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Franz Lidz
June 24, 1996
Here's an early line on how next Wednesday's NBA draft may go. A caveat: There's a good chance that trades (some possibilities are noted) could alter the order of selection.
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June 24, 1996

Jackie Macmullan's Draft Picks

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10. Pacers (from the Nuggets): Steve Nash, G, Santa Clara. Although Indiana cleared the way for Travis Best to be its point guard of the future by trading Mark Jackson to Denver last week, the Pacers view Nash as the perfect complement.

11. Warriors: Samaki Walker, F, Louisville. Golden State likes Walker's good low-post instincts and shot-blocking ability.

12. Cavaliers (from the Bullets): Todd Fuller, F-C, N.C. State. Is there any doubt that Cleveland needs to go big? Fuller blossomed as an ACC senior.

13. Hornets: Vitaly Potapenko, F-C, Wright State. Charlotte lacked interior defense last season. Potapenko, nicknamed the Ukraine Train, was impressive in predraft workouts.

14. Kings: Zydrunas Ilgauskas, C, Lithuania. Sacramento might have gone for Dontae' Jones, but there are concerns about a loose screw in his left foot, in which he suffered a stress fracture during the preseason. The Kings need to get bigger. The 7'1", 238-pound Ilgauskas has been impressive in workouts after missing a year of basketball to rehabilitate an injured foot.

15. Suns: Efthimis Retzias, C, Greece. Promising 20-year-old with good size (6'11", 243 pounds) but not much of a scoring repertoire.

16. Hornets (from the Heat): Moochie Norris, G, West Florida. Charlotte needs point guard help with Kenny Anderson a free agent and Muggsy Bogues still ailing. It was hoping for Nash but will settle for Morris, a revelation in predraft camps.

17. Trail Blazers: Dontae' Jones, F, Mississippi State. Showed rapid improvement this season and would have gone much higher if red flags hadn't been raised about his foot.

18. Knicks (from the Pistons via the Spurs): Roy Rogers, F-C, Alabama. Excellent shot blocker who also has a nifty hook shot. Might be able to give Patrick Ewing and New York's power forwards a breather.

19. Knicks (from the Hawks via the Heat): Kobe Bryant, G, Lower Merion (Pa.) High. When you have three first-round selections, this is the kind of chance that makes sense.

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