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Saturday, June 8, 2002
Updated: June 28, 2:53 PM ET
Draft-night grades

By Chad Ford
ESPN.com

After 58 picks and several trades Wednesday night, ESPN Insider Chad Ford handed out his draft-night grades:

Atlanta Hawks
Round 1: No Pick
Round 2: David Andersen, 6-10, Center, Australia (No. 37)
Deals: Acquired Dan Dickau (No. 28) from Sacramento for future first-round pick
Atlanta traded away Jamaal Tinsley for a future first-rounder last year. This year, they give up a future first-rounder for Dan Dickau in a trade with Sacramento. Dickau goes from a terrible situation with the Kings to a great one in Atlanta. Expect him to be running the show by opening night. As for Andersen, he's probably the most talented international player taken in the second round. He'll play overseas for the next few years, but when he gets over here, he'll be good.
Grade: B+

Boston Celtics
Round 1: No Pick
Round 2: Darius Songaila, 6-9, PF, Wake Forest (No. 50)
Songaila should be able to step right in and help the Celtics in the post. He isn't the fastest guy, but he's fundamentally sound, can play inside or outside and won't play like a rookie.
Grade: A-

Chicago Bulls
Round 1: Jay Williams, 6-2, PG, Duke (No. 2)
Round 2: Roger Mason Jr., 6-5, SG, Virginia (No. 31)
Round 2: Lonny Baxter, 6-8, PF, Maryland (No. 44)
Jay Williams is the best player in the draft right now. Tough to knock Chicago there. Williams will quickly become the leader of this young team. Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry will benefit from his ability to run the break and penetrate and dish. With his poise and court savvy, I'd expect him to add 10 wins to the Bulls next season. Mason is a steal in the second round, but where does he fit behind Williams, Jalen Rose and Jamal Crawford? That could be evidence that Crawford is soon to be traded. Lonny Baxter will provide backup beef for Chandler and Curry.
Grade: A

Cleveland Cavaliers
Round 1: Dajuan Wagner, 6-3, G, Memphis (No. 6)
Round 2: Carlos Boozer, 6-9, PF, Duke (No. 35)
Clearly the Cavaliers are paving the way for an Andre Miller trade with the selection of Dajuan Wagner. Teams are queuing up around Gund Arena waiting to get their hands on Miller. You'd think that would give Cleveland a clue. Still, Wagner will give them the explosive scorer they've coveted the past few years.
Grade: D

Dallas Mavericks
Round 1: No Pick
Round 2: Mladen Sekularac, 6-8, SG, Yugoslavia (No. 55)
The Mavs go international once again, and once again they get a steal. Sekularac was projected as a late first-rounder. He has fantastic range on his jumper, has an NBA body and has the experience to contribute right away. The Mavs will leave him in Yugoslavia for a year, but you'll hear his name again. You can't do any better than this at No. 55
Grade: A

Denver Nuggets
Round 1: Nikoloz Tskitishvili, 7-0, PF, Republic of Georgia (No. 5)
Round 2: Vincent Yarbrough, 6-7, PF, Tennessee (No. 33)
Deals: Acquired Maybyner Hilario (No. 7), Marcus Camby and Mark Jackson for Antonio McDyess, No. 25 pick (Frank Williams) and 2003 second-round pick.
They gave away an All-Star for two major projects. But if Skita and Nene pan out, Kiki Vandeweghe will look like a genius. Marcus Camby is always a question mark, but he is young enough to help with the rebuilding effort. They should just put Mark Jackson out of his misery now. The Nuggets should now be the odds-on favorite in the LeBron James lottery.
Grade: Incomplete

Detroit Pistons
Round 1: Tayshaun Prince, 6-9, PF, Kentucky (No. 23)
Round 2: No Pick
This is an interesting choice. The Pistons need a point guard and Dan Dickau and Frank Williams were both on the board. Still, Prince is underrated. He has that coveted inside-outside game and he's very smooth. Does this mean the Pistons are souring on Rodney White?
Grade: B-

Golden State Warriors
Round 1: Mike Dunleavy Jr., 6-9, PF, Duke (No. 3)
Round 2: Steve Logan, 6-1, PG, Cincinnati
Deals: Acquired Jiri Welsch (No. 16) from Philadelphia for future first-round pick and future first- or second-rounder.
I hate to admit it, but the Warriors had a pretty good draft. Dunleavy may not fit, but he was the consensus No. 3 pick. Jiri Welsch is a great pickup via a trade with Philadelphia for its 16th pick, though he may be a bit redundant considering they have Bobby Sura. Steve Logan, though a bit undersized, is better than anything they have at the point. I still think they should've taken Butler, but I'll cut them some slack.
Grade: B+

Houston Rockets
Round 1: Yao Ming, 7-5, C, China (No. 1)
Round 1: Bostjan Nachbar, 6-8, SF, Slovenia (No. 15)
Round 2: Tito Maddox, 6-4, PG, Fresno State
They went international and it will pay off huge. Yao is a great fit for Houston and Houston is a great fit for Yao. The Rockets will challenge for a playoff spot with Yao, a healthy Steve Francis, Glen Rice, Bostjan Nachbar and Mo Taylor. Nachbar, who is 22, will step in immediately and provide sharp shooting. Tito Maddox, at No. 39, was also a steal. He was the best pure point guard in Chicago.
Grade: A

Indiana Pacers
Round 1: Fred Jones, 6-4, SG, Oregon (No. 14)
Round 2: No Pick
I don't get it. This is just too high for Freddie Jones. He's an undersized shooting guard who had only one good year in college. It's hard to believe that he's better or will ever be better than Qyntel Woods, Kareem Rush, or Jiri Welsch -- all of whom were still on the board when the Pacers picked at 14. He is explosive and runs the floor well and is a great athlete. But he's a late first-round pick at best. Boooo!
Grade: D-

Los Angeles Clippers
Round 1: Chris Wilcox, 6-10, PF, Maryland (No. 8)
Round 1: Melvin Ely, 6-10, PF, Fresno State (No. 12)
Round 2: Mario Kasun, 7-0, C, Croatia (No. 41) to Orlando
Who knows what the Clippers will actually do with their two first-round picks. Taking Wilcox was a no-brainer at No. 8. If they want to trade this pick, Wilcox is one of the most coveted talents in the draft. If they don't, he'll be the perfect backup for Elton Brand and the run-and-gun Clips. Ely is a bit of a head-scratcher. Yes, he can play some center, but Borchardt would've been a better fit.
Grade: B-

Los Angeles Lakers
Round 1: Kareem Rush (No. 20, via trade with Toronto).
Deals: Traded Chris Jefferies (No. 27) and Lindsey Hunter to Toronto for Rush and Tracy Murray.
The Lakers scored big time by landing Rush for Hunter and Jefferies in a draft-night trade. Rush might be the steal of the draft at No. 20. He's one of the draft's best pure shooters, is fundamentally sound and very smooth. But how will he fare in the rather large shadow of one Kobe Bryant?
Grade: B

Memphis Grizzlies
Round 1: Drew Gooden, 6-10, PF, Kansas (No. 4)
Round 2: Robert Archibald, 6-11, C, Illinois (No. 32)
Round 2: Traded Matt Barnes (No. 46) to Cleveland.
Deals: Acquired Chris Owens (No. 48) from Milwaukee for 2003 second-round pick. Acquired Wesley Person from Cleveland for Nick Anderson and Barnes.
Maybe I just don't understand the ways of Jerry West, but I'm not sure what they did to improve their team. Maybe this is a case of over-inflated expectations. The Grizz took a player in Gooden who plays the same position as their best player. Then they really reached with Archibald at No. 32. He's tough and can play in the middle, but he isn't the 32nd-best player in the draft. Matt Barnes is actually a nice pickup at No. 46, but then they shipped him off to Cleveland along with Anderson for Person. Grabbing Chris Owens for a future second-rounder doesn't do much for us either. Ugh!
Grade: C

Miami Heat
Round 1: Caron Butler, 6-7, SF, Connecticut (No. 10)
Round 2: Rasual Butler, 6-7, SF, La Salle (No. 53)
Jackpot! Butler has the leadership skills, work ethic and toughness to start for the Heat. If he stays in Miami, he'll be the odds-on favorite for Rookie of the Year. He might even be enough, along with a healthy Alonzo Mourning, to push the Heat back into the playoffs. It might be dumb luck that Butler fell this far, but Riles still gets top marks in his first lottery.
Grade: A

Milwaukee Bucks
Round 1: Marcus Haislip, 6-10, PF, Tennessee (No. 13)
Round 2: Dan Gadzuric, 6-11, C, UCLA (No. 34)
Round 2: Ronald Murray, 6-4, SG, Shaw (No. 42)
Round 2: Chris Owens (No. 48) to Memphis.
Deals: Traded Owens to Memphis for 2003 second-round pick. Traded rights to Rashard Griffith (who currently plays for Kinder Bologna in Italy) to Orlando for Jamal Sampson (No. 47).
They just missed out on their guy, Melvin Ely, but Haislip has a bigger upside anyway. They don't have a lot of roster space to keep their second-rounders, but they got a few really good ones. Dan Gadzuric is a steal in the second round. Ronald Murray might be the sleeper of the draft at No. 42. Expect him to grab a roster spot with Rafer Alston departing. Jamal Sampson has some upside, but it's about four years from now.
Grade: B+

Minnesota Timberwolves
Round 1: No Pick
Round 2: Marcus Taylor, 6-3, PG, Michigan State (No. 52)
The T-Wolves should get an "F" just for losing all of their first-rounders for Joe Smith. Marcus Taylor probably isn't the answer at point guard, but at No. 52, who is?
Grade: D-

New Jersey Nets
Round 1: Nenad Krstic, 7-1, C, Yugoslavia (No. 23)
Round 2: Tamar Slay, 6-9, SG, Marshall (No. 54)
Nenad Kristic was a great pick here. He won't be able to come over and play for another year, but when he does arrive he'll be considered a steal at No. 23. Teams already compare him to a young Vlade Divac. At 7-foot-1 he can rebound, block shots and shoot from the perimeter. The biggest question left? Does he know how to flop? Tamar Slay is a long, athletic two-guard, but they really needed a shooter.
Grade: A-

New York Knicks
Round 1: Frank Williams, 6-3, PG, Illinois (No. 25, via trade with Denver)
Round 2: Milos Vujanic, 6-2, PG, Yugoslavia (No. 36)
Deals: Obtained Williams and Antonio McDyess for No. 7 pick (Nene Hilario), Mark Jackson and Marcus Camby.
Scott Layden's back was against the wall. He doesn't believe you can rebuild in New York and he's probably right. So instead of grabbing a young Antonio McDyess in Chris Wilcox, he went for the real thing. He immediately added the All-Star power forward the team has coveted for years. Frank Williams may very well be the point guard of the future. And the Knicks might not be done. If they figure out a way to move Charlie Ward and Kurt Thomas for Nick Van Exel, they'll be a free agent center away from competing for the Eastern Conference title again. Unbelievable.
Grade: A-

New Orleans Hornets
Round 1: No Pick
Round 2: No Pick
They opted out of the draft, feeling that Courntey Alexander was better than anyone they could get at No. 17. Considering the Wizards ended up with Juan Dixon, we agree.
Grade: C

Orlando Magic
Round 1: Ryan Humphrey, 6-8, PF, Notre Dame (No. 19, via trade with Utah)
Round 2: Mario Kasun, 7-0, C, Croatia (No. 41, via trade with L.A. Clippers)
Deals: Obtained Humphrey for Curtis Borchardt (No. 18). Acquired Kasun from Clippers for increased protection from picks No. 17 to No. 21 on a draft pick the Clippers owed the Magic as a result of the Maggette/Strong/Dooling trade in June of 2000.
Curtis Borchardt seemed like a great fit, but apparently the combination of Ryan Humphrey and the draft rights to Rashard Griffin appealed to them more. Humphrey is a great athlete and an energy guy, but he's a bit undersized to play the four. Griffin is a star in Europe. Maybe the Magic will bring him over this season. Neither will have a major impact, but then again, if Tim Duncan comes aboard in 2003 as a free agent, does anything else matter?
Grade: B-

Philadelphia 76ers
Round 1: John Salmons, 6-7, PG, Miami, Fla. (No. 26, via trade with San Antonio)
Round 2: Sam Clancy, 6-7, PF, USC (No. 45)
Round 2: Randy Holcomb, 6-9, PF, S.D. State (No. 57, via trade with San Antonio)
Deals: Acquired Salmons, Holcomb and Mark Bryant from San Antonio for Speedy Claxton. Traded Jiri Welsch (No. 16) to Golden State for future first- and second-round picks.
They shipped off their first-rounder to the Warriors and then turned around and got another first-round pick, John Salmons. It cost them Speedy Claxton. The two couldn't be more different. Salmons isn't a great athlete or scorer, but he has the size and court vision teams want in their point guards. Still, can you name the last "big" point guard who excelled in the league? Claxton, apparently, was too much like Iverson. They would've been better keeping Jiri Welsch. Holcomb has a shot at making the team based on his athleticism.
Grade: C-

Phoenix Suns
Round 1: Amare Stoudemire, 6-9, PF, Cypress Creek H.S., Fla. (No. 9)
Round 1: Casey Jacobsen, 6-6, SG, Stanford (No. 22)
It was a strange draft for the Suns. Stoudemire might be the Antonio McDyess replacement they've pined for the past few years, but he's a long way away. Jacobsen may be the next Thunder Dan, but the Suns backcourt will be awfully crowded with Joe Johnson and Penny Hardaway also back there.
Grade: B-

Portland Trail Blazers
Round 1: Qyntel Woods, 6-9, PF, NE Miss. CC (No. 21)
Round 2: Jason Jennings, 7-0, C, Arkansas State (No. 43)
Round 2: Federico Kammerichs, 6-9, PF, Argentina (No. 51)
Did we expect any less from the Blazers? You have to have a rap sheet to get on this squad, and it was Woods' past indiscretions that caused him to slip. On talent alone, he's a top-10 pick in the draft. The Blazers are obviously stacked at small forward, but you just can't pass on a kid who could be a WalMart McGrady. Just keep him away from Damon Stoudamire. Jason Jennings will make this team and could contribute at center. Kammerichs probably stays in Argentina for a while.
Grade: A

Sacramento Kings
Round 1: Traded Dan Dickau (No. 28) to Atlanta.
Round 2: Corsley Edwards, 6-9, PF, Central Connecticut State (No. 58)
Corsley Edwards! The feel-good story of the draft. You gotta love Corsley! He has a wide body, which just might get him a job. As for the Dickau trade, they didn't need him and you can bank that they'll get a better pick from the Hawks than No. 28.
Grade: C

San Antonio Spurs
Round 1: Traded John Salmons (No. 26) to Philadelphia.
Round 2: Luis Scola, 6-10, PF, Argentina (No. 56)
Deals: Acquired Speedy Claxton in deal with Phily for Salmons.
Grabbing Speedy Claxton for John Salmons, Mark Bryant and Randy Holcomb looks like a steal. Luis Scola is a year or two away, but they knew that. All in all, not bad for the 26th pick.
Grade: B

Seattle SuperSonics
Round 1: No Pick
Round 2: Peter Fehse, 6-11, PF, Germany (No. 49)
Fehse, we've seen Dirk Nowitzki. We know Dirk Nowitzki. You're no Nowitzki.
Grade: D+

Toronto Raptors
Round 1: Chris Jefferies, 6-8, PF, Fresno State (No. 27, via trade with L.A. Lakers)
Deals: Sent Kareem Rush (No. 20) and Tracy Murray to Lakers for rights to Jefferies and Lindsey Hunter.
Jefferies is an interesting prospect. One GM compared Jefferies to a young Scottie Pippen because of his ball-handling skills for a small forward. A late-season injury combined with poor workouts caused his stock to slip. But is he as good as Rush? Hunter will help with the point-guard woes, but he's not the long-term answer.
Grade: C+

Utah Jazz
Round 1: Curtis Borchardt, 7-0, C, Stanford (No. 18, via trade with Orlando)
Round 2: No Pick
Deals: Traded rights to Ryan Humphrey (No. 19) and Jamal Sampson (No. 47) to Orlando for rights to Borchardt.
Curtis Borchardt is a steal this late. They were looking for a big man to play center and Borchardt falls into their lap. Teams were concerned about his foot injuries and his toughness, but his shot-blocking ability and his outside shooting will be a big plus.
Grade: A-

Washington Wizards
Round 1: Jared Jeffries, 6-10, PF, Indiana (No. 11)
Round 1: Juan Dixon, 6-3, PG, Maryland (No. 17)
Round 2: Rod Grizzard, 6-8, SG, Alabama (No. 39)
Round 2: Juan Navarro, 6-4, PG, Spain (No. 40)
Deals: Traded Courtney Alexander to New Orleans for No. 17 pick (Juan Dixon).
Michael Jordan got that "big" small forward he coveted here. Jeffries is smart, fundamentally sound and can play both the three and the four spots. The Wizards won't have the growing pains they experienced with Kwame Brown, but they won't have the upside either. Juan Dixon is a real stretch at No. 17. They wanted Jiri Welsch and may have panicked a bit. He isn't the answer to their point-guard woes. Rod Grizzard was a steal in the second round and Juan Navarro has some upside down the road. All in all, an inconsistent draft.
Grade: B-