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INSIDE THE NBA

Jackie MacMullan's Mock Draft

Posted: Wed June 17, 1998

 
Sports Illustrated There are no slam Duncans in this draft, which has plenty of forwards but few quality guards or centers. Here is SI's guess at how things will shake down in Vancouver on June 24, with the caveat that the Celtics, Hornets, Magic, Pistons, Raptors, Rockets and Sixers were all working diligently to trade their picks as we went to press.

1. CLIPPERS Mike Bibby, 6'2", G, Arizona
The Clippers fantasize about Mike Olowokandi, but they need a sure thing, and Bibby is the closest thing to that in this draft.

Mike Bibby
A pure point guard, Bibby will likely go with the first pick.    (John W. McDonough)

2. GRIZZLIES Mike Olowokandi, 7'1", C, Pacific
Vancouver will entertain offers for this pick up to D day, but if the Grizzlies don't get a deal they like, they'll take Olowokandi and trade him at their leisure.

3. NUGGETS Paul Pierce, 6'7", F, Kansas
Denver desperately wants a big man and may package Pierce in a trade for Olowokandi.

4. RAPTORS Raef LaFrentz, 6'11", F, Kansas
Toronto needs someone with size and a solid game they can build around.

5. WARRIORS Antawn Jamison, 6'9", F, North Carolina
Jamison had been touted as the top pick, but his tweener size (scouts insist he's closer to 6'7") caused him to slip.

6. MAVERICKS Larry Hughes, 6'5", G, St. Louis
Dallas hopes this 19-year-old scorer will bring life to their comatose franchise.

7. KINGS Vince Carter, 6'7", G-F, North Carolina
Chris Webber's displeasure about being a King could trigger another trade that alters the landscape on draft day, but Carter is the best player available here.

8. 76ERS Robert Traylor, 6'8", F, Michigan
This wide body is easy to fall in love with, though he's a little short for power forward.

9. BUCKS Michael Doleac, 6'11", C, Utah
You can be sure Utah coach Rick Majerus has given a detailed scouting report to his good friend, Milwaukee owner Herb Kohl.

10. CELTICS Keon Clark, 6'11", F-C, Nevada Las Vegas
Rick Pitino, who wants to win now, may have enough guts to pick the talented but maturity-challenged Clark.

11. PISTONS Pat Garrity, 6'9", F, Notre Dame
Detroit wants a perimeter shooter who can punish teams doubling Grant Hill. Shooter Michael Dickerson—quicker but smaller—could go here.

12. MAGIC Nazr Mohammed, 6'10", C, Kentucky
This pick falls under the best-big-man-available rubric.

13. MAGIC (from Wizards) Michael Dickerson, 6'5", F, Arizona
This one falls under the best-shooter-available rubric.

14. ROCKETS Bonzi Wells, 6'5", G, Ball State
With the retirement of Clyde Drexler, Houston requires a scoring guard, and Wells has the kind of athleticism they like.

15. MAGIC(from Nets) Jason Williams, 6'1", G, Florida
Williams has lottery-pick talent and CBA-bound baggage, but Orlando's three picks allow it to gamble here.

16. ROCKETS (from Raptors via Knicks) Rashard Lewis, 6'10", F, Alief Elsik High in Houston
With three first-round picks, Houston can afford to take a chance on a hometown schoolboy.

17. TIMBERWOLVES Radoslav Nesterovic, 7'0", C, Kinder Bologna (Italy)
Minnesota must go big, but Nesterovic's Bologna contract might keep him in Europe until 2000.

18. ROCKETS (from Raptors via Trailblazers) Corey Benjamin, 6'6", G, Oregon State
One of the best athletes available (35% of his college hoops were dunks), but predraft workouts exposed poor fundamentals.

19. BUCKS (from Cavaliers) Matt Harpring, 6'8", F, Georgia Tech
Harpring slipped because he passed on workouts. Could be a steal.

20. HAWKS Ruben Patterson, 6'6", F, Cincinnati
They love Harpring, but Patterson boosted his stock by playing well in postseason workouts against Magic Johnson.

21. HORNETS Vladimir Stepania, 6'11", C, Olympija Ljubljuna (Slovenia)
Charlotte needs big men
Vlade Divac and Matt Geiger are free agents, and Anthony Mason is on the block because of clashes with Cowens.

22. CLIPPERS (from Heat) J.R. Henderson, 6'9", F, UCLA
Scouts say any UCLA kid is a gamble (too soft, too lazy), but the Clips figure a hometown name with genuine talent could help them on and off the court.

23. NUGGETS (from Suns) Al Harrington, 6'9", F, St. Patrick's High in Elizabeth, N.J.
Denver likes Bryce Drew, but why not use this pick on the kid with the greater potential?

24. SPURS Bryce Drew, 6'3", G, Valparaiso
In workouts, Drew proved he can play the point, but the Spurs don't care where he plays as long as he knocks down perimeter jumpers.

25. PACERS Felipe Lopez, 6'6", G, St. John's
Can Larry Bird pull off another Jalen Rose-like resurrection with this extremely athletic but maddeningly streaky player?

26. LAKERS Tyronn Lue, 6'0", G, Nebraska
With L.A. unsettled at the point—Nick Van Exile, anyone?—it craves another playmaker.

27. SONICS Brian Skinner, 6'10", C-F, Baylor
Seattle needs to get creative (i.e., lucky) in its quest for big bodies. UCLA's Jelani McCoy could sneak in here.

28. BULLS Mirsad Turkcan, 6'9", F, Efes Pilsen (Turkey)
Turkcan, Turkey's top pro player, will provide the chance for a few good headlines even if he can't play a lick.

29. JAZZ Ansu Sesay, 6'9", F, Mississippi
Sesay dropped because of strong workouts by others. Miles Simon is a possibility here.

Issue date: June 22, 1998

 
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