Posted: Wednesday June 29, 2005 2:46PM; Updated: Wednesday June 29, 2005 4:01PM
Once though to be a potential top-three pick, Gerald Green unexpectedly fell into the Celtics' laps at No. 18 in the '05 draft.
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The top of the draft board achieved a measure of predictability early Tuesday afternoon when news leaked on three commitments: the Jazz traded for the No. 3 pick in order to draft Illinois point guard Deron Williams, the Bobcats decided to use the No. 5 pick on North Carolina point guard Raymond Felton and the Warriors elected to take Arizona State power forward Ike Diogu at No. 9.
Yet plenty of uncertainty remained.
Portland had long been interested in shooting Martell Webster, but after trading back with Utah several teams believed that the Blazers would go with Gerald Green at No. 6 because he was the best athlete in the draft and owner Paul Allen covets leapers.
By using the pick on Webster, the Blazers sent Green into free fall and the Celtics were more than relieved to catch him at No. 18. They never thought he would get to them. Just 15 minutes before the draft, the Celtics were considering Providence forward Ryan Gomes among their options as a first-rounder, only to wind up taking him near the end of the second round (No. 50 overall).
Word around the league was that the Raptors were going to take New Mexico forward Danny Granger with the No. 7 pick, but they shocked their rivals by using it instead on UConn power forward Charlie Villanueva, who plays the same position as Toronto star Chris Bosh. A more logical choice would have been Arizona center Channing Frye, who went No. 8 to New York. Yet the Knicks weren't too worried that Toronto would steal Frye from them because Frye had refused to work out for the Raptors, and it would have been a bold move to pick a player who apparently didn't want to go to Canada.
The Magic had put out word in the hour before the draft that Joey Graham was their man at No. 11. So Fran Vazquez was shocked when Orlando took him instead. "I'd talked to Orlando once in the last week about him," said his agent, Marc Cornstein.