THE FIVE BIGGEST WINNERS IN THE DRAFT
1-BOSTON. As much as Ainge gets blasted....he can play that draft game. They sat still and let Gerald Green and Ryan Gomes fall into their lap. Not bad for the Atlantic Champs.
2-CHARLOTTE: They got two local stars in Felton and May who can come in an play right now. So, in two years they’ve got their frontcourt and point guard locked down.
3-NEW YORK. The Knicks got a center [Frye], a power forward [Lee] and a backup PG [Robinson] in the draft. Not bad at all.
4-NEW ORLEANS. The Hornets sat back and let everyone else wiggle Paul into their hands. Paul was who they wanted all along. Then they go and take Brandon Bass in the second round.
5-UTAH. They got who they wanted...a guy that can make sure those 6-11 forwards aren’t firing up a ton of 3s. And they didn’t even have to deal away too much.
THE FIVE BIGGEST LOSERS IN THE DRAFT
1-PORTLAND. They waited for Charlotte to give up #5 and #13...and then got stuck with a lowball deal with Utah. All they got was the #6, #27 and a first rounder next year [which will be Detroit's pick that Utah acquired]. Not the huge deal of the day they were hoping for. Then they select yet another teenager in the draft.
2-LA CLIPPERS. With many impact guys still there, the Clips stuck with Yaraslav Korolev as if it was a coach drafting his son in little league. You’d figure the Clips wouldfigure out the draft by now.
3-TORONTO. Why Villeneuva? It isn’t that he’s not worth of the #7...but they ONLY guy the Raps have [Chris Bosh] is already linedup in Chucky’s spot. They did salvage a bit when they somehow nabbed Roko Ukic in Round Two.
4-NEW JERSEY. I really like Antoine Wright...but doesn’t this team have Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson already? With Hakim Warrick there...why did they go with another guard?
5-DENVER. It isn’t that I don’t like Julius Hodge...it’s just that he really isn’t what they need. They needed a shooter and Hodge is primarily a slasher. After that, they drafted 3 projects.
THE FIVE PLAYERS PICKED FROM 1-15 THAT COULD BUST
1-Yaraslov Korolev [Clippers]. First off, he’s a Clipper. Next, the guy has yet to play against anyone good. LA is banking on him being the next AK-47 but he may be stuck in Russia for a few more years.
2-Andrew Bynum [Lakers]. He is huge, but he’s only 17. And Kobe made the Zen Master see a shrink....what may he do to Bynum? I’m not saying it is a bad pick at all...just one that must pay off.
3-Fran Vazquez [Magic]. He does the same things Dwight Howard does and many people think he’s already peaked as far as talent goes.
4-Charlie Villenueva [Raptors]. He’s a slacker. You would think that on a team with Okafor and Gordon, he would’ve learned leadership skills. Instead, he disappeared in games.
5-Rashad McCants [Wolves]. I love McCants, but he could develop some poor habits now that he’s on his own. I just can’t get Joseph Forte out of my head.
THE FIVE PLAYERS PICKED FROM 16-30 THAT COULD BECOME STARS
1-Danny Granger [Pacers]. Someone had to fall, and it was Granger. He will fit in well with Indiana. It also allows Indy to look at dealing some of their wares.
2-Hakim Warrick [Grizzlies]. Warrick is the most underrated player in the draft. He can defend darn near any spot and replaces Swift in the jumping-out-of-the-gym department.
3-Francisco Garcia [Kings]. The Kings need him and he fits in perfectly. He can take over at the 2-spot and make teams pay on doubles.
4-Wayne Simien [Heat]. He was a heck of a player at Kansas when he was on the court. Oh, and playing next to Shaq will make him into a somebody. Just ask Samaki Walker.
5-Gerald Green [Celtics]. Boston will fall in love with him and may end up booing Pierce out of town to make room for him.
THE FIVE PLAYERS PICKED IN ROUND TWO THAT MAY STICK
Ronny Turiaf [Lakers]. He will be used in Los Angeles. If he rebounds, sets picks and hits a 15-foot jumper, he will be a excellent role player for years.
CJ Miles [Jazz]. I loved Miles in this draft and was surprised that others weren't.
Brandon Bass [Hornets]. He is a local guy with skills that people may clamor for to see play. Hey, these are the Hornets.
Roko Ukic [Raptors]. Two things. One, they need him. Two, he won’t care that he’s playing in Toronto. If Gerald Green didn’t fall, Ukic may have gone #18 to the C’s.
Salim Stoudamire [Hawks]. I know, he’s small to play shooting guard. But these are the Hawks and they’ll need someone with some nads to fire up threes.