by Bob Radl, Staff Writer
July 5, 2005
The next generation of possible NBA stars was drafted lastTuesday night in New York. Several of the top picks in this year's draft shouldprovide immediate help to their respective teams. The NBA draft means more toteams than its counterparts in other pro sports. The 2005 NBA draft will godown as the last draft with high school players being included. Future draftswill require players to wait one year after their class graduates from high schoolbefore declaring themselves draft eligible. The 2005 draft had three pointguards being drafted back to back to back in the first round. Three high schoolplayers went in round one and six more high school seniors went in the secondround. International players were well represented once again as NBA teamscontinue to scour the globe for talent.
1. Andrew Bogut, Center, Milwaukee, Bogut isconsidered to be a complete big man. He can pass very well for a man of his size,especially out of double and even triple teams. Bogut has exceptionalfundamentals and a devastating drop step. He can shoot a jump hook with eitherhand. He has good lower body strength. He plays with a high level of intensityand has footwork that been compared to Kevin McHale, the former Boston Celtic.He had 25 double/doubles in his last year of college ball. Milwaukee badlyneeds size on its front line. He should be an immediate starter and isconsidered to be NBA ready. Bogut will need to improve his mobility and hispost defense.
2. Marvin Williams, SF, Atlanta Williams is veryathletic with a long wingspan. He is very quick and agile for a player of hissize at 6' 9". He is very effective when facing the hoop as he has a quickfirst step. Williams was considered to be the player with the most upside inthe 2005 NBA draft despite the fact that he was the 6th man for NCAA champsNorth Carolina this past season. He is an excellent passer and a good rebounderdue to his ability to get off the ground quickly. He plays above the rim. Hewas the 2005 ACC freshman of the year. He must improve his strength and hisdefense.
3. Deron Williams, PG, Portland, Williams is a verysolid defender and should have a solid NBA career. He is a good rebounder fromthe guard position with both size and strength. He has good court vision andsees the entire court. He can create his own offense. Williams will overpowerweaker and smaller defenders. Speed may be a potential issue as he is not thefastest player. He is not considered to have as much upside as other players inthe draft.
4. Chris Paul PG, New Orleans, Paul is extremely fastfor a point guard. He has the ability to penetrate the paint, stop on a dimeand drop a catchable pass to his teammates. Paul led the ACC in steals as afreshman. His foot quickness makes him a great ball hawk and will lead to manysteals in the NBA. He is considered to be mature beyond his years. Paul isconsidered to have excellent character. Some NBA scribes consider him to be thebest pure all-around point guard in the draft since Jason Kidd. His lack ofsize at 5" 11" could be an issue in the NBA.
5. Raymond Felton, PG. Charlotte, Felton was thethird point guard taken in the first round. He has unbelievable quickness andcan blow by the defenders. He has exceptional athleticism and agility for a manof his size. He is a good passer with good decision-making instincts. Feltonhas good court vision. He may be a tad undersized at the PG position at 6"0". Felton will also need to work on his outside shot.
6. Martell Webster, SG, Portland, Webster was thefirst high school player taken in the 2005 draft. He is long for his size witha wingspan of almost 7 feet. He has great range on his shot and can score fromanywhere on the court. He has an unlimited arsenal of offensive moves. He willneed to improve his defense, move his feet better and improve hisaggressiveness. He has the total package and could be a star down the road. Thelack of stability and potential negative influences on the Portland roster arepoints of concern.
7. Charlie Villaneuva, PF, Toronto, Villaneuva has anice inside and outside game. He will be a threat for a double/double everynight. He is very athletic and a solid perimeter defender. His height at6" 11" allows him to shoot over almost everyone from the outside. Hehas been criticized for being weak in the post on defense at times. He is not agreat shot blocker despite his height.
8. Channing Frye, Center, New York, The Knicks werebadly in need of size on their front line. He is very skilled, polished andfundamentally sound as he can make post moves with either hand. He can hit themid-range jumper and runs the floor well on the break. This will make him athreat on the pick-and-roll on offense. He is a great shot blocker and willneed to get stronger, especially in the lower body, to play in the paint. Mustimprove his rebounding to play in the NBA.
9. Ike Diogu, PF, Golden State, Diogu isconsidered to be an Elton Brand like player. He may have the best post-up gamein college. His footwork and fundamentals on the block are excellent. He has anice shooting touch and is a decent shot blocker for his size. Diogu isconsidered to be a tenacious rebounder for his size. Must be able to guard faceup out on the floor. He may be undersized at 6' 8"" to play PF in theNBA. Some scribes feel he is closer to 6' 7". He will have problemsguarding smaller defenders out in the open.
10. Andrew Bynum, Center, Los Angeles Lakers, Bynumhas the size the Lakers sorely need. He has a tremendous physical presence witha wingspan of 7' 4". He has great mobility and a small but effective setof moves in the post. He will need time to develop and must learn to run thefloor better and improve his conditioning. Players with his combination of sizeand mobility are a rare combination. He is a bit of project and should have aminimum impact for the next two or three years. He has good skill level for abig man of his age. Possible lack of conditioning is also a concern.
11. Fran Vazquez, C/F, Orlando, He is a low risk pickfor his age. He has a good set of offensive skills but must improve hisdefensive presence. He can get the ball in the basket. He has played at a highlevel in Europe for some time. He should be able to help the Magic immediately.
12. Yaroslav Korolev, SF, Los Angeles Clippers, He issmall forward with a variety of skills. He can handle the ball out on thebreak. He is considered to be a high risk pick at age 18. He may be sent backto Europe to get more seasoning as he is a couple of years away from beingready to play in the NBA. His father played professional ball in Russia.
13. Sean May, PF, Charlotte, May was the thirdTarheel to be selected in the 2005 NBA draft and the second to go to Charlotte.He was the most notable player to play in the last NCAA tournament. He hasgreat hands and long a reach for his height. He has a great touch and can runthe floor well for his size. May possesses all of the tools need to become acomplete NBA post player. His soft hands allow him to catch almost everythingthrown his way. His wingspan allows him to player bigger then 6' 8". Hemust improve his perimeter defense and tone his somewhat bulky body to be ablecompete against the more athletic power forwards in the NBA.
14. Rashad McCants, SG, Minnesota, McCants was thefourth Tarheel to go in the draft. He is a gifted offensive player with adiverse offensive game. He can shoot the ball effortlessly from deep on thefloor. He makes good decisions and can pass the ball very well for a shootingguard. He must improve his defense a great deal. Some scribes considered him tobe the most complete offensive player in the draft. He will most likelystruggle playing against other off guards that are 6' 6" and taller nightin and night out in the NBA.
15. Antoine Wright, SG, New Jersey, He is very goodathlete and a good shooter with terrific range. He is a quality basketballplayer. He is a good slasher and ball handler. Like many draft picks, he needsto improve his defense.
16. Joey Graham, SF, Toronto, Graham should be asolid contributor on the wing for the Raptors. He is athletic and fits theup-tempo style of play of the Raptors. He is a good physical specimen withgreat leaping ability. He has an effective jump shot with range out to 18 feet.Graham plays hard, hustles and is a good defender. He has four years of collegeunder his belt, making him one of the most NBA ready players in this draft. Hewill need to improve his vision, passing and ball handling skills.
17. Danny Granger, SF, Indiana, He can hit the openshot and has great range. He is similar to Scottie Pippen. He is good defender.He must improve his ball handling and his passing. He is a good shot blockerfor his size and has quick hands, allowing him to play the passing lanes wellon defense. He possesses great intensity and passion and could be a shut downtype defender in the NBA. Durability is a concern as he has missed parts ofthree seasons with back and knee problems.
18. Gerald Green, SG, Boston, He is a very goodathlete with great explosiveness. He can really get off of his feet. He has aquick and effortless release on his jump shot. Green has good ball handlingskills for a player standing 6' 8". His long arms and athletic abilitymake him a good shot blocker. He has star potential and must improve hisstrength and put forth a more consistent effort every night on the court.
19. Hakim Warrick, PF, Memphis, Warrick is a big timeNBA athlete. NBA experts feel he can play both the #3 and #4 in the NBA. He canbother people defensively. His long arms and intensity make him a goodrebounder on both ends of the floor. He has very good footwork for a man of hissize. He has good skills, but not great skills. He was a nice pick for theGrizzlies at #19. He will need to improve his perimeter game put on more musclefor the NBA game.
20. Julius Hodge, SG, Denver, Hodge had a productivecareer in college. He is long and versatile. He competes and plays with aswagger at times. He has good ball handling skills, court vision and passingability for a man of his size at 6' 6". He needs to improve theconsistency on his shooting and the range on his shot. He also is considered tobe a tad weak for his size.
21. Nate Robinson, PG, New York, Robinson is veryexplosive and plays an up-tempo game. He has incredible speed, but needs toimprove his ball handling. He has quick hands and rebounds well for his size.He has a 42-inch vertical leap and ran a 4.40 yard dash. Robinson is at hisbest in the open court where he can use his court vision. His shot idsquestionable at times and is most likely closer to 5' 7" than 5'9' aslisted in the school program.
22. Jarrett Jack, PG, Portland, He is big andstrong with long arms at 6' 3". He can make open shots and attack the rimwell. He can penetrate and finish well for a point guard. Jack can also post upsmaller point guards. He must improvehis ball handling, as he is prone to turnovers. He will also need to improvethe range and consistency on his jumper.
23. Francisco Garcia, G/F, Sacramento, Garcia hasgreat range and a good passer. He is a good roving defender, but not a great onthe ball defender. He can block shots and also get some steals because of hislong arms. He may be a man without a position, but is considered to have asolid work ethic and passion for the game.. He is a good free throw shooter. Heneeds to work on his durability and his on the ball defense.
24. Luther Head, PG, Houston, He has a great verticalat 39". He has a great mid-range jumper. He can play both the point andthe off-guard. He moves well without the ball and knows how to use screens to comeoff of players. He has good dribbling skills and a solid work ethic. He willneed to improve his point guard skills in the NBA as he played off the ball incollege.
25. Johan Petro, C, Seattle, Petro is athletic andhas a NBA body at age 19. He has great potential and a nice touch on the ball.He is still raw on offense. Seattle may select to keep him overseas to get moreseasoning. He needs to improve his intensity and improve lateral ability toguard smaller players in the post.
26. Jason Maxiell, PF, Detroit, He is an outstandingshot blocker for his size and can also rebound well. He is strictly a low postback to basket player. He needs to improve his overall skills for the NBA.
27. Linas Kleiza, SF, Denver, He is big andstrong and can knock down open shots. He could become a good NBA player if hecan become more coachable.
28. Ian Mahinmi, PF, San Antonio, Mahinmi has onlyplayed basketball for four years as he was a former volleyball player. He is arelentless rebounder. The Spurs will try to develop his game, as he is veryraw. He has the tools to be good down the road. The Spurs may let him matureand improve in Europe.
29. Wayne Simien, PF, Miami, Simien has greatcharacter and a good feel for the game. He has a NBA body already and can be adominating rebounder. He has a huge heart and wants to win. He will give theHeat a nice body off the bench. Simien had many injuries in college so hisdurability is a concern. He could be a real sleeper. He is big and broad andwill knock people down in the paint.
30. David Lee, PF, New York, He is a solid athletewith a great lateral movement. Lee is considered to be very athletic for hissize. He had a great pre-NBA draft camp.
31. Salim Stoudamire, SG, Atlanta, Stoudamire is avery explosive scorer with great range on his jumper. He may be the best pureshooter in this draft. His size will be his biggest limitation in the NBA, ashe does not have the passing ability and leadership skills to be a true PG. Heis too short to be an effective off-guard at 6' 1".
32. Daniel Ewing, PG, Los Angeles Clippers, Ewing isconsidered to be a very intelligent player with nice agility and leapingability. He is a smart passer with good vision and court awareness but needs toimprove his overall game to become a NBA point guard. Ewing is still learningto play the point after spending most of his career on the wing.
35. Ricky Sanchez, SF, Denver, Sanchez was consideredto be the best young player in Puerto Rico. He handles the ball well and has anice three point shot. He is terribly thin at only 190 pounds on a 6' 11"frame. He will need to add 20 to 30 pounds and increase his strength to play inthe NBA. Sanchez will most likely need some seasoning in a developmentalleague.
38. Travis Diener, PG, Orlando, Diener will make hisliving as three point specialist in the NBA. His long range shooting is quitegood. He is considered to be an adequate passer, but not a great one. Hs lackof athleticism and quickness will be a detriment in the NBA.
44. Martynas Andriuskevicius, Center, Cleveland, Andriuskeviciuswas considered to be a first round draft selection by many NBA scribes. Heslipped to the Cavs at #44. He will be a real project for the pros. He runs thefloor well for a man of his size at 7" 3" and has good coordination.He has the ability to make moves to either the left or the right. He is railthin for his height and will need to get bigger and stronger real fast. Hisoffensive game is limited and raw by NBA standards. Check back here in aboutthree years.
51. Robert Whaley, PF/Center, Utah, Whaley was a manamongst boys when he finished his college career for tiny Walsh College inCanton, OH. He has a NBA body and will need to make a transition to playingagainst top-flight opponents every night in the NBA.