Iguodala, Deng round out All-Rookie first team

Updated: May 6, 2005, 2:36 PM ET
SportsTicker

NEW YORK – The honors keep rolling in for the 2004 NBA draft class.

Dwight Howard, Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon, the first three picks in last June's draft, were rewarded Thursday with unanimous selections on the NBA All-Rookie Team.

Luol Deng, Gordon's teammate with the Chicago Bulls, and Andre Iguodala also were selected in voting by 30 coaches. Coaches were not permitted to vote for players on their own team.

The team is headed by Okafor, the budding star of the expansion Charlotte Bobcats who edged out Gordon for Rookie of the Year honors Wednesday. Okafor and Gordon played together in college at Connecticut, winning a national championship in 2004.

Okafor and Gordon were selected 2-3 in the 2004 draft after the Orlando Magic chose Howard out of high school.

Okafor led all first-year players in scoring (15.1 points) and rebounding (10.9). He was fourth in the NBA in both rebounding and double-doubles (47) and 14th in blocks (1.71).

While he was edged out by Okafor, Gordon on Tuesday did become the first rookie to win the league's Sixth Man Award.

Gordon played in all 82 games, coming off the bench in 79, and averaged 15.1 points on 41 percent shooting along with 2.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists.

Gordon's clutch play in the fourth quarter separated him from the rest of the league's reserves. He scored 10 or more points in the fourth quarter 21 times.

The top overall pick, Howard also averaged a double-double with 12.0 points and 10.0 rebounds. He was eighth in the NBA in rebounding, 10th in field-goal percentage (.520) and 19th in blocks (1.66). He also had 32 double-doubles.

Deng, the seventh overall pick, averaged 11.7 points, 5.3 assists and 2.2 assists in 61 games. He suffered a season-ending wrist injury on March 28.

Led by Gordon and Deng, the Bulls returned to the playoffs for the first time in seven years.

The athletic Iguodala, the ninth pick of the Philadelphia 76ers, ranked eighth in the league in steals per game (1.68), sixth in total steals (138) and steals per game (0.99). He averaged 9.0 points and 5.7 rebounds while playing in all 82 regular-season games and helping the Sixers reach the playoffs.

Nenad Krstic of the New Jersey Nets, Jameer Nelson of the Magic, Al Jefferson of the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks teammates Josh Smith and Josh Childress were selected to the All-Rookie second team.

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