2005 NBA Draft Grades

2005 NBA Draft Grades
Jun 30, 2005, 05:51 am
Jonathan Givony hands out his report card to NBA teams on how they handled the craziest draft of all time, while sharing some inside information about what happened behind the scenes, telling you what's next for a couple of prospects and looking at some of more disturbing trends from this year's draft.

This article is a personal opinion about what type of players these teams acquired and the especially value they got at their pick, the strengths and weaknesses of the players drafted and accordingly how they fit into their system, and the type of situation they are being drafted into on their new team. This is also an attempt to evaluate how wisely each team used the hand they were dealt. For example, if a team only had one second rounder, they will be judged differently from a team like New York who had three first rounders. A team is evaluated not simply on how they used their first round pick, but how they utilized their second round pick as well. Just keep in mind, players (rookies or veterans) get traded, coaches change, some players work hard to improve on their flaws and some don’t. This is how we see it right now; it’s a 100% subjective look at how well each team used the draft to help their team now and for the future considering the options they had available to them at the time.
Draft Grades:

#1 Milwaukee: A

Andrew Bogut, C, Utah (#1)
Ersan Ilyasova, SF, Turkey (#36)

The Bucks picked the right player for their team and situation in Andrew Bogut, but not before taking a long look at Marvin Williams. With the #36 pick they picked up could end up being a major steal for them in Ersan Ilyasova, who has no buyout and can be brought in right away (for the developmental league) or placed in an friendly environment in Europe if that’s what they prefer. The Bucks addressed their present and future needs perfectly with the picks they had available to them in this draft and should be very pleased with the direction their franchise is headed in.

#2 Atlanta: C

Marvin Williams, SF, North Carolina (#2)
Salim Stoudamire, SG, Arizona (#31)
Cenk Akyol, PG/SG, Efes Pilsen (#59)

Marvin Williams was the player with the biggest upside on the board here and they did a good job in taking him, although I’m not sure that Chris Paul won’t end up being a better player and a better fit here. Salim Stoudamire is a decent pick at #31, although he most certainly won’t fill their void at PG. The Hawks get a C in this draft because there was no way they could screw up their first pick, and could have done a better job overall of filling their needs (everything besides SG and SF) instead of just adding two more players to the logjam at those positions. Despite having a nice mix of all around skills, Akyol is years away and should have never stayed in the draft. The problem is that he may not have the athleticism or upside to ever have gone any higher than this. With the #59 pick they could have done worse.

#3 Utah: B

Deron Williams, PG, Illinois (#3)
C.J. Miles, SG, Skyline HS (#34)
Robert Whaley, PF, Walsh (#51)

I feel like Chris Paul is definitely going to be the better player down the road, but the Jazz deserve serious props for moving up in the draft the way they did and giving up so little. Things weren’t looking great for them sitting at #6, but they did what they needed to do and got exactly the player they want, which is exactly what the draft is all about. With the newly established D-League its hard to find too much fault in taking a high school player in the 2nd round, so the Miles pick could turn out to be a good one. It was painfully obvious to all but a few that he had no business being in this draft, but all things considered he came out about as good as he could have. Taking Robert Whaley at the end of the 2nd round was a particularly nice move, as Whaley showed to be the player with possibly the biggest upside at the entire Chicago pre-draft camp and also did extremely well in workouts. The fact that the Jazz (one of the most conservative organizations in the NBA) decided to pick him should tell you that his problems are fimrly behind him.

#4 New Orleans: A

Chris Paul, PG, Wake Forest (#4)
Brandon Bass, PF, LSU (#33)

Possibly the best player in this draft in Chris Paul fell right into their lap at #4 and New Orleans gobbled him up as they should have. Bass went a little higher than we thought he would but its very hard to find fault in this pick as he fills a need for them with the toughness and athleticism he brings and the fact that he still has a big upside to improve. The fact that he’s a local player only sweetens the pot for the Hornets, who came out very well in this draft.

#5: Charlotte: C-

Raymond Felton, PG, North Carolina (#5)
Sean May, PF, North Carolina (#13)

Once again the NBA reminds us that at the end of the day, it’s all about the bottom line. If we’re talking about value, then Charlotte certainly didn’t get enough of it with the #5 pick. Although it’s tough to say anything with certainty, there was an above average chance that Felton would have been available at #13 for the Bobcats had they had been willing to take a risk that he would slip. At #5 they could have filled a pressing hole on the wing by taking Danny Granger or Gerald Green. The #13 pick is somewhat baffling considering that they will have to play Emeka Okafor large minutes at the center (and go with an extremely undersized frontcourt) in order to really clear enough room to justify using a lottery pick on Sean May. The North Carolina boys will help with season ticket sales, but if you aren’t going to draft for need then usually it makes sense to go with upside, something that May doesn’t seem to have a lot of. All in all it appears that Charlotte isn’t too interested in winning games anytime soon and will continue to rebuild for at least another year or two until they can find some starting caliber players to help them out on the wing. Felton and May are both nice players, don’t get me wrong, but the Bobcats had a great chance to really become a much better team on draft night (see: Gerald Green or Danny Granger at #13) and on first glance it appears like they didn’t make the most of it.

#6: Portland: C

Martell Webster, SF, Seattle Prep (#6)
Jarrett Jack, PG, Georgia Tech (#22)

Portland starts off from a negative standpoint in my eyes as they really allowed themselves to get low balled in return for the #3 pick. For them to move down three spots and then also reach for the 3rd or 4th best high school player in his class, while only picking up 2 late first rounders in the process seems like the kind of move that only someone desperate would make.

From all I’ve seen of Webster, picking him at #6 seems to be a real reach considering how one-dimensional of a player he is right now. I certainly am the only one who feels that way, though, so only time will tell if he ends up justifying being picked this high. On the other hand, I love the move to trade the #27 and #35 for Jarrett Jack, something that should definitely create a very healthy battle for the starting PG spot in training camp. Don’t be surprised to even see Telfair and Jack being played next to each other at times next season, as Jack certainly has the size and strength to guard two positions and has already shown the ability to play off the ball. All in all it seems like Portland could have done much better considering where they started out, with the #3 and #35 picks in the draft.

#7: Toronto: C

Charlie Villanueva, PF, Connecticut (#7)
Joey Graham, SF, Oklahoma State (#16)
Roko Ukic, PG, Croatia (#41)
Uros Slokar, PF, Slovenia (#58)

The Raptors shocked the world (and screwed up the entire draft in the process) by taking a player who plays the only position on their team (PF) that they have absolutely no need for in Charlie Villanueva. Rob Babcock was apparently so infuriated at being ripped all year for taking Rafael Araujo solely because he filled a need that he went out and got the only position that he didn’t need at all thanks to Chris Bosh and Matt Bonner. Villanueva sure isn’t a small forward or, god forbid, a center, so how is he going to get minutes without giving up 120 points a night? He might anyway even as a power forward. Thankfully for the Raptors their draft didn’t end here. They got the most athletic player in the draft in Joey Graham, a player who is going to bring some much needed toughness and attitude, along with picking up what, on paper, looks like the steal of the draft in Roko Leni-Ukic at #41. Ukic is the kind of guy who has the potential to make every single GM that passed on him look like an absolute fool. That is…if he ever comes to the NBA. Ukic is supposedly about to sign a mammoth contract ($750,000 per year net) with Barcelona, with a huge NBA buyout included. It will take well over a million dollars a year from the Raptors to be able to bring him over.

The jury is still out on Uros Slokar. Sometimes he looks like a much slower version of Nowitzki (or maybe a poor man’s Matt Bonner?), and sometimes he looks soft and timid even by European standards. Either way, he’s probably not an NBA player.

The sad thing is, the Raptors are trying every trick in the book to try and justify their moves to their huge fan base. They say that Danny Granger has a knee problem, but according to his agent and other NBA teams we spoke to drafting right around them, he is “as healthy as can be”. The Raptors say that Gerald Green was never interested in coming to them, but according to his agent Andy Vye “we never got the feeling that they were seriously interested”.

Update: We've been notified that while Barcelona is still definitely in the picture and did indeed offer him a monster contract, Roko will most likely sign a three year guaranteed contract for first round money, once that is allowed to be announced. Considering that contracts in Europe are sums AFTER taxes and usually including a car and an apartment, $750,000 in Europe is equivalent to about 1.2 or 1.3 million dollars in Toronto. If you factor in the $350,000 will be contributing to his buyout, Ukic will be receiving comparable money from the Raptors over the next three seasons. Ukic will be participating in both Summer Leagues for the Raptors in Minnesota and Los Angeles. Despite the information we got from NBA teams, sources close to Ukic insist that he never had a promise from the Raptors at the #16 spot.

#8: New York Knicks: C

Channing Frye, C, Arizona (#8)
Nate Robinson, PG, Washington (#21)
David Lee, PF, Florida (#30)

While Channing Frye will probably never live up to the spot in which he was drafted, it’s hard to come up with a better player that they could have taken at this spot considering their roster and who was left on the board. Isiah later told people close to him that had Channing Frye been taken by the Raptors like most NBA executives expected, he would have opted for Andrew Bynum with the pick. Only time will tell if he should have indeed hoped for that to happen. Nate Robinson at #21 was a bit of a reach, but from what we are hearing he would not have slipped past the Heat at #29 had he gotten that far. Robinson can play in this league, though, and NY fans are going to love him. Isiah Thomas was obviously trying to take the most athletic players he could get where he was drafting, and David Lee is another player that fits into that mold. The Knicks had three first round picks in probably the deepest draft of all time to work with, but don’t really appear to have gotten that much better unfortunately.

#9: Golden State: B

Ike Diogu, PF, Arizona State (#9)
Monta Ellis, PG, Lainier HS (#40)
Chris Taft, PF, Pitt (#42)

Although he probably won’t be an allstar, Diogu is an excellent pick for the Warriors for where they were drafting. He will bring them a lot of things that they are sorely missing right now, including scoring inside the post, toughness, work ethic, rebounding and a high character. We’ve been telling you for months and months about how underrated Diogu is, and the truth finally came out on draft night. Diogu was promised by the Warriors that he would not slip past them after he worked out for them a few days before the draft (DraftExpress were the only ones to report about this workout), but only if Channing Frye was not on the board. He was there, and unlike a few other promises we heard about, this one was actually kept. In the 2nd round the Warriors took Monta Ellis, a player who was ridiculously overhyped by most scouting services all year, but was destined for the 2nd round since the day he declared because of his attitude and lack of PG skills. Ellis reportedly refused to work out for a couple of teams drafting in the late first round, citing that he had a promise already from another team. He then allegedly came in hung over to the combines at the pre-draft camp and narrowly edged out Luke Schenscher to save himself from ending up as the worst athlete in Chicago. At the end of the day he saw his stock fall to the mid 2nd round, where the Warriors got great value for a guy they can stash in the D-League for the next year or two until he’s maybe ready to back up Baron Davis or take his game to Europe. Chris Taft is a guy who was projected as a lottery pick for most of the year, but absolutely killed his stock with his poor work ethic and by coming in out of shape and working out poorly for every single NBA team we spoke with. Maybe he’ll come in with some type of chip on his shoulder next season, but that’s pretty doubtful unless the NBDL can somehow wake him up from his coma.

#10: LA Lakers: Incomplete

Andrew Bynum, C, St. Joseph High School (#10)
Ronny Turiaf, PF, Gonzaga (#37)
Von Wafer, SG, Florida State (#39)

In possibly the most interesting story from the NBA draft, the Lakers shocked almost everyone (except us) by taking the 17 year old high school beast Andrew Bynum. Bynum worked out for both the Blazers and Lakers twice, with one secret workout which was never reported to go around for each team, and received a promise that he would “not slip past the tenth pick”. According to sources, Bynum was in the mix for the Portland pick at #6, but John Nash was reportedly afraid of being criticized for taking the high school kid that early. Regardless, Bynum was the coolest and most confident 17 year old in the world while sitting amongst the crowd at Madison Square Garden waiting to show the NBA why he should have been invited to the Green Room. The most ridiculous part about this is that he was allegedly told by the NBA that he could not be among the 29 players invited to Chicago for physicals and measurements unless he came to play at the actual pre-draft camp. The fact that he did not do physicals lead to a rash of filthy rumors, some of which were published on ESPN, regarding knee problems that Bynum is suffering from. The “official word” that was being spread, possibly by an NBA team hoping to see Bynum slip to the their pick, was that he has cartilage that needs to be removed in his knee and that he will already require knee surgery at his young age immediately after being drafted. Another rumor was that Bynum refused to do any physicals for NBA teams, hoping that he could hide his condition from them.

With the #37 pick, the Lakers got was looks to be a terrific pick in Ronny Turiaf. Turiaf was viewed as a first round pick throughout most of his college career, but measuring out small and some questions about a problem that allegedly came up in physicals hurt his stock to the point that he was drafted in the 2nd round. If he’s healthy, he will give the Lakers some much needed toughness and defense in their frontcourt, along with another hard working, high character type that the fans will love a la Mark Madsen.

With the #39 pick, the Lakers went with Florida State sophomore Von Wafer, a player who has bounced around teams for most of his basketball career and has always plagued by questions about his character and ability to fit within a team system. Wafer has some serious talent, but was shown the door and not invited back by a Florida State team that went through an extremely difficult season, particularly in the lockerroom where Wafer was reportedly a huge disruptance.

All three of these picks have serious question marks, which makes it impossible to grade at this point in time.

#11: Orlando: D

Fran Vazquez, PF, Spain (#11)
Travis Diener, PG, Marquette (#38)
Marcin Gortat, C, Poland (#57)

The Magic surprised almost everyone by taking Fran Vazquez, a player who’s stock had taken a hit because of the fact that he only did two workouts in New York before the draft for any interested NBA team. According to those in the gym, those workouts went fairly poorly. What is more surprising about this pick is the fact that the Magic had some serious holes to fill on the wing, and despite having some fantastic players to choose from including Danny Granger, Gerald Green, Joey Graham and Antoine Wright, they decided to pick a player who doesn’t fill a need was the best player available on the board. In the 2nd round, they took Travis Diener, a terrific college player who brings them some of the perimeter shooting they are sorely lacking, but will be stuck behind Jameer Nelson and Steve Francis for the time being. In the late 2nd round they acquired Marcin Gortat, an extremely raw big man who will most likely never see an NBA floor and was discarded by the Phoenix Suns for over 500,000$. Multiple teams wanted to buy a pick in the late 2nd to acquire a player they coveted, but were turned off by the ridiculously high prices that teams were asking for this late in the draft.

#12: LA Clippers: D

Yaroslav Korolev, SF, Russia (#12)
Daniel Ewing, PG/SG, Duke (#32)

The Clippers showed everyone in this draft why they are the LA Clippers, immediately reserving a spot once again for a favorable place in next year’s lottery. They made a promise way too early to Yaroslav Korolev and paid dearly for that by seeing much better players who fill an immediate need for them go right by them and having nothing they could do to stop it from happening. To add insult to error, they also let the entire world and their mother know who they made a promise to, reminding us again why they’ve become the laughing stock of the NBA over the past 20 years. Now they’ll also have to hope that Korolev can somehow find a way to get out of his contract with CSKA.

In the early 2nd round, the Clippers decided to once again take a chance on a SG that they hope they can convert to a PG in Daniel Ewing. Last year it was Lionel Chalmers in almost the same spot. Ewing is a fairly good athlete and can really shoot the ball, but only time will tell whether they made a mistake considering the type of players they left on the board. They could have gotten a similarly skilled prospect here in Ersan Ilyasova, and taken an outstanding shooter to help them make a move on the playoffs right now at #12 in Granger, Green or Antoine Wright. That would have been much too logical for them.

#14: Minnesota: D

Rashad McCants, SG, North Carolina (#14)
Bracey Wright, SG, Indiana (#47)

The Timberwolves finally got rid of one headcase in Latrell Sprewell and immediately decided to make to lock up another one by taking Rashad McCants at #14. McCants will get a chance to come in and prove the doubters wrong right away in Minnesota, and will probably be expected to contribute serious minutes to their team right off the bat. In the 2nd round the T’Wolves decided to take yet another undersized 2 guard in Bracey Wright, a player with no real strengths that they certainly could have picked up in free agency had they really liked him that much.

#15: New Jersey: A+

Antoine Wright, SG, Texas A&M (#15)
Mile Ilic, C, Yugoslavia (#43)

The Nets were targeting Antoine Wright all along in this draft, and were counting their lucky stars when they saw that he finally fell out of the lottery. Wright will immediately be considered their best shooter and one of their best defenders on the team right off the bat, and should contribute immediately playing alongside Kidd, Carter and Jefferson, as New Jersey is a team that is severely lacking in depth. In the 2nd round, the Nets were shocked to see Mile Ilic there and did not hesitate even one bit to snatch up a player that they fill compares favorably to another European on their roster, Nenad Krstic. Ilic has two more years left on his contact and will play at least one more season in Europe before coming over next year as his buyout should be easy enough to handle.

#17: Indiana Pacers: A+

Danny Granger, SF, New Mexico (#17)
Erazem Lorbek, PF, Slovenia (#46)

The rich get richer is probably the only way to describe the way this crazy draft started playing out from here, and this pick is definitely no exception. There is no way to explain the way that Granger fell to them, beyond the fact that a few teams believed each other’s smokescreens about him having problems with his knee in the confusion that ensued after Villanueva shockingly went seventh. Granger only missed three games in his entire college career, and according a team drafting ahead of the Pacers, he had no red flags from their medical staff. Granger is in an outstanding situation as he won’t have to play for a struggling lottery team that will ask him to carry the scoring load, and instead will allow him to focus on utilizing his terrific all around game to make his team and those around him better. According to his agent Mark Bartelstein: “I have no idea why Danny Granger fell to 17, but frankly we don’t really care. Everything happens for a reason and Danny is absolutely thrilled to be in the spot that he is in right now. He’s in a great situation playing for an outstanding organization that he can help right away. Strange things happen in the draft every single year. Danny is as healthy as can be.”

In the 2nd round, the Pacers selected one of the most polished and experienced players in the draft in Erazem Lorbek, who is fresh off winning an Italian league championship with Climamio Bologna. Lorbek will most likely stay over in Europe for at least a year or two, but could be a really nice player for them to bring off the bench thanks to his polished offensive game once he does make it over.

#18: Boston Celtics: A+

Gerald Green, SG, Gulf Shores Academy (#18)
Ryan Gomes, SF, Providence (#50)
Orien Greene, PG, Lafayette (#53)

Some of the worst teams in the East just made sure that they will be much worse than the Boston Celtics for years to come. The Celtics somehow got Gerald Green to fall right into their laps at 18, and will now use their experience in developing high school talent to mold him into a star player with a chip on his shoulder to go and punish those that passed on him night in and night out. Green really couldn’t have found himself in a better situation, he’ll be playing for a young, but successful organization with a clear direction and vision, and a stable front office. If that wasn’t enough, the Celtics may have made two of the best picks in the 2nd round as well, nabbing one college superstar in Ryan Gomes who is smart, fundamentally sound and really knows how to play the game; and another stud with a huge upside in the athletic 6-5 pure PG and shut down defender Orien Greene. Greene was never even mentioned as a draft prospect by anyone outside of DraftExpress, but will still almost certainly make the roster and has a great chance of being a steal for the Celtics in the 2nd round.

#19: Memphis Grizzlies: B

Hakim Warrick, PF, Syracuse (#19)
Lawrence Roberts, PF, Mississippi St. (#55)

Warrick could be a steal at this part of the 1st round. He is exactly the type of player that Jerry West loves as he’s extremely athletic, long and had an outstanding college career. Warrick will most likely come off the bench to play both forward positions this year while creating some mismatch problems and wreaking havoc on both ends of the floor. He fell into a great situation and could make a lot of teams looking stupid if he continues to work on his game.

#20: Denver Nuggets: C

Julius Hodge, SG, NC State (#20)
Linas Kleiza, SF, Missouri (#27)
Ricky Sanchez, SF, IMG Academy (#35)
Axel Hervelle, PF, Spain (#52)

The jury is definitely still out on what type of pro Hodge ends up becoming. He could flourish in their up-tempo system and he could also see a lot of pine if the Nuggets manage to sign a big time free agent shooting guard in free agency like Cuttino Mobley. The Nuggets surprised some, but not us, by taking Linas Kleiza at the end of the 1st round. Kleiza had a number of outstanding workouts and had a lot of teams coveting him because of his toughness and offensive skills. The Missouri-Denver connection is well known so this was definitely something that we were aware that could happen. He still needs to show that he is not a tweener by improving his perimeter game and showing that he is a better athlete than people give him credit for. In the 2nd round, the Nuggets took a flier on the 17 year old Ricky Sanchez from Puerto Rico. Sanchez had to go through the courts to even get his name on the final early entry list, as his parents decided to fax in their permission to have him in the draft, with his signature, after the deadline had already passed. His agent Dan Fegan conducted a number of private workouts over the last week of the draft and Sanchez luckily found someone to take him and hopefully develop him either overseas or in the D league. He is an extremely skilled and athletic 6-11 small forward who has always been knocked for having very little passion for the game and a poor work ethic. At #52, the Nuggets took a guy who, baring incredible improvement over the next few years, probably never makes their roster in Axel Hervelle.

#23: Sacramento: A

Francisco Garcia, SG, Louisville (#23)

With their only pick in the draft the Kings got a player who probably should have went much higher in Francisco Garcia. They also filled a need as they will most likely lose Cuttino Mobley and possibly Maurice Evans to free agency. Garcia fits into Sacramento’s system like a glove and has a chance to get playing time already as a rookie if he can find a way to add some strength to his frame. The fact that he can really shoot and handle the ball will make him a terrific compliment to the Kings’ offense. Garcia and last year’s rookie Kevin Martin could make a very dangerous duo for the future.

#24: Houston: A

Luther Head, PG, Illinois (#24)

Luther Head and the Rockets are really a great fit here in the late first round. Head brings them defense, athleticism and outside shooting, three things Jeff Van Gundy is really looking for on the perimeter. If Head can improve his ball-handling enough to be able to bring the ball up the court effectively for the Rockets, he could see a lot of playing time depending on how free agency works out for them.

#25: Seattle: A

Johan Petro, C, France (#25)
Mickael Gelabale, SF, France (#48)

The Sonics stole two outstanding French prospects in the late 1st and mid 2nd round. Both are athletic players with international experience who could have a role playing for the Sonics in the not too distant future. Petro will most likely be coming over to Seattle right away and will be brought along slowly as he learns the ropes. He has a huge upside at the tender age of 19 with the size and body to be a factor in Seattle’s plans in the next few years after seeing some seasoning in the developmental league. Gelabale will probably stay in Europe for at least another year or two, but has the potential to at least be a rotation player thanks to his defense and athletic ability. The Sonics are rumored to be dissatisfied with the progress of their lottery pick from last year, Robert Swift, and should be glad to motivate him with some competition for backup minutes at the 5 spot. With the #55 pick, the Sonics picked up a whopping $700,000 by selling Lawrence Roberts to Memphis.

#26: Detroit: C+

Jason Maxiell, PF, Cincinnati (#26)
Amir Johnson, PF, Westchester HS (#56)
Alex Acker, G, Pepperdine (#60)

The Pistons fell in love with Maxiell’s toughness and athletic ability over the course of the Portsmouth Invitational tournament and the beginning of the Chicago pre-draft camp. He is severely undersized at 6-6, but will bring them energy off the bench and maybe even remind Detroit fans of Ben Wallace in some ways. He is certainly a Larry Brown type player. Amir Johnson is an upside pick that will test the effectiveness of the NBDL’s ability to develop players, as opposed to the NCAA where he should have been enrolled right now. Alex Acker is a talented player, but really got exposed in Chicago. You could do worse with the #56 and #60 picks I suppose.

#28: San Antonio Spurs: C

Ian Mahinmi, PF, France (#28)

The Spurs reached for a guy who most likely would have been there for them in the middle of the 2nd round if they would have managed to trade down. As someone who has seen Mahinmi play on tape on a number of occasions, it’s hard not to notice how far away he is from contributing anytime soon. The Spurs have no immediate needs on their roster and can certainly afford to wait a couple of years, so knowing them, they might just bring him over in two years and mold him into a player when it’s all said and done.

#29: Miami Heat: A

Wayne Simien, PF, Kansas (#29)

Simien has been one of the most productive players in college over the past four years and surprised a lot of people by measuring out at a legit 6-9 everywhere he went. The reason why he fell besides his average athletic ability is the fact that he was red flagged by a number of teams picking in the top 20 as he is missing some cartilage in his knee and there is no guarantee that he’ll be able to stay healthy. One NBA scout went as far as to say that “Simien has the knees of a 35 year old man, we certainly would have considered him much earlier in the first round, but we got vetoed by the medical staff.”

The Heat never got a chance to work him out and therefore never got to have him looked over by their medical staff, but Simien should be fine considering that he’ll most likely be backing up Udonis Haslem next year and will not be expected to contribute more than 10-15 minutes per game at most. He should be a perfect fit in Miami’s offense next to Shaq as he has outstanding hands and can really pass and hit the mid-range jumper. If he stays healthy over the next few years, we’re talking about one of the biggest steals of the first round. Considering that rookie contracts are only guaranteed for a minimum of two years now, there is very little risk involved here considering where Miami is drafting.

#44: Cleveland Cavaliers: C

Martynas Andriuskevicius, C, Zalgiris (#44)

Martynas Andriuskevicius was hyped to death by certain scouting services over the past two years and really fell on his face on draft night. He really symbolizes the end of an era as far as European draft prospects are concerned as a stern message has been sent: Unless your agent can get you a promise from the Clippers, stay in Europe until you are ready to contribute something to an NBA team. Those that actually saw Andriuskevicius play knew the truth: he had bust written all over his forehead. The Cavs didn’t risk too much by giving up a 2006 2nd rounder and cash for his services, but they also shouldn’t expect to see anything out of him anytime soon.

#45: Philadelphia 76ers: B

Louis Williams, PG/SG, South Gwinnett HS (#45)

The Sixers plan to take full advantage of the newly established developmental league for NBA draft picks by sending down of the most athletic guards in the draft in Louis Williams to gain some seasoning and experience playing the PG position. Williams was clearly forcing the issue all year long by insisting on staying in the draft. Now he will have to work his tail off the salvage what looked to be a promising NBA career. He has a great attitude and a huge upside to improve, but this is exactly what the NCAA is out there for. Yet another great reminder about why David Stern decided to implement the age limit. Guys like CJ Miles, Louis Williams, Monta Ellis and Amir Johnson could have only hoped it was in place last year already.

#49: Washington Wizards: B

Andray Blatche, PF, South Kent Prep (#49)

With only one pick, the Wizards certainly made the most of this draft by picking up a player with first round talent and upside at #49 in this draft. It's an unfortunate situation for Andray Blatche, who allegedly had to cancel some workouts with NBA teams drafting outside the top 15 because he was "going in the lottery."

#54: Phoenix Suns: B

Dijon Thompson, SF, UCLA (#54)

The Suns had one draft pick in the late 2nd round which they used on a smooth and productive 6-8 shooting guard that fits their system pretty well in Dijon Thompson. They also managed to make some money off the Orlando Magic in the process by dealing their original #57 pick.

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