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Final Lottery Projections

June 26, 2003 Columns No Comments

2003 Projected Lottery: One Last Time

by Jed Tai

Tomorrow in New York City, dreams could be made or shattered as the 2003 NBA
Draft will finally take place. Enough said – let’s cut to the chase. Here’s
my final take on what might happen on draft night (and as always, tread with
extreme caution!).

1. Cleveland Cavaliers – LeBron James, St. Vincent-St. Mary (OH) HS

LeBron is looking for a new house for himself and his mom, riding around the
streets of Cleveland in his Hummer before he heads off to NYC to pick up his
Cavs jersey.

2. Detroit Pistons – Darko Milicic, Serbia/Montenegro

Larry Brown is already trying to figure out how much time he’ll give Milicic
down low and how fast he’s going to bring him along.

3. Denver Nuggets – Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse

Rumor was Anthony showed up to his workout in Denver and found himself a
nameplate in the locker room with his name inscribed on it. If that’s not a
sure thing, what is?

4. Toronto Raptors – Chris Bosh, Georgia Tech

There’s been rumblings of a possible trade here, but no matter what team is
picking, they’re going to be taking Bosh. And Bosh will help out whatever team
he goes to faster than people will realize.

5. Miami Heat – Maciej Lampe, Poland/Spain

Now this is where it gets interesting. Lampe would not be a traditional Riley
pick, but even he is apparently high on the young Polish prospect. Even if
Miami trades this pick, it seems as this is where Lampe will land.

6. Los Angeles Clippers – T. J. Ford, Texas

Ford has slipped a bit from before, but he shouldn’t slip past #6 as the
Clippers have their replacement for Andre Miller staring in their face. But
then again, this is the Clippers we are talking about.

7. Chicago Bulls – Dwyane Wade, Marquette

With Jay Williams in the hospital and likely out next season, it changes the
Bulls draft strategy. No longer can they afford to get a swingman type, so
enter in hometown boy Wade, who can play some point guard to give Jamal
Crawford some support.

8. Milwaukee Bucks – Kirk Hinrich, Kansas

Common wisdom is that the Bucks will need a point guard if Gary Payton bolts,
so the next best one on the charts is Hinrich. He’s good enough a shooter that
he should be able to blend in with Sam Cassell just fine at either guard spot.

9. New York Knicks – Chris Kaman, Central Michigan

The Knicks need a big man – no, Frederic Weis is still not the answer – so
they’ll turn to Kaman for help, if they don’t trade away the pick for a
veteran. However, there is one thing for certain – they’ll get booed from the
MSG crowd.

10. Washington Wizards – Nick Collison, Kansas

The Wizards need help all-around, so why not an all-around player? Collison
will be able to provide much needed help inside, and should help out
immediately. The pick won’t be popular, but it will be a solid move.

11. Golden State Warriors – Aleksander Pavlovic, Serbia/Montenegro

It’s so tough to read the Warriors. They’ll need a point guard if Gilbert
Arenas bolts, but at the same time they sometimes go with the best player
available. With that said, we’re going to go out on a limb and say they jump
on the international bandwagon and take Pavlovic, perhaps for another team.

12. Seattle Supersonics – Michael Sweetney, Georgetown

The Sonics need help at power forward and at point guard, and at #12 they’ll
take care of the inside guy first. Sweetney is undersized in a traditional
sense, but he could be effective in a Karl Malone sort of way. The Sonics
would love that.

13. Vancouver Grizzlies – Michael Pietrus, France

Many have Pietrus going higher, but he appears to be this year’s candidate for
slippage. But he won’t get past Jerry West who loves these kinds of finds.
Pietrus might not be a Kobe Bryant kind of steal, but he’s a steal nonetheless.

The NBA Draft will be telecast on ESPN at 7 pm EST on Thursday evening.

Enjoy the draft, and be sure to stay tuned to Hoopville for live coverage and reaction from draft
night, including from the draft floor in Madison Square Garden!


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