draft. Like Ford, he's a 2001 McDonald's All-American alum. However, that's where the comparison's end. He doesn't have the speed or the floor vision of Ford. He's a better shooter, but scouts consider his just an average athlete. He's anxious to put his name in the draft this year, but he's probably making a mistake. Scouts say he's probably a second rounder, due in part to the unusual number of top point guards in this year's draft.

    11. Troy Bell, Boston College
    The line: 6-1, 183, Senior
    The skinny: A gifted college scorer who is going to have to prove to scouts that he's not a two guard trapped in a point guards body. He doesn't really have the size or the body to play the two in the NBA on consistent basis like Juan Dixon. Could be a Bobby Jackson like spark plug off the bench in the pros if he commits to playing good defense. He's a second round pick.

    12. Paccelis Morlende, France
    The line: 6-3, 190, 21 years old
    The skinny: The next Tony Parker? Morlende was actually once ranked higher than Parker in France. He's a great athlete with good size for a point guard. However, he doesn't have Parker's "knack" for running the point. Still, he's intriguing.

    13. Kristaps Valters, Latvia
    The line: 6-3, 185, 22 years old
    The skinny: When NBA scouts start traveling to Latvia, you know there's something to his game. Valters is a good athlete, who likes to drive and dish. He's got good speed and is an expert finisher around the basket. However, he's been playing in a pretty weak division in Europe. How will he fare against NBA players. There's a pretty big difference between Cleveland and Latvia believe it or not. Someone will take a chance on him in the late first round.

    14. Jermaine Boyette, Weber State
    The line: 6-1, 183, Senior
    The skinny: Made a name for himself in Portsmouth when he shot 70 percent from the field. Some scouts still believe that he's an undersized two, but he showed some nice court awarness at Portsmouth. If he could learn to play the point, he'd be a steal in the second round.

    15. Marcus Hatten, St. Johns
    The line: 6-1, 165, Senior
    The skinny: Size. Size. Size. If he was 6-foot-5, he'd be a lottery pick. He's an explosive scorer who can absolutely dominate a game when he gets it going. But is he a point guard? Hatten passed up the opportunity to prove it to scouts in Portsmouth. With the new underclassmen rules in effect at Chicago, there's a chance he could get shut out in Chicago.

  2. #2
    KoriEllis
    Guest
    Draft Rumors: Cavs, Nuggets tiebreaker decided tonight
    By Chad Ford
    NBA Insider

    Draft junkies alert. League operations chief Stu Jackson will draw the tiebreakers for the 2003 NBA draft tonight live on NBA TV at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Jackson will have a basketball, cut in half, with two pingpong balls inside. Jackson will dip his hand into the basketball and pull out one pingpong ball. If your team's logo is on the ball, you win the tiebreaker.

    If that isn't exciting enough for you, the NBA's asked me to be there, via teleconference, to break down the draft and the tie-break ramifications after Jackson pulls the balls from the basketball.

    Of course, the big tiebreaker to watch will be the Nuggets and Cavs. Both teams ended the season with a 17-65 record, meaning the Cavs and Nuggets will have a 22.5 percent chance (or 225 pingpong balls) of winning the top pick. In case both teams fall out of the lottery, the drawing will decide who picks fourth and who picks fifth.

    The Wizards and Knicks tied for ninth place in the draft. The winner of the drawing will have a 1.5 percent chance at the top pick and will likely pick ninth if they don't get into the top three. The loser will have a 1.4 percent chance at the top pick and will likely pick 10th.

    The rest of the tiebreakers affect teams out of the lottery. The Suns and Celtics are tied for 16th place. The Jazz and Hornets are tied for 18th place. The Hawks and Sixers are tied for 20th place. The Pistons, Blazers and Lakers are tied for 23rd. And the Mavs and Spurs are tied for the 28th pick in the draft.

    Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim feels that Carmelo Anthony made the right decision when he declared for the NBA draft on Thursday. However, he doesn't believe that sophomore Hakim Warrick should follow Anthony out the door just yet.

    Boeheim told reporters at Anthony's press conference that the sophomore had no intention of declaring for the 2003 NBA Draft.

    "Well, if he wants to get drafted, by the Army?" Boeheim quipped.

    He later added: "I think you should learn not to read the Internet."

    Warrick's mother, Queen, also claimed her son is staying in school.

    Many NBA scouts feel that Warrick would be a late-lottery to mid-first-round pick if he declared for the draft.

    Notre Dame point guard Chris Thomas is waiting for a recommendation from the NBA draft board before deciding whether to enter his name into the draft.

    Coach Mike Brey is also tapping his contacts inside the NBA to get an idea where Thomas would be drafted if he declared.

    "You've got to sit back and evaluate the whole thing," Brey told the South Bend Tribune. "That takes some time. You have some time to play around with some things and keep your eligibility."

    Insider's report on Thursday that Xavier guard Romain Sato was mulling a jump to the NBA drew an angry reaction from his father, Tom Thompson.

    "Romain is not interviewing any agents and his plans are to go back to school," Thompson told the Cinncinnati Post. "There is really not much of story. He is not doing anything but coming back to Xavier. He's not going to a Chicago draft camp, that's not happening. There is no question Romain is going to be an NBA player in the future. And there is no question that anybody else in Romain's position wants to go to the NBA one day."

    However, the Post did report that sources close to Sato also told them that Sato was considering putting his name in the draft. According to the report, Sato has been discussing his decision with his parents and the Xavier coaching staff.

  3. #3
    Nbadan
    Guest
    Keep your eyes out for this guy.

    Leandrinho Barbosa, Brazil*
    6-4, 220, 21 years old


    The skinny: Considered the best player in Brazil. He's very long and an explosive athlete. The thing that has scouts buzzing is the speed at which Barbosa plays for someone his size. He's constantly attacking the basket on offense, and aggressively harassing his man on defense. With his long arms (6-foot-10 wingspan) he gets an unusual amount of steals and blocks for a point guard. Only a few teams have actually been to Brazil to see Barbosa play. He averaged 29.6 ppg, 7.8 apg, 4.2 rpg, 2.6 spg and 0.8 bpg while shooting 57 percent from the field, 47 percent from beyond the arc and 85 percent from the free-throw line. Several NBA scouts who have seen him feel that he could move his way into the late lottery with strong workouts.
    Kid has the same agent as Nene Hilario and thinks he is the best PG in the draft.

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