Analysis: Bucks couldn't pass on big man in the middle
Utah's Bogut headed to uncertain future as No. 1 pick overall
Drafting from an unusual lottery perspective, the Lakers at No. 10 had the choice of several players who were sliding, including Gerald Green, Danny Granger and Fran Vazquez. But they went with New Jersey high-schooler Andrew Bynum, a 7-foot project, which is weird since you've got to figure Kobe Bryant would prefer someone who could help now. This pick could make or break GM Mitch Kupchak, who has already taken a lot of criticism.
At No. 11, Orlando took Fran Vazquez, a power forward from Spain who was expected to go higher. He wasn't a big scorer in Spain's best league last season and reportedly needs development time on both ends of the court, but the Magic are in semi-rebuilding mode and should be able to provide that.
It had been rumored that some team had promised to take 6-9 Russian small forward Yaroslav Korolev in the first round, which is why he entered the draft, so it was no big surprise when the Clippers took him at No. 12. One analysis had him only the fourth-best small forward in the draft pool, though, behind two guys undrafted at this point, Joey Graham and Granger.
The Bobcats picked another Tar Heel at No. 13, Sean May. He has good bloodlines, played well in big games and should help attendance. But isn't Emeka Okafor a power forward, too?
Coming off a curiously disappointing season, the Timberwolves went for immediate help in the form of yet another Tar Heel, Rashad McCants, a 6-3 scoring guard. If this guy can play, Latrell Sprewell may have to find another team to put food on his family's table. McCants is said to have some attitude, but compared to Sprewell, he'll seem like a Boy Scout.
The Nets oddly went with a small forward at No. 15, Antoine Wright of Texas A&M. After letting Kenyon Martin walk last season, and with a terrific small forward in Richard Jefferson, you'd think the Nets would have picked a big man.
With their second pick of the first round, No. 16, the Raptors took a high-scoring small forward, Joey Graham of Oklahoma State, the kind of player they were expected to take with their first pick.
Granger, of New Mexico, finally saw his name come off the board at No. 17, to the Pacers. Folks who watched the MWC regularly were less high on him than others around the country, but at this point he's a solid choice.
The biggest slide of the draft went to high schooler Gerald Green, who was forecast to be picked as high as No. 3. He irked some NBA personnel types by setting workout conditions, which included only working out for lottery teams. The 6-8 small forward is supposed to be a spectacular athlete, however, and could prove to be a steal for the Celtics.
From 19 down there wasn't much of note, unless you count the slide of Syracuse's Hakim Warrick from potential lottery pick to the Grizzlies at No. 19, or the selecting of foreign guys who even the biggest draft geek couldn't pick out of a lineup.It is worth mentioning, however, that this year's Pavel Podkolzin, Serbian beanpole Martynas Andriuskevicius, who was forecast going as high as No. 5 in the mock drafts, plummeted all the way to 44 to the Orlando Magic.
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