Posted: Wednesday June 29, 2005 11:36AM; Updated: Wednesday June 29, 2005 2:02PM
NBA Draft Grades
SI.com's Marty Burns analyzes each team's moves in the 2005 draft.
Picks: Marvin Williams (2), Salim Stoudamire (31), Cenk Akyol (59)
Marvin Williams could turn out to be the gem of the draft. Stoudamire is a potential steal in the second round, though he seems a poor fit for a Hawks team with no low-post scorers to draw double teams and get him open looks. Cenk Akyol is a nice long-term project. All in all, give them high marks for drafting for talent instead of need. But they might someday regret taking Stoudamire instead of a quality point prospect such as Roko Ukic.
Picks: Gerald Green (18), Ryan Gomes (50), Orien Greene (53)
Talk about Gang Green. Danny Ainge added two players with last names befitting their Celtic tradition, as well as another G in Ryan Gomes. Gerald Green is a steal at No. 18, though it might take years to show it. It's also hard to argue with Gomes at 50, especially since he played at nearby Providence. Orien Greene is a longshot to make the team but they need to add depth at the point, so he's worth a look. Basically Green falling into their lap like he did makes this a successful draft.
Picks: Raymond Felton (5), Sean May (13)
Some might say Raymond Felton and Sean May each went too high, but there was no guarantee the former would still be on the board at No. 13 and the latter is a proven winner even if he plays the same position as Emeka Okafor. GM/coach Bernie Bickerstaff is probably smart to build around established guys from good programs. Besides, the season ticket sales staff will be happy - having two members of UNC's title team on the roster should create plenty of excitement among local fans.
No picks. They traded their first-rounder to the Suns last year for the selection that translated into Luol Deng.
They didn't have any picks, having traded their first rounder to the Suns in a '98 deal for Wesley Person, but you knew new owner Dan Gilbert wasn't going to let the night get by without joining the fun somehow. So they swung a deal with the Magic to acquire Martynas Andriuskevicius for an '06 second-rounder and cash. Andriuskevicius, if he ever bulks up enough to bang with NBA players, could make it look like a good move a few years down the road.
No picks. They traded it to the Jazz last year for Pavel Podkolzin.
Picks: Julius Hodge (20), Jarrett Jack (22-traded to Portland), Axel Hervelle (52)
They got a solid NBA player in Julius Hodge, who boasts experience and feistiness to go with a good all-around game. But they didn't address their need for a pure shooter, which they might have done by tabbing Francisco Garcia. As for the other picks, who knows? Linas Kleiza and Ricky Sanchez, acquired in a trade with the Blazers for Jarrett Jack, are no sure things. Axel Hervelle is considered a fine prospect and rebounding machine, but he's raw and will likely need more seasoning in international play.
Picks: Jason Maxiell (26), Amir Johnson (56), Alex Acker (60)
Well, you knew they weren't going to use their first-round pick on Andriuskevicius. Not after Darko. Joe Dumars was going to go with a hard-nosed kid if he could help it, and Jason Maxiell is a rugged, if undersized, PF who fits Detroit's style and has a chance to be decent. Amir Johnson is an intriguing prospect out of high school, but he's going to need time. Alex Acker can play three positions. But will Acker prove better than guys they passed up, such as Kennedy Winston, Sean Banks, Eddie Basden and Angelo Gigli?
Golden State Warriors
Picks: Ike Diogu (9), Monta Ellis (40), Chris Taft (42)
They got three athletic specimens in Ike Diogu, Monta Ellis and Chris Taft. Unfortunately, Ellis is a high school kid who's going to need a lot of time to develop, and Taft is known for a poor work ethic and a lack of conditioning. But if Diogu lives up to billing and turns out to be even a poor man's Elton Brand, and one of the other two pans out, team president Chris Mullin will be happy. Other than maybe going the international route in the second round with an Andriuskevicius or Mile Ilic, it's hard to argue with these picks.
Picks: Luther Head (24)
Nothing against Luther Head, but this pick is a gamble. For one, the Rockets sorely need a power forward with some athleticism to play alongside Yao Ming. It seems like Wayne Simien would have been a more logical call. After all, he was good enough for Jeff Van Gundy's brother Stan in Miami. But Head is a winner and a tough cat who is accustomed to playing defense and can even shoot a little, so we'll give GM Carroll Dawson and JVG the benefit of the doubt and say Head was the best choice at that particular spot.
Picks: Danny Granger (17), Erazem Lorbek (46)
Larry Bird and Donnie Walsh have to be ecstatic about getting Danny Granger, whom some had rated as high as No. 7. While they might have been hoping for a shooting guard to help replace the retired Reggie Miller someday, Granger is a smart, tough, versatile small forward in the Scottie Pippen mold. He should fit in very well in Indiana while providing insurance in case Ron Artest winds up being traded or suspended again. Erazem Lorbek, the former Michigan State star, is a solid choice at No. 46 as well. All in all, a good night for the Pacers.
Los Angeles Clippers
Picks: Yaroslav Korolev (15), Daniel Ewing (32)
Yaroslav Korolev is by all accounts a good prospect, but he's probably going to need a couple years to develop. Meanwhile they passed on Granger, Antoine Wright, Rashad McCants and even high schooler Gerald Green. Aren't they trying to make the playoffs now? Coach Mike Dunleavy must really like the Russian teen. Their second round pick was also questionable. Daniel Ewing is solid and a product of a winning college program at Duke (where Dunleavy's kid played), but Ukic has size and greater upside.
Los Angeles Lakers
Picks: Andrew Bynum (10), Ronny Turiaf (37), Von Wafer (39)
Andrew Bynum won't replace Shaq, nor will this high schooler see any real game action next season, at least as long as Phil Jackson is coach. But Bynum is a legit 7-footer with skills and the Lakers are apparently willing to wait for him. Given all of L.A.'s immediate needs, it took guts for them to make a call for the future. Fortunately for them, Ronny Turiaf could be a real sleeper out of the second round. The former Gonzaga star is a high-energy animal inside. Von Wafer, a scorer with a quick release, also has a chance to make the team.
Picks: Hakim Warrick (19)
Solid pick for the Grizz. With Bonzi Wells on the trade block and Stromile Swift likely to depart via free agency, GM Jerry West needs athletes. Though he lacks a clear position, Hakim Warrick is a versatile, long-armed leaper who stayed four years at Syracuse and should be able to step in and help right away.
Picks: Wayne Simien (29)
Like the Grizz, the Heat were looking for insurance in case they lose a power forward to free agency (Udonis Haslem). Simien was probably the best on the board, other than maybe Turiaf or Taft. Simien has an NBA-ready body to go with a soft touch, and as a four-year player at Kansas he should have no trouble adapting to the Pat Riley/Stan Van Gundy disciplined system. But Miami also needs shooters, and wouldn't Stoudamire or Travis Diener (Dwyane Wade's former Marquette teammate) been a better choice for a team trying to win a title next season?