Draft Buzz 6/26/03

Thu, 06/26/2003 - 3:21pm

By Aran Smith, Justin Young and Matthew Maurer

Operation Draft Day

Check back here for more "Draft Buzz" (up to and during the draft) as it comes in:

9:21 EST

The trade turned out to be (Memphis) Marcus Banks at 13 and Kendrick Perkins which will be at 27 to the Celtics for 16 and 20 Troy Bell and Dahntay Jones.

8:42 EST

Look for a trade between Golden State and Memphis with the 11 and 13 picks Mickael Pietrus and Marcus Banks. The Warriors don't need a SG and the Griz dont need a PG. Plus Jerry West has been trying to move up to get Pietrus all day.

5:22 EST

A source close to the Nuggets has told us that a trade involving Juwan Howard for the 23rd pick and Arvidas Sabonis is likely to happen. The Nuggets would select either Travis Outlaw or Ndudi Ebi in that scenario.

LA Clippers
While so many mock drafts, including ourselves, have penciled in TJ Ford as a possible selection for the struggling Clips, keep in mind one thing; he didn’t even work out for the team. This leads to speculation on Central Michigan bigman Chris Kaman, Jarvis Hayes and Michael Pietrus of France.

LA Lakers
Zaur Pachulia is a name that the Lakers would love to add to their roster if the 19 year old falls to them at pick 24. He has worked out with the team earlier in the week and has shown the skills that the Lakers didn’t get in aging Robert Horry. Much like Mark Madsen three years ago, the team may go with another PAC-10 star in Jason Kapono with their second round pick. He’ll be a fan favorite and could replace the aforementioned Horry as the team’s deep threat.

The three names most often being mentioned for their pick at 5 are Kirk Hinrich, Chris Kaman and Dwyane Wade.

4:20 EST

A source close to the Celtics organization has confirmed the rumors that high school power forward Kendrick Perkins will be taken by the Celtics at pick number 20. We are skeptical about this and think the Celtics will ultimately opt for a more NBA ready player at 20. Perkins, who hadn’t blown anyone away with his workouts, has been given a promise by San Antonio at the bottom of the first.

The Mavericks have been in every rumor imaginable over the last week. The first biggest surprise was Jason Kidd’s stop in the Big D to talk with Mark Cuban. Immediately the rumor mill began to churn out some dandy ones. The most notable one was involving a sign and trade deal, sending Steve Nash and others (players and/or picks) for Kidd.

The second involved the Mavs and Chicago. This one included Michael Finley, who is a native of Chicago. The Bulls were to send Marcus Fizer, Donyell Marshall and the 7th pick to Dallas, who is in need of some aggressiveness inside. The deal was never a reality according to a source inside the club.

We have received word that DII stud Jerome Beasley is atop Dallas’ wish list. The 6-10 PF is amongst prep player Kendrick Perkins and Malick Badiane on their top three. New Orleans is now in the picture for Beasley as well as Brian Cook. The two both worked out for the Hornets on Monday.

Raef LaFrenz and another unnamed Mav were supposedly on the block. Toronto was offering Antonio Davis for the pair but the deal never materialized or even made sense. Expect Dallas to go international and letting the player develop overseas as they continue to woo players such as Kidd and Minnesota center Rasho Nesterovic.

Golden State
Those blasted agents...The Warriors are trying to acquire a pick late in the first round to select Ndudi Ebi. Ebi shares the same agent (Dan Fagan) as Gilbert Arenas who the Warriors are desperately trying to re-sign. There is a good chance Ebi will slip out of the first round but not if his agent Dan Fagan can help it. There have been rumors floating around tying Ndudi Ebi to the Warriors at the 11th pick, however the Warriors wont spend a pick that high.

There have been several rumors, one surrounding a deal with the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks would take Ebi with their 21st pick and in return trade him to the Warriors. Golden State would likely give up a player and/or future conditional first round pick for Ebi.

Also factoring into the equation is whether the Warriors trust agent Dan Fagan to follow through with his promise. Making matters even more important for the Warriors to make this happen is that Fagan is also the agent for Jason Richardson, so building a good rapport with Fagan for the future is a high priority for the Warriors.

Michael Pietrus will be the Grizzlies guy if he is on the board with the 13th pick. We all know that but what we don’t know is this: why don’t they have a second round pick yet? The team has worked out several second round caliber players over the last month and two names come to mind. JUCO player Richard Jeter and SMU’s Quinton Ross, who reportedly broke Stromile Swift’s vertical jump record in his latest workout with the squad. Ross has had two showcases in Memphis. Atlanta is another option.

The T-Wolves were frantically calling all over Hawaii to get references on shooting guard Carl English. Apparently, the staff of the Honolulu Advertiser was asked to give their feelings on the Newfoundland native. That’s always a good sign of future employment. English has an outside chance to go 26th in the draft.

New Orleans
New Orleans will likely grab Brian Cook at 18 unless someone drops.

San Antonio
With David Robinson retiring from basketball, the San Antonio Spurs are eyeing several vertically gifted players with their only pick. The World Champs worked out Zaur Pachulia and Slavko Vranes, a 7-6 Serbian center, yesterday. High school manchild Kendrick Perkins worked out for the team twice and is considered high on their draft charts. Look for Vranes to slip into the mid to late second round area.

Keep in mind the Spurs are prone to moving their first rounders. Only Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Cory Alexander have been kept in recent years. A move up in the draft is probable if they feel their guy is not going to be there at their current 28th spot.

2:33 EST

Kendrick Perkins has a promise in the first round and it's likely from San Antonio.

The Mavericks are interested in David West if he falls to their pick at 29.

2:00 EST

There is a chance that the Heat will take Chris Kaman with the 5th pick. If that happens, look for the Clippers to grab the best player available, Jarvis Hayes with the next pick. If Hayes drops to 10, he will be Eddie Jordan's pick.

Miami has received various trade offers from Seattle, Memphis, Orlando and Golden State for the fifth pick over the last 24 hours.

The Knicks are drumming up a lot of attention like they usually do. There are several rumors surrounding the host team. They are weighing several options including moving up in the lottery but Mike Sweetney is becoming a late favorite. The big man out of Georgetown was at Madison Square Garden yesterday to meet with the Knicks’ executives. Earlier in the week, the team flew to DC for a private workout with him, their second time to watch him. If Kaman is not available, look for Sweetney to be the Knicks pick.

Reece Gaines flew in for a last second workout with the NY. The team is in need of a PG especially now that their 2002 second round pick Milos Vujanic has signed a threeyear deal with Skipper Bologna in the powerful Italian League. He averaged 26 points per game with his former Partizan team in Yugoslavia. But it's more likely they will address their need for a PG with their second round pick.

Seattle is beginning to give indications that they will go with Ridnour over Banks at 14. Marcus Banks needs the ball in his hands too much for the Sonics taste.

Luke Ridnour will not be taken by the Boston Celtics if he is available. There are questions concerning his defense and Jim O’Brien wants a defender. Do however pencil in (note the pencil, not the pen) Aleksandar Pavlovic as a possibility if he is still available at pick 16.

Maciej Lampe has put out his buyout numbers (we're hearing 3 years left at 1.2 million) and it seems to have affected his stock to some extent.

While the Memphis Grizzlies have been expected to go with a shooting guard at 13, Jerry West has said he wants the best player available. We still think he’s grabbing a shooter regardless. Most sources feel Mickael Pietrus is the player West wants but there's a chance it's Lampe. West would likely have to trade up a few picks to get Pietrus.

Toronto’s GM, Glen Grunwald has stated to the NY/NJ media that “no one has knocked his socks off (with a trade)“ and he is not interested in moving the pick and will take Chris Bosh with #4.

If New Jersey makes a trade it will only be to move down not up, according to Nets GM Rod Thorn. He has expressed they need a shooter in the worst way.

If Zoran Planinic falls past New Jersey at 22, he can fall into the second round.

At the 50th pick, expect the Philadelphia 76ers to lay low in this year’s draft. They have considered moving up in the draft but they aren’t planning on any big deals, citing the luxury tax as a major obstacle.

The Washington Wizards may be the hardest team to figure out in the lottery. It could be because of the uncertainty in the front office. Sources inside the Washington front offices told they’d like to go after a PG via free agency and gamble on a point in the second round. The team made a trip overseas last week to get a peek of Michael Pietrus and could select him as a replacement for Jerry Stackhouse. The logical selections would be Jarvis Hayes or Reece Gaines.

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