Team Needs: Atlantic Division

Team Needs: Atlantic Division
May 23, 2005, 02:37 am
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Toronto Raptors

David Randell

Draft Picks: 1st Round: 7th pick (before lotto), 16th pick. 2nd Round: 8th (38th overall, but may be swapped for #41 or completely relinquished), 29th (58th overall)

Background: It has been another turbulent season for the Toronto Raptors organization, which to the city of Toronto means essentially the norm. It seems like ever since VC missed the game winner in Philly to head to the Eastern Conference Finals the team finds itself in turmoil over and over again. Highlights of the season include (I) the emergence of Chris Bosh as an up and coming star in the NBA, (II) the re-birth of Morris Peterson and (III) good return on recent 2nd round picks including Matt "The Red Rocket" Bonner, and Pape "Spiderman" Sow. Ironically the first two events can be directly tied into the biggest news of the season, the exodus of Vince Carter to the swamp. There is great debate within and outside of the franchise as to whether the Vince Carter trade was in the best interests of the organization, but, even if one does not consider this a low-light, there have been plenty this year including; (I) the development (or lack thereof) of Rafael Araujo, (II) Alonzo Mourning's buy-out, (III) Eric and Aaron Williams desires to be traded, (IV) Sam Mitchell vs. Rafer Alston and Loren Woods in Boston, (V) Rafer's tirade as to his fit with the Raptors and possible desire to retire, and finally (VI) the teams lackluster performance in Vince Carter's return.

With the rare exception, the team (1-12) is essentially made up of spare parts that do not work together as a cohesive unit and that does not make for a smooth running operation. The results have been mixed with a decent home record, bad road record, above average offence and lackluster defense. On most nights the Raptors are out-rebounded due to lack of front court depth and at the same time perimeter defense has been an Achilles heel. Ill advised shots have proved detrimental on more than one occasion and the results of the season are reflected in the ever growing baldness of new inexperienced, yet hungry coach Sam Mitchell.

Team Needs: Over the past 24 months teams in the East have either made significant acquisitions, sometimes with mixed results, (Shaq with the Heat, C-Webb with Philly, Antoine Walker to Boston and Vince Carter to NJ) or have stockpiled youth (Atlanta, Chicago, Celtics). The Raptors unfortunately under the "new" regime of Rob Babcock, and now Wayne Embry (new Assistant to the President Richard Pettie) have not had a true opportunity to do either. This years draft will be a huge measuring stick for this group of individuals and they absolutely must address some of the teams many needs.

Outside of the PF position, firmly held down by Chris Bosh, this team could use an upgrade at all positions either from lack of skill, depth, or in some cases youth. Unfortunately, both major acquisitions made by Babcock in his first year as Raptors GM have backfired in some way. Rafer Alston has proven to be a solid NBA player, however no matter how much he eats, sleeps and breathes basketball he lacks some of the true characteristics necessary to be a truly successful NBA point guard. Rafael Araujo was drafted because he was NBA ready. This "readiness" has not materialized or been noticed on any occasion. Essentially the team needs guys that are both young and can contribute right away. Unfortunately these types of players are harder and harder to find unless you are in the top 5 of the draft.

PG and C, the two most important positions for almost all franchises, continues to be the needs of the Raptors. The franchise has never really had a "true" center and PG's have gone through the Air Canada's Centre's turnstiles quicker than the fans. A tough inside presence to take the load off of Chris Bosh night in and night out and a true floor general are the most glaring weaknesses on a team that is full of holes.

Draft Strategy: The Raptors draft history has truly been a story of feast or famine. (Vince Carter, Bosh, vs. Bradley and Radojovic) Unfortunately the history of Babcock as GM has been brief and to date can only be given a D grade. The theory in last years draft was to get the most ready and able bodied player available at the 8th spot. Unfortunately the need to help Chris Bosh outweighed the need to simply get a "player" as shown by the teams decision not to draft Andre Iguodala even though Vince and others made it clear that he would have been the best choice. Babcock showed that he did not however want to have assets across the pond as he traded the Raptors second round pick Miralles for Pape Sow.

The strategy now essentially has to be one of getting the best value. Surprisingly, the second first round pick may be more important for Babcock then the first as it was former that was obtained from the Vince deal. Unfortunately the franchise does not have the time or collection of assets to draft players that need a great deal of time to develop, essentially removing most foreign players and high-schoolers from any Raptors draft plan.

Personal Analysis: Where to begin? This team needs an influx of talent, not just through the draft but through free-agency dollars (limited in this case) and further trades. The team lacks an identity. To too many players playing in Canada remains an un-appealing option, be it due to factual reality (poor management) or fictional stereotypes (lack of soul-food) as many players are unaware that Toronto is the third biggest media centre in North America and is the most multi-cultural city in the world. The franchise has to reach out to the fans that still come out in droves to watch a flawed product. As discussed on numerous occasions in the press and elsewhere, perhaps the best thing to do is make a serious pitch for Toronto born Jamal Magloire. Not only would this add toughness and a presence in the middle, it would give the franchise new life. Eric Williams wants out, has earned his stripes, and this request should be met perhaps by including him in a deal with New Orleans. The draft does have players that can contribute, but the current draft position of the Raptors is going to make it difficult. The best case scenario for this franchise is to somehow manage to pick Deron Williams and later on Danny Granger. Williams will likely not be there at 8 so lottery balls must fall a certain way. Second round picks should be used wisely, aka Julius Hodge.

Other Considerations: The most disturbing part of the situation in Toronto is who owns Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment ("MLSE"). The Ontario Teachers Pension Fund is the majority owner of MLSE and the effects are obvious. The first is that the Fund is essentially only concerned with the bottom line and not actually winning a championship. It is not a stretch to realize if the Raptors were owned by an individual(s) like the Maloofs or Mark Cuban this would be a different franchise. The fan base in Toronto is extremely supportive, unfortunately the fans are not feeling the same support from the franchise in the form of a strong product.

Philadelphia 76ers

Prerak Shah

Draft Picks: The Sixers currently have no draft picks in the 2005 NBA Draft. Their first round pick belongs to the Toronto Raptors (originally sent to Denver for Kenny Thomas) and their second round draft pick is expected to be conveyed to the Detroit Pistons (from the Jerry Stackhouse/Theo Ratliff trade). However, Sixers General Manager Billy King has stated that they will not hesitate to at least acquire a second round draft pick if they see a player they like (keep in mind, the Sixers have picked up rotation players such as Kyle Korver and Willie Green in past second rounds, both of which picks were either bought or traded for).

Background: Every single Sixers fan has a different reaction to their past season. Some focus on the positives: Allen Iverson's fabulous individual year at the point guard position, Andre Iguodala's amazing play as a rookie, Kyle Korver's emergence as an NBA sharpshooter, the playoff emergence of Samuel Dalembert, and the trade finally bringing Iverson a low post star: Chris Webber. Optimistic fans can look to the future and imagine a team in which Iverson is an MVP candidate, Iguodala, Korver, and Dalembert reach their potential to become NBA standouts, and Chris Webber becomes the true second star that all Sixers fans have dreamed of.

Or you can focus on the negatives: despite Iverson's performance the Sixers often fell short of victory, the fact the Sixers are forced to start Kyle Korver (who, as talented as he is, would be much better off the bench), Samuel Dalembert's poor play before his late emergence (in a contract year mind you), and the fact that Chris Webber may not be the Chris Webber of year's past. Pessimists look to the future and see a team full of aging stars (Iverson and Webber), large contracts (Iverson and Webber), no bench, and quite a few important free agents (Kyle Korver, Samuel Dalembert, and Willie Green).

Side note: You'll notice that no one can find fault in Iguodala, he really was the only clear-cut positive of the Sixers season. No one should dispute this.

And of course, I won't even touch upon the controversy that coach Jim O'Brien has created with his coaching philosophies (and even more importantly: his rotations). Such a debate can rage for pages (and has raged for pages on many a Sixers message board). All you need to know is that the city and the fans are sharply divided on O'Brien's future with the Sixers with more fans currently in the Fire Him! camp.

Team Needs: The Sixers expect to enter the 2005-2006 season with 4 starting spots locked up: Allen Iverson, Andre Iguodala, Chris Webber, and Samuel Dalembert. Aside from those four, Kyle Korver is also expected to have a prominent spot in the rotation, although it is not certain whether he will be a starter or not. This leaves a lot of holes to be plugged in, including one in the starting lineup. The position required is also uncertain: it is easy to see that the Sixers would like a starter calibre shooting guard or small forward (Andre Iguodala can play either position), but Billy King recently shocked Sixers fans by suggesting they may even be looking for a point guard to move Allen Iverson back to the shooting guard position after just one (successful) year at point. Whether he is sincere or not about this possibility is uncertain.

Aside from the starting lineup (which the Sixers do not plan to address in the draft given their pick situation, but rather in free agency), the rest of the rotation also requires filling out. Aaron Mckie is the only backcourt bench player coach Jim O'Brien has shown to be comfortable giving big minutes, and he is beginning to age rapidly. Unproven players such as John Salmons and Willie Green also lurk back there, but Jim O'Brien has not shown the desire to put either player on the court often. Therefore, more depth in the backcourt (especially another point guard) would be an itch the Sixers would like to scratch.

In the frontcourt, the Sixers may not be in as much trouble, but more depth is certainly needed. Samuel Dalembert is expected to remain a Sixer, and to lock up the starting center spot. The power forward position, of course, belongs to Chris Webber. After those two, Marc Jackson is the first player off the bench. Jackson had a solid season and is expected to remain a key big man. After him well, there is no one really.

Overall, the Sixers need help in a great many places. Sadly, the draft probably won't be the place for them to find enough help.

GM's draft strategy: Billy King really has no predilections in terms of the NBA Draft. In the past 4 years, the Sixers have come out of the NBA draft with a vast array of players types:

A lottery talent, your standard exceptional underclassman who is heaped in potential, yet also has the capacity to show an early return: Andre Iguodala. An experienced and well honoured (2nd team All-American) college player who led his team to four consecutive NCAA tournaments but was viewed to have very little NBA potential: Kyle Korver. An unknown college senior who was the leader of a generally unheard of school: Willie Green. An inexperienced college sophomore who peaked at 21mpg in his final year in college, and never averaged more than 9ppg or 6rpg: Samuel Dalembert.

That lists includes one PG/SG, one SG/SF, one SF, and one C. Complete variation. The only thing that the Sixers have not done recently is pick a high school player or an international player. However, they have never shown any signs that they would not do so if the situation was right; they merely have not had the opportunity to make such a selection (note: the Sixers did trade picks for the rights to international player Efthimios Rentzias in a past draft Rentz has returned to Europe after lackluster play in the US).

Personal analysis: Simply put, I do not expect the Sixers to make a move on draft night. It seems unlikely that they will find another second round pick that garners major interest from our staff. However, I must concede that such a situation is possible. Therefore, it will be very important to keep an eye on the Sixers workouts, just to see who is garnering their interest.

New York Knicks

Raymond Borgone

Draft Picks: The Knicks this year will have 3 draft picks--one in the mid lottery (their own) one at very the bottom of the first round (Phoenix's by way of Philadelphia), and one in the bottom half of the second round (Houston's from the Jeff Van Gundy deal).

Background: The Knicks had another disappointing season. Fans had high hopes that with Stephon Marbury in the fold for an entire year, the Knicks would return to prominence. However, the ailing Allen Houston never made it back to the court, Lenny Wilkens resigned as head coach, and Herb Williams did not have much more success than his predecessor. The Knicks struggled all year long, fell out of the playoff race shortly after New Year's, and had one of their most disappointing seasons in
recent memory.

Team Needs: The Knicks do have some talented players, but the one position where they have the most glaring need is center. Ever since Patrick Ewing left, the Knicks have struggled to find a capable big man in the middle. Marcus Camby was traded away after a number of injury-plagued seasons. "True" centers like Luc Longley, Felton Spencer, Travis Knight, and Michael Doleac proved unable to do the job. After trading away Nazr Mohammed at the trading deadline, the Knicks have been forced to play a number of PF's, most notably 6'9 Kurt Thomas, out of position at the Center spot. The Knicks rotation at the 4 and 5 positions includes Thomas, Mike Sweetney, Maurice Taylor, and Malik Rose, none of whom tops the 6'9 mark. The Knicks desperately need some size in the middle, ideally someone who can block shots and run the floor.

Additionally, the Knicks can use an outside shooter on the wing to replace Allen Houston. Though Jamal Crawford has had some highlight reel plays this year, his defense has ranged from poor to terrible, and his shot selection has not been the greatest either. He and Stephon are both scorers, rather than distributors, and thus common belief is that Crawford would be best suited as a combo guard off the bench. The Knicks could use a SG with a nice outside touch capable of playing tough defense to compliment Marbury at the point.

Isiah's Strategy: In his one and only draft with the Knicks, Isiah Thomas only had one pick, a mid-second rounder. He used it to take athletic swingman from UCLA Trevor Ariza. At only 19 years old, Ariza is now viewed as a second round steal, and a potential starter for the Knicks for years to come. Isiah is certainly not going to reach for a player based on position. He's proven to have a keen scouting eye, and will not pass on a great talent, even if we already have a star at that position.

Personal Analysis: The Knicks will use at least one of their 3 draft picks on a big man. They'll also most likely use one on a young wing player to compliment Ariza. Unless a superstar falls into their lap, the Knicks will avoid taking a Point Guard or a Power Forward, as they're stocked at those positions with Marbury and Crawford at the 1 and a glut at the 4 headed by Sweetney, who still has a good amount of potential. With their lotto pick, the Knicks will of course take the best available player, but if talent level is close, they'll pick a big man. This could mean Bronx native Chris Taft of Pittsburgh. Taft is big enough to play center and athletic enough to fit with Marbury's push-the-tempo style. The knock on Taft is that he was not extremely
productive in college, so it's difficult to see him being dominant at the NBA level. Other big men that may be considered and available include Tiago Splitter, Martynas Andriuskevicius, and Nemanja Aleksandrov. Isiah would also likely love it if High School phenom Gerald Green fell into his lap. Green would fit right in as an athletic wing, and would pair with Ariza to form one of the most athletic groups of wings in the league, with arguably the most potential. If Green is on the board, don't expect Isiah to pass on him.

In the late first round, the Knicks would love it if a big man falls into their laps. Centers like Johan Petro and Channing Frye are currently projected in the second half of the first round, but the Knicks would be ecstatic if one of them fell to their late pick. If not, they'll give a hard look to High School big man Andray Blatche. Ronny Turiaf is also a consideration. And again, if a great talent falls into their laps, someone like North Carolina's Rashad McCants or Louisville's Francisco Garcia, the Knicks will be hard-pressed to pass on him.

With their final pick, like most second round picks, the Knicks will try to take the best available player regardless of position, and hope the player develops into a contributor. This may include Julius Hodge of NC State, David Lee of Florida, or Jason Maxiell of Cincinatti.

Other Considerations: With the Knicks, there are always a number of "other considerations." First and foremost is the "We cant rebuild in New York" theory. Since it's more interesting to stand still in the middle of Time Square than it is to watch a poor Knicks team, most agree that true rebuilding is not a possibility for the Knickerbockers. This may lead to owner Larry Dolan pushing for a more NBA ready player, someone with a few years of NCAA experience, over a high schooler or a young international player. There are also a number of local players in the draft, including Taft, Hodge, and a number of players from local/Big East Schools like Charlie Villanueva and Hakim Warrick. After failed attempts by former GM Scott Layden to go international (Frederick Weiss and Milos Vujanic) many within the Knicks organization may feel apprehensive about taking a European player. Finally, we must consider that the Knicks are an organization without a lot of direction. They have a mix of young players (Sweetney, Ariza) and veterans (Thomas, Rose, Anfernee Hardaway). Are they trying to build for the future, or win today? As mentioned, true rebuilding isn't an option, but a big question is, "What do the Knicks need to do?" Most agree that they have talented players, but for some reason it hasn't all come together. Herb Williams may or may not be given a chance to become permanent coach, and if he isn't and is replaced this offseason, that will definitely affect the direction the team goes in.

New Jersey Nets

Roy Schwartz

Draft Picks: #15, #43

Background: Despite the first round whipping administered to them courtesy of the Miami Heat, the New Jersey Nets are heading into the 2005 offseason confident of future success. Here's a team with a core, a real core, among the best in the league. Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, and Richard Jefferson, when healthy, are all all-star caliber and near the top of their respective positions. But the Nets have a long way to go before truly being championship contenders, namely because the team doesn't have much of a supporting cast.

Team Needs: Sure there's Nenad Krstic, who had a coming out party of sorts against a gimpy Shaquille O'Neal this April, but other than that, the Nets seem woefully bereft of talent. Jason Collins may be hardworking and smart, but he suffers from an acute condition called, in layman's terms, unable-to-finish-itis. Brian Scalabrine, long resigned to the novelty player role, floundered in the wake of impact minutes, not exactly scorching the Heat for a paltry 2 points per contest (on get this, 18% shooting). Clifford Robinson, the final Nets big worth noting, would be perfect for the team, if he wasn't close to 40 years old, allergic to rebounds, and demanding a new contract far in excess of his actual value. On the backup PG front, Jacques Vaughn is a journeyman bench player coming off a painful injury and Travis Best is, at best, a 5'11 small forward ordered to handle the ball. None can be relied on to hold the team together with Kidd watching from the bench. The Nets' auxiliary wings are even more pity inspiring; Rodney Buford is your classic failed Kobe impersonator, and Ron Mercer (The Mercenary) is still an overweight chucker with no three-point range. I haven't placed Zoran Planinic, the Nets 2003 first round draft choice, into any positional category because I honestly don't know where to put him. He is equally terrible at all positions (though to be fair he was showing promise until a nasty wrist injury in December). With all this in mind, it's clear that Rod Thorn and Ed Stefanski are going to be fairly busy this summer.

Their predicted laundry list:

1- An athletic PF who can defend and rebound. Some might point to the Nets' lack of an interior scoring presence, but Krstic is actually a fairly skilled player who does most of his damage in the paint. While he doesn't have the physical tools to be a dominant offensive center (think Shaq), he could very well provide them with an Ilgauskas level scoring punch down low, which ain't too shabby. Furthermore, a 1v1 player, such as Shareef Abdur Rahim, would limit the touches of the Nets' superior backcourt players. Watching the Nets play, one sees that they're in dire need of a Kenyon Martin replacement, a big who can finish above the rim and block shots. Krstic and Collins are not athletic freaks by any stretch.
2- A backup PG. The last serviceable one the Nets had was Sherman Douglass, and that was during the infamous Marbury-Keith Van Horn years. The Nets situation has been so dire that even the loss of the much-maligned Anthony Johnson turned out to be a grievous blow to the Nets championship chances. Since his departure, they haven't gotten further than the Eastern Conference Semis. A good backup will take pressure off an aging Kidd and allow him to be more rested during critical times, such as the playoffs.
3- A shooter. After seeing the way Damon and Eddie Jones have played for the Heat, it's pretty obvious that the Nets need a long-range stud to capitalize on the attention that will be drawn to their Big Three.

Draft History: In his first year as GM, Thorn traded Eddie Griffin for three Houston Rockets first rounders, choosing Richard Jefferson and Jason Collins, two grizzled college veterans, as well as a shooter, Brandon Armstrong (Thorn was reportedly torn between B.A. and Gilbert Arenas). Later, in the early second round, the Nets brought in Brian Scalabrine, and the rest, as they like to say, is history. Griffin has been in and out of the league, Jefferson averaged 23/7/4, Jason Collins withstood the silent fury of many a Nets fan to become the team's starting center, and Brian Scalabrine has proven himself to be a crippled man's Larry Bird.

2002 marked the coming of Nenad Krstic, a foreign name seemingly on the fast track to bustdom, like many before him. His selection came as a surprise to most Nets fans as well as draft pundits, but in truth the only reason he went so late was because teams like the Spurs and Kings, thinking he was their secret, concocted various facades to throw off would-be drafters. Krstic never even set foot in the US to workout for any teams. But Stefanski (then the director of scouting) saw potential in the skinny kid on a trip to Serbia, and the Nets decided to play along with the smokescreen game, pretending not know about their European target while exhaustively working out NCAA players like Juan Dixon and Casey Jacobsen. Krstic turned out to be a sleeper at number 24, and is now one of the best young centers in the league.

Next up was Zoran Planinic, The Great White Hope, a 6'7 point guard worthy of backing Jason Kidd up. Planinic is undoubtedly a player with potential, but most of it is sadly unrealized. He is completely unreliable and even worse, isn't really a point guard. Check that, Thorn made an even bigger blunder by trading a bubble second rounder by the name of Kyle Korver to the Sixers.

The last draft can't really be considered an indication of Thorn's scouting talent because management forced him to trade their first round pick, Viktor Khryapa, in an extremely lame cost cutting move. I'm not sure if the Blazers, who had agreed on the deal days earlier, asked the Nets to draft the Russian, but he has been a player in the league, no doubt, with his extremely long wingspan and versatility. Christian Drejer, who the Nets picked at #52 has had a rough year in the Euroleague but displays much more natural talent than the average late second rounder. No word on when, if ever, he decides to make his way to the NBA.

Personal Analysis: The Nets are going to be looking for a PF- that is the first item on their laundry list- but I don't think there is anyone in their range who fits the bill. Villanueva can't defend, Diogu and Warrick are too short, and May shares both these flaws. Others like Johan Petro, Andrew Bynum, and Andray Blatche are projects that the Nets simply don't have time to wait for. Personally, I'd like to see them trade up to someone like Chris Taft or take a long hard look at a PG like Jarrett Jack or a SF like Danny Granger (who could shift over to the 4 a la Shawn Marion). The second round is even more of a crapshoot, but again, don't count on Thorn taking a high schooler. For the Nets, the only thing certain right now is that their future is very much uncertain. They just have so many holes in their lineup and so many ways of fixing them that the possibilities boggle the mind. Cross out the players on the draft board who may not be ready for the NBA, but everyone else is fair game.

Boston Celtics

Jesse Mills

Draft Picks: The Celtics have three picks in the 2005 NBA Draft. They own the rights to Sacramento's 2nd round pick (#53) as part of the Darius Songalia
trade, plus their own two (#18, #50).

Background: The Celtics had a fairly successful 2004/2005 season. The season started filled with uncertainty with a new head coach and a team filled with new players. The Celtics started slow as their record was below .500 from November 23rd to February 9th. However their February 24th trade to re-acquire Antoine Walker from the Atlanta Hawks lit a fire underneath the Celtics as they won 11 of their next 12 games and assumed the lead in the Atlantic Division and the number 3 seed in the playoffs. Their season ended on a bad note however as the Celtics lost in 7 games to Larry Bird's Indiana Pacers. The series saw 4 Celtics ejected, including Antoine Walker (who was later suspended for game 4) and Paul Pierce. The poor play and bad attitudes in the series have resulted in Danny Ainge stating that during the off-season the Celtics will re-examine their "code of conduct" and create a set of guidelines stricter than those currently in place.

Team Needs: Center: Mark Blount has been a huge bust for the Celtics, as he played without intensity and passion throughout the season. Kendrick Perkins has emerged as a player who will become a very good center in the NBA with his defense, rebounding and physical presence in the post. Raef LaFrentz has the ability to play center but is more of a power forward with his ability to shoot than a true NBA center. Danny Ainge will likely look to improve their depth at the center position. Some players that he might look at are Chris Taft and Johan Petro among others.

Point Guard: The Celtics are very high on Delonte West's ability to play point guard in the NBA, and Marcus Banks has really come on late in the year with his pressure defense, however Gary Payton is a free agent at the end of the year and Ainge does not appear to be sold on Banks as the answer at the point down the road. Don't be surprised if Ainge picks a polished point guard in the draft. Francisco Garcia may intrigue Ainge because he has expressed an interest in bigger point guards and Garcia's ability to play some point along with his size make him a prime target for Ainge.

Over the past few years Danny Ainge has expressed his wish to bring in more athletic players at every position with the idea of returning the Celtics to the running team they were during their dynasty days. Ainge also has no problem drafting small players, choosing a 6'3" combo guard in Delonte West and 6'4" SG Tony Allen with the 24th and 25th picks respectively in the 2004 NBA Draft, as well as 6'7" PF Brandon Hunter
in the 2nd round of the 2003 NBA Draft.

When the NBA Draft rolls around on June 28th in New York, look for Danny Ainge to pick one of the most athletic players available. The Celtics have a strong foundation to build upon with Al Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins up front and Paul Pierce in the backcourt. Some players that Ainge might look closely at when his pick comes around will be Syracuse PF/SF Hakim Warrick who is one of the most athletic players in all of college basketball and Francisco Garcia, who at 6'7" has the ability to play multiple positions and is also a dead-eye shooter. Charlie Villanueva and Joey Graham are two other players whom Danny Ainge will look at closely as they are two of the more athletic players at their positions in this draft. Graham would be an interesting pick as he would be reunited with former Oklahoma St. guard Tony Allen, whom together helped lead Oklahoma St. to the NCAA Final Four in 2004.

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