Sunday, May 19
Updated: Tuesday, June 25, 9:02 PM ET
By Andy Katz
Tuesday, June 25: Philadelphia will decide Tuesday if it will keep the No. 16 selection or listen and act on any one of the number of trade offers the Sixers have received. The Sixers told ESPN.com that they would meet Tuesday afternoon to decide if they like the pool of players that should be available to them at No. 16. That could include Kareem Rush, Bostjan Nachbar, Dan Dickau, Jiri Welsch and Frank Williams. Players like Qyntel Woods, Marcus Haislip, Curtis Borchardt and Amare Stoudemire could also drop to them at No. 16. The Sixers said no deals are set and that includes a deal to give the Warriors the 16th pick and select a point guard. Philadelphia owes Golden State a first-round pick in 2005. ... Sources within the NBA said they invited Stanford's Casey Jacobsen because they were given some assurances that he would go in the first round. The speculation is that Detroit, New Jersey or the Lakers could select Jacobsen in the late first round. Jacobsen's addition to the 16 players who were invited to attend the draft was the shocker late Monday. The NBA wants to avoid any embarrassing situations with a player sitting in front of the stage alone, waiting for his name to be called. There is no more green room with the players situated at tables in front of the podium. The players invited to attend were: Curtis Borchardt, Caron Butler, Mike Dunleavy, Melvin Ely, Drew Gooden, Marcus Haislip, Maybyner Hilario, Jacobsen, Jared Jeffries, Kareem Rush, Amare Stoudemire, Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Dajuan Wagner, Chris Wilcox, Jay Williams and Qyntel Woods.
Monday, June 24: Trade talks are heating up in the final 48 hours before the draft -- with at least six possible moves being discussed. The biggest blockbuster has Cleveland shipping Andre Miller to the Clippers for the 8th and 12th picks in the first round. Another version has Cleveland sending Miller and its 6th pick to the Clips for the 8,12 and either Corey Maggette or Quentin Richardson. Memphis is also trying to move back to draft Jared Jeffries, talking to the Clippers about moving the 4 for the 8 and 12. The 6 for 9 swap with Cleveland and Phoenix is a possibility, as is the still-to-be-determined Golden State and Philadelphia trade, where the Warriors get the 16 from the Sixers. Portland, Golden State and Philadelphia could also be talking a three-team trade, which could involve Scottie Pippen, Erick Dampier and Dikembe Mutombo as the principal players. There is also talk of a Washington-Hornets trade with Courtney Alexander being shipped for No. 17 as the principal part of the deal. Of course, all of these trades could easily fall flat by draft day and could be contingent on certain players being available. ... Qyntel Woods will hold a workout Monday night in D.C. to boost his struggling stock. ... Dajuan Wagner might hold one in New Jersey for Miami and Washington after not working out for either team. ... Roger Mason Jr. could sneak into the first round if the two Lakers' workouts are any indication.
Friday, June 21: Phoenix Suns GM Bryan Colangelo said he's trying to get the No. 6 pick from Cleveland in exchange for the No. 9 pick. Cleveland owes Phoenix a future first-round pick and Colangelo is trying to get it in this draft. He is also willing to see if he could get No. 6, keep the No. 9 and give the Cavs the Suns' No. 22. Colangelo wants either Chris Wilcox or Nikoloz Tskitishvili. He knows Tskitishvili could go to the Nuggets at No. 5, meaning he could take Wilcox at No. 6. The Cavs covet Caron Butler and he would likely be available at No. 9 because the Knicks (No. 7) and Clippers (No. 8) aren't interested in Butler. If Phoenix stays at No. 9 and Wilcox and Tskitishvili are gone, they'll pick Jared Jeffries. Colangelo said he never promised to take Amare Stoudemire with the ninth pick, which is a rumor that Stoudemire's agent John Wolf said is untrue, too. Wolf told ESPN.com he called the Clippers and said Stoudemire doesn't want to play for them. He didn't have Stoudemire work out for them. Stoudemire has had limited workouts because of a back injury. But that doesn't mean the Clippers won't take him, considering they never worked out Lamar Odom, Quentin Richardson or Darius Miles before selecting them...The talk of Bostjan Nachbar going to the Wizards at No. 11 is legit. Washington is seriously considering Nachbar if a top choice like Jeffries is gone.
Thursday, June 20: Duke's Jay Williams canceled his workout with the Rockets this week, which was understandable to them, considering they have essentially locked up Yao Ming. The Rockets say if something were to get "crazy" in the final few days then Williams would still come in for a workout. Chris Wilcox's reps said they would do one private workout after three group workouts in Chicago, New York and Phoenix. The one? They say Houston. Odd, but don't read too much into it. ... The buzz from NBA teams Thursday had the Wizards interested in 6-8 Benetton forward Bostjan Nachbar at No. 11 (and if that happens look for Tayshaun Prince to go to the Rockets at No. 15). Washington has cooled on Qyntel Woods and could also grab Jared Jeffries if he falls that far. Miami would probably snatch him, though, if the Suns pass. The word in the league is that trade talks with the Clippers have quieted and they may keep both 8 and 12, which could be Dajuan Wagner and Curtis Borchardt. GM Elgin Baylor has quizzed other GM's about Borchardt. Denver is still seriously considering Caron Butler at No. 5 and there is some discussion that the Suns could pick Amare Stoudemire and keep him rather than ship him to the Blazers.
Wednesday, June 19: Houston has the unofficial OK to draft Yao Ming, but still has a few remaining hurdles with Yao, the Shanghai Sharks and the Chinese Basketball Association, according to sources close to the situation. The Rockets have no say in what happens to Yao's money once they pay him. If he has to give more than 50 percent of his money to Chinese organizations then that becomes his issue, not the Rockets. ... Miami guard John Salmons is becoming a potential lock for the first round after stellar workouts with Denver and Phoenix. The 6-7 point guard can play three positions and his stock is climbing over the past week. ... Fresno State junior guard Chris Jefferies hasn't worked out well, according to scouts who have seen him. Teams are questioning his conditioning and the strength of his knee, which means he could end up as a steal in the second round. ... Toronto worked out Mladen Sekularac Tuesday in L.A. and the team was impressed with his shooting touch but not wowed by the workout, which was an audition more than a competitive situation. It might hurt his chances for the first round. ... Golden State needs to decide whether or not to keep the 2005 first round pick from the Sixers or take the No. 16 this season. ... Latest trade rumors are Phoenix drafting Amare Stoudemire for Portland at No. 9 and Memphis packaging the No. 4 and Stromile Swift to Orlando for Mike Miller and the No. 18.
Tuesday, June 18: Memphis loves either Drew Gooden and Jared Jeffries at No. 4. The Grizzlies are loaded up front, but only Pau Gasol and Shane Battier are protected from any trade talks. The Grizzlies would take Gooden if Mike Dunleavy goes No. 3 and Jeffries if Gooden slides up. The latest buzz has the Nuggets taking Nikoloz Tskitishvili at No. 5, the Cavs Caron Butler at No. 6, Chris Wilcox to the Knicks at No. 7. The rest of the lottery is dicey but one scenario being tossed around has the Clippers taking Maybyner Hilario at No. 8, Jeffries to the Suns at No. 9, Dajuan Wagner to the Heat at No. 10, Qyntel Woods to the Wizards at No. 11, Amare Stoudemire to the Clips (possible trade to the Blazers) at No. 12 and Melvin Ely to the Bucks at No. 13. ...The Nuggets are looking for a guard at No. 25 and the names are endless: Alabama's Rod Grizzard, France's Boris Diaw-Riffiod, Miami's John Salmons, Shaw University's Ronald Murray -- and the latest sleeper -- fellow Division II player Lorinza Harrington out of Wingate University (N.C.). The 6-4 Harrington isn't even in the NBA draft guide but Denver covets him at No. 33. Memphis liked him, too. He's considered a jet playmaker, but isn't as skilled a shooter.
Monday, June 17: Stanford junior center Curtis Borchardt is leaning toward staying in the draft, even if he drops out of the lottery. Sources close to Borchardt say the 7-footer is OK with going to Indiana or Philadelphia at No. 14 or 16 because they would be teams he could play for and wouldn't mind the drop in salary if it were a better situation. If a rumored trade between the Sixers and the Warriors (for No. 3 and No. 16) were ever to come to fruition, it would definitely intrigue him even more. Borchardt has become the hardest player to place in the lottery with him going potentially to the Knicks (No. 7), the Heat (No. 10), the Clippers (No. 12) or out of the lottery. Borchardt worked out for Milwaukee, Denver, Miami and New York and will work out for the Clippers Wednesday in L.A. If he stays in the draft, he will work out for Indiana. Phoenix, Golden State and Memphis have requested workouts. ... Virginia junior guard Roger Mason Jr. told Toronto during his workout that he is in the draft..Wyoming center Uche Nsonwu-Amadi faxed in his paperwork to withdraw from the draft Monday, according to Cowboys' coach Steve McClain. ... Utah doesn't expect to know by the draft if 2001 pick, point guard Raul Lopez, can get out of his Real Madrid contract, meaning the Jazz could pick a point guard at No. 19.
Friday, June 14: The draft order of players is changing almost daily but the first 23 players are starting to settle. The latest leanings as of Friday for the lottery are: 1. Yao Ming; 2. Jay Williams; 3. Mike Dunleavy; 4. Nikoloz Tskitishvili; 5. Drew Gooden; 6. Caron Butler; 7. Chris Wilcox; 8. Dajuan Wagner; 9. Jared Jeffries; 10. Curtis Borchardt; 11. Qyntel Woods; 12. Amare Stoudemire; 13. Maybyner Hilario. The Bucks also like Melvin Ely and Dan Dickau with the last spot in the lottery. But if they go with Hilario and then the next group of players from picks 14-23 -- in some order -- appear to be: Ely, Dickau, Marcus Haislip, Kareem Rush, Jiri Welsch, Bostjan Nachbar, Tayshaun Prince, Carlos Boozer, Chris Jefferies and Frank Williams. The last group of the first round (24 to 28) keeps getting bigger and all have a shot to crack the first round: David Andersen, Nenad Krstic, Ryan Humphrey, John Salmons, Ronald Murray, Lubos Barton, Predrag Savovic, Dan Gadzuric, Freddie Jones, Rod Grizzard, Juan Dixon, Sam Clancy, Steve Logan, Casey Jacobsen, Mladen Sekularac, Juan Navarro, Smush Parker, Tito Maddox, Luis Scola, Roger Mason Jr., Jason Jennings, Jamal Sampson and Anderson Varejao of Brazil. The 6-10 Varejao could go to the Spurs at No. 26 and stay overseas. Meanwhile, the teams to watch for making trades on draft night are Portland, the Clippers, Miami and Milwaukee. The Heat would love to get Gary Payton from Seattle for Alonzo Mourning but the Sonics aren't interested.
Wednesday, June 12: Two weeks until draft night, individual workouts began again Wednesday. And the hottest names aren't Yao Ming, Jay Williams or Mike Dunleavy. Instead, Nikoloz Tskitishvili is becoming another Pau Gasol in the draft by taking on a meteoric rise in the final few weeks. Like Gasol, who went No. 3 in 2001, Tskitishvili is climbing and could go as high as No. 3 to the Warriors or more likely to the Grizzlies at No. 4. It doesn't matter that this is a 19-year-old who isn't the star for Benetton Treviso in Italy. Tskitishvili isn't the only player ascending. Teams are starting to be real high on Indiana's Jared Jeffries, a player the Wizards covet at No. 11, but who won't get past the Suns at No. 9. Further down in the draft, Kentucky's Tayshaun Prince is on the move and the Rockets could be interested at No. 15. Division II Shaw University guard Ronald Murray is also become a hot name and might slip into the late first round or higher. So, too, could Valparaiso's Lubos Barton, two players who seemed to have helped themselves out of Chicago more than was originally thought. Caron Butler and Curtis Borchardt could each slide because of Mike Dunleavy, if he stays in the draft, and Tskitishvili's and Jeffries' climb -- even though neither Butler nor Borchardt are hurting themselves with anything they have done. But the movement in the lottery and a particular team's pressing need might force both down, perhaps, the best scoring small forward and the top American center in the draft. Trade rumors are heavy, as always at this time of the year, with the Blazers trying to get into the lottery to take Amare Stoudemire. The Clippers are the one team that has cap room prior to the draft to make a deal and the consensus in the league is that they won't keep both No. 8 and No. 12.
Monday, June 10: NBA teams are looking to change the pre-draft camp format for 2003, but they'll need some help from the Portsmouth Invitational and the NBA players union to make the most significant moves. Team officials weren't pleased with the 60-plus players in attendance, and at the very least, want to see the numbers cut back by at least 10 to 20 players. The consensus is that it should be an elite camp again, even if a lot of players are going to skip out on the event. There doesn't seem to be a move to bring back the Phoenix camp in May, which took a one-year hiatus because of financial concerns. A solution to the problem would be to move the Portsmouth Invitational (a privately run camp with the support, but not run by, the NBA) from the first week in April to the first week in May. The early-entry deadline would then move up from the second week (May 12 this year) to May 1, allowing underclassmen to play in Portsmouth. Portsmouth has been seniors only. If this were to occur then Portsmouth could become a tryout camp for Chicago with only the best players advancing to Chicago. This would eliminate the number of players who were in Chicago that should have been in Portsmouth like New Mexico's Marlon Parmer or ineligible redshirt Julien Sensely of Fresno State, Iona and Cal. Decisions on the draft camps have to be made before the start of the 2002-03 season. The early-entry deadline is an NBA matter, not an NCAA one, and college coaches would like to see it moved up in May, as well.
Saturday, June 8: The late-night buzz in Chicago Friday dealt with a potential three-team trade that would certainly affect the makeup of the teams and the lottery. The rumor: Miami would send the No. 10 pick and Brian Grant to Phoenix; the Suns would ship the Heat's No. 10 pick and PG Penny Hardaway to Portland; the Blazers would send the No. 21 pick and PG Damon Stoudamire to Miami; Portland would then take Cypress Creek (Fla.) High forward Amare Stoudemire with the No. 10 pick. Here's what would make the deal possible: The Blazers do covet Stoudemire and are trying to move up in the draft, getting rid of Stoudamire wouldn't be a reach; the Suns can part with Hardaway and the Heat desperately want a veteran point guard before the draft and can't pick a point guard at No. 10. Keep an eye on these three teams over the next two weeks. ... Stanford junior center Curtis Borchardt arrived in Chicago Friday night for NBA-sponsored physicals and sounds like a player leaning toward staying in the draft. Borchardt will start working out for teams in the lottery (he worked out for the Heat in the Bay Area) the next two weeks. He hasn't signed with an agent yet but said he'll make an official announcement on his draft plans a week before the June 19 deadline. ... There is a strong possibility that high school seniors Lenny Cooke, who finally played in one game Friday after sitting out the first two games in Chicago, and DeAngelo Collins could go undrafted.
Friday, June 7: First-round draft hopefuls could see as many as four spots taken away by Europeans who won't even play in the NBA next season. The list would have been even higher if the Boston Celtics had a pick because they don't have salary cap space to take on another first-round salary. The word in Chicago is that the No. 21 Blazers, No. 22 Suns, No. 25 Nuggets, No. 26 Spurs and No. 28 Kings could be candidates to duplicate what Utah did last season when it drafted Real Madrid's Raul Lopez at No. 24. The six likely foreign players who could end up being picked but staying abroad are 6-10 Australian David Andersen of Kinder Bologna; 7-foot Nenad Krstic of the Yugoslavian junior league; 6-7 Boris Diaw-Riffiod of France; 6-8 Mladen Sekularac of Yugoslavia's FMP Zeleznik; 6-9 Luis Scola of Tau Ceramica in Spain; and 6-11 Zaur Pachulia of Georgia. The Suns and Nuggets would use their second picks of the first round. It's unlikely that either would take on two first-round salaries if they keep both picks. Trading one of the picks, especially the second pick is also a possibility. ... The hardest part of gauging who teams like at this stage is sifting through the information. "There is as much disinformation as there is information in the league," Pacers general manager David Kahn said. A number of players are still being told that they've got first-round potential when the numbers simply don't add up.
Thursday, June 6: The Bulls are expecting to work out Jay Williams next week and have essentially locked in on Williams as the second pick. But a trade with Houston for the top pick could mess up their plans. Houston is expected to take Yao Ming with the top pick unless the Rockets can't get assurances that Yao will play the entire NBA season without getting yanked back to China for lesser-known national tournaments. The Rockets said Thursday that plans to travel to China weren't definite yet. Rockets GM Carroll Dawson has an eye infection and might not be able to make such a long trip. The consensus is that -- outside of the Warriors and the Knicks -- teams that want to trade with the Rockets for the top pick would be looking at Williams, and if that were to occur, it would disrupt the Bulls' draft plans. Chicago would then likely take Yao, but the Rockets are, at least publicly, the only team actively pursuing Yao. Any other team could find it hard to lock in a deal with Yao before the draft. ... Michigan State's Marcus Taylor, Houston's George Williams and Fordham's Smush Parker all said Thursday they would stay in the draft. ... The NBA's plan of having individual workouts with players who didn't want to play in the games was scrapped after no one accepted the invitation. The NBA's Matt Winick said they had no takers and will not workout anyone other than the players who participate in the games. ... The lack of interest in Chicago means there is no need to bring back the Desert Classic in Tempe, Ariz., after a one-year hiatus this May. The only other draft camp was in Portsmouth, Va., for seniors only, in April. Agents aren't interested in sending their players to Portsmouth or Chicago if they've got a chance for the first round, favoring specific team workouts.
Tuesday, June 4: Alabama forward Rod Grizzard is back in Tuscaloosa this week instead of in Chicago, resting his broken tibia and hoping he will still be selected in the first round. The Alabama coaching staff is concerned that Grizzard will be overlooked on draft night because of the injury. Grizzard has already signed with an agent and can't return for his senior season. Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery on Grizzard and the expectation is he will have a full recovery. But he could be months away from breaking a sweat on the court, according to Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried. The right knee injury isn't expected to deter a team from taking him, but the question is in what round. Grizzard's athleticism and scoring ability at small forward made him a likely first-round pick before the injury. His 3-point shooting, which was under 30 percent, is the main knock on his game. Players who stand out in Chicago could leap over an injured Grizzard and into the first round. Taking Grizzard in the second round wouldn't be as big a risk for a team, considering he wouldn't have to receive a guaranteed contract. USC's Sam Clancy is also out with a knee injury and that could affect his first-round status. Memphis' Kelly Wise hasn't been able to work out because of an injury, as well, which could drop him down in the second round.
Monday, June 3: Stanford junior Casey Jacobsen will sit out the Chicago pre-draft camp, as expected, because of the NCAA's enforcement on playing in the games and his recent success during his NBA workouts. Jacobsen told ESPN.com that he met with the Cardinal staff and didn't feel it would be fair to put them and his teammates in a potentially troubling situation if he decides to return for his senior season. If he were to play in the games at the draft camp Wednesday through Friday, he would be subject to an NCAA rule that could force him to be suspended for three games next season. Stanford opens the 2002-03 season in the Preseason NIT. Ohio's Brandon Hunter and Purdue's Willie Deane have withdrawn from the draft because of this enforcement after hoping to gauge their draft status by playing in Chicago. Meanwhile, Jacobsen said he has worked out for the Clippers, Lakers, Warriors, Suns, Grizzlies, Pistons and Raptors, with the Toronto workout conducted in a gym in Carson, Calif., that he said he rented for $100 an hour. "It stinks to pay for all this," Jacobsen said. "My girlfriend has helped me find good fares on the Internet. Paying for the hotels and everything else isn't fun." Jacobsen has workouts scheduled for Denver, Indiana, Utah, Atlanta, Sacramento and possibly New Jersey after the Chicago camp. Jacobsen said he would probably make his decision on or right before the June 19 deadline to withdraw for the June 26 draft. He said he has asked each team if they think he's a first-round pick or not and that no one has told him he isn't yet. Scouts have told ESPN.com that he's on the bubble for the first round, but having certain first-round pick Chris Marcus of Western Kentucky withdraw from the draft -- even though he's a center and Jacobsen is a guard -- means another first-round spot is open. Jacobsen could get more help if teammate center Curtis Borchardt doesn't stay in the draft. He has only worked out for the Heat in the Bay Area and has workouts scheduled with Memphis and the Clippers following Chicago. Borchardt is expected to be in Chicago for the physicals only. One player who could help Jacobsen's cause even more is Duke's Mike Dunleavy. But, like Jacobsen, he probably won't make up his mind until the 19th. One thing that seems to be more certain is that he won't go to the Sixers in a trade for the No. 3 pick with the Warriors. The Sixers told ESPN.com that they are not pursuing a trade for that pick. The Warriors have a self-proclaimed gag order on discussing the draft.
Friday, May 31: Maryland sophomore Chris Wilcox added a powerful representation out of Washington D.C., and as a result, PMG has taken control and given him a unique Yao-like workout schedule. The projected lottery pick will have three workouts -- June 12 in Chicago; June 15 in New York; and June 19 in Phoenix -- instead of going to individual teams. The workouts will be open to all NBA teams. Meanwhile, former Terp teammate Juan Dixon and a PMG client (five ex-Maryland players are PMG clients) won't be in Chicago because he didn't want to play in the games. Sources confirmed the NBA's unofficial list of players who will be at the pre-draft camp next week for physicals and individual instruction, but not for the games, includes: Caron Butler, Rod Grizzard, Dajuan Wagner, Jay Williams, Carlos Boozer, Mike Dunleavy (if he wants to attend), Marcus Haislip, Maybyner "Nene'' Hilario, Curtis Borchardt, Kareem Rush, Frank Williams (a surprise), Jared Jeffries, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Owens, Melvin Ely, Drew Gooden and Wilcox. Roger Mason Jr. (shoulder) isn't expected to play in Chicago. Seniors who bypassed Portsmouth who are supposed to show up at the Moody Bible Institute and play are Lynn Greer, Darius Songalia, Lonny Baxter, Freddie Jones (possible injury could keep him out), Vincent Yarbrough, Jason Jennings, Ryan Humprey, Anthony Grundy, Dan Gadzuric, Steve Logan and Dan Dickau.
Wednesday, May 29: Duke's Mike Dunleavy might end up being the only player selected in this year's lottery (maybe ever) not to work out for a single team. Dunleavy isn't going anywhere over the next three weeks after deciding to attend summer school. And, according to the Duke staff, he's not getting any visitors. The Blue Devils staff says no one has called to say they're coming by Duke to watch him. But that doesn't mean the interest in Dunleavy is waning. Hardly. Dunleavy is still a consensus No. 3 or No. 4 pick. While he's not saying where he will or won't play, the Warriors aren't fools, and know dealing the No. 3 pick would make more sense for both parties. Trading the pick to Philadelphia is an option to avoid a possible John Elway-type situation. Duke expects Dunleavy to make an official announcement of whether or not he will stay in the draft before June 19 -- the deadline for underclassmen to withdraw from the draft. If Dunleavy decides to stay in the draft, no one on the staff will be surprised. If he were to return to school, he would be the first top-five player to declare and then return. One member of the staff simply said it comes down to whether or not Dunleavy wants to play pro basketball or return to college for his senior season.
Sunday, May 19: Any lottery conspiracy was debunked Sunday when four reporters were allowed to watch the real lottery process. But was there a conspiracy by NBC to keep Mike Dunleavy in school? Dunleavy's name was mentioned only once by the announcers in discussing possible top-five picks. He was not one of the choices on a website poll of who should be the top pick. Dunleavy is the only player of the possible lottery picks who hasn't said he will stay in the draft for sure, but scouts have him as a consensus top-five player. Not discussing Dunleavy's candidacy further was either an oversight or possibly (dare we say) a conspiracy? Dunleavy could end up with Golden State, Memphis or Denver -- none of them playoff-caliber teams, yet. But all with plenty of playing time available for Dunleavy.
Friday, May 17: The injuries to USC's Sam Clancy and Alabama's Rod Grizzard couldn't have come at a worse time for the two prospective draft picks. Clancy needed the workouts to prove that he was one of the best power forwards in the draft. Grizzard shines in athletic workouts and that could have clinched a spot for him. But a number of scouts don't think this will crush their respective first-round hopes. Remember, Kenyon Martin was the No. 1 pick in the 2000 draft after breaking his leg in the Conference USA tournament in March. Clancy and Grizzard can return from their respective knee injuries possibly in time for some summer league work in late July and that means they may not be hurt by the injuries. All it takes is one team to fall in love with their talent.
Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com. Katz covers the NBA draft for ESPN.com and ESPN.