In the few remaining hours between now and the 2001 NBA Draft, you'll hear a lot of "insider" speculation as to how the picks will play out.
Don't be fooled. We're all guessing.
For the first time in over a decade, there's no telling this late in the game who will go No. 1. Not only that, we don't even know if Michael Jordan's Wizards will even keep the pick.
And what happens at No. 1 impacts everyone after.
If Washington retains the pick, their most likely choices would seem to be Duke's Shane Battier, Seton Hall's Eddie Griffin, Georgia prep star Kwame Brown or Chicago phenom Eddy Curry. But the hot rumor has Jordan coveting Charlotte freshman Rodney White, who could go anywhere in the top 10, in a trade.
The Clippers, going No. 2, reportedly have eyes for local preps star Tyson Chandler. But maybe that's only if the Wizards pass on Brown or Curry.
And the Hawks at No. 3 like Battier, but what if he sneaks into the top two?
The suspense will be over soon enough. But we'll likely be kept guessing -- literally -- right 'til the end.
|CNNSI.com Mock NBA Draft: First Round|
| 1 || || Wizards -- Kwame Brown, PF, Brunswick, Ga. (HS) |
| Michael Jordan probably is still looking for a good deal. In the event he doesn't find one, the youngster would address the Wizards' three main needs: frontcourt size, bench depth and team defense.|
| 2 || || Clippers -- Eddy Curry, C, South Holland, Ill. (HS)
| Michael Olowokandi hasn't lived up to his potential, so the Clippers may want to make another bid for the center of the future with "Baby Shaq."|
| 3 || || Hawks -- Shane Battier, SF, Duke
| The young Hawks have said repeatedly they don't want another youngster. The mature Battier's early workout reportedly set the standard in Atlanta.|
| 4 || || Bulls -- Sagana Diop, C, Oak Hill, Va. (HS)
| Jerry Krause went to great lengths to hide Diop's Chicago workout from the rest of the world, which is a good indication the Bulls GM has something up his sleeve.|
| 5 || || Warriors -- Eddie Griffin, PF, Seton Hall
| Golden State already has a pretty good power forward, but if Griffin slips this far, the Warriors won't pass him up.|
| 6 || || Grizzlies -- Rodney White, SF, Charlotte
| Word is, Jordan is high on the 6-9 21-year-old, so the Grizzlies might be able to package White in a deal with the Wizards.|
| 7 || || Nets -- Jason Richardson, SG, Michigan State
| The scoring-deprived Nets will be doing cartwheels if Richardson falls to them.|
| 8 || || Cavaliers -- Tyson Chandler, PF/SF, Compton, Calif. (HS)
| The Cavs will be shocked if the athletic Chandler drops this far, and they'll take full advantage of their good fortune.|
| 9 || || Pistons -- Joe Johnson, SF, Arkansas
| Jerry Stackhouse could use some help shouldering the scoring load, and Joe Dumars might try to get him some assistance through the draft.|
| 10 || || Celtics -- Pau Gasol, SF, Spain
| Gasol has said he would play in Spain next season if he wasn't in the top six, but the Celtics covet the 7-1 "small forward" and might decide to take a chance on him anyway.|
| 11 || || Celtics -- Troy Murphy, PF, Notre Dame
| Murphy stayed to work out for the Celtics a second time, which would seem to indicate the club has serious interest in the 6-11 forward.|
| 12 || || Sonics -- Loren Woods, C, Arizona
| The 7-1 Woods bulked up and looked good in pre-draft workouts. The Sonics could decide to begin their rebuilding process with a man in the middle.|
| 13 || || Rockets -- Vladimir Radmanovic, SF, Yugoslavia
| With three first-round picks, the Rockets can afford to take a chance on the versatile European whose game has been compared to that of Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki. |
| 14 || || Warriors -- Jamaal Tinsley, PG, Iowa State
| The Warriors are in need of a point guard, and Tinsley is the best in the draft.|
| 15 || || Magic -- Steven Hunter, C, DePaul
| Orlando could use a center, and the Magic fell in love with Hunter in the pre-draft workouts.|
| 16 || || Hornets -- Brendan Haywood, C, North Carolina
| In all three mock drafts, we've had a Tar Heel going to nearby Charlotte. Too bad the Hornets might not be there much longer.
| 17 || || Raptors -- Zach Randolph, PF, Michigan State
| Toronto could use a scorer to complement Vince Carter, so shooting guard is an option here. But the Raptors also may need to replace Antonio Davis and/or Charles Oakley. |
| 18 || || Rockets -- Michael Bradley, PF, Villanova
| Bradley is a worthy lottery pick, but he may slip because of the number of post players available this year.|
| 19 || || Blazers -- Richard Jefferson, SF, Arizona
| Scottie Pippen won't be around forever, and the defensive-minded Jefferson would mean one fewer Blazer demanding the ball.|
| 20 || || Cavaliers -- Joseph Forte, SG, North Carolina
| The always exciting Forte could make selling the Cavs to the fans in Cleveland a little easier for new head coach John Lucas. |
| 21 || || Celtics -- Omar Cook, PG, St. John's
| The Celtics need a floor leader, and they'll be pleasantly surprised to get a good one this late in the round.|
| 22 || || Magic -- Kedrick Brown, SF, Okaloosa-Walton (CC)
| There's been a lot of buzz around this 6-7 youngster who disappointed LSU by declaring for the draft. He probably won't go as high as some predictions, but he may crack the first round.|
| 23 || || Rockets -- Jason Collins, C, Stanford
| The Rockets can prepare for the post-Olajuwon era with this 6-foot-11 center who has some nice offensive moves.|
| 24 || || Jazz -- Gilbert Arenas, SG, Arizona
| Utah's experiment with veteran shooters John Starks and Danny Manning didn't work out very well and DeShawn Stevenson may have worn out his welcome, so the Jazz could look to the future again with this big-time scorer. |
| 25 || || Kings -- Brian Scalabrine, PF, USC
| The 6-foot-9 Scalabrine was impressive in the Chicago pre-draft camp and may well have worked his way into the first round.|
| 26 || || Sixers -- Gerald Wallace, SF, Alabama
| The Eastern Conference champs obviously don't have a lot of needs. Wallace is simply the best athlete available.
| 27 || || Grizzlies -- Alvin Jones, C, Georgia Tech
| If Vancouver doesn't use its No. 6 pick on a big man, Jones is a safe choice who could push Bryant Reeves for a starting spot.|
| 28 || || Spurs -- Trenton Hassell, SG, Austin Peay
| The Spurs may have been the league's best 3-point-shooting team last season, but if they lose Derek Anderson to free agency, they'll need some more help.|