The offseason in the NBA has just begun and weve already seen the most dominant player in the league and the reigning scoring champion both involved in trade talks. This should set the stage very nicely for tonights draft.
We told you to expect a lot of trade activity back in Version One, and theyve already begun. Last night the Dallas Mavericks and Washington Wizards brokered a deal that has Dallas sending 6th Man of the Year Antawn Jamison to the nations capitol for the #5 pick, Jerry Stackhouse and Christian Laettner. Not to be outdone, the Bulls snatched the 7th pick from the Phoenix Suns for the Bulls second round pick, a future number one and cash.
What does this mean in the big scheme of things? Three things: 1) Dallas now has more pieces to make an offer for Shaquille ONeal, 2) expect the Bulls to trade one of their picks, most likely #7 and 3) Gothamist had to start redoing their mock draft at about 11 PM last night after we thought we were all done.
So without further adieu, here is Version Two of the Gothamist 2004 NBA Mock Draft.
1) Orlando Magic Dwight Howard F/C
This could go either way really, but a hunch says the Magic are scared off by Okafors back problems and take the high schooler. Howard only measure 69 without shoes but doctors expect him to grow two more inches.
2). Charlotte Bobcats - Emeka Okafor F/C
Coach and GM Bernie Bickerstaff is delighted that Okafor falls to him here and will not hesitate to select Okafor. The Bobcats now have the face of their new franchise.
3) Chicago Bulls - Luol Deng SF
The Bulls need a small forward in the worst way and the versatile Deng fits the bill very nicely. He will do all the little things that the baby Bulls need to start looking towards the playoffs. Ben Gordon is also an option here.
4) LA Clippers - Shaun Livingston PG
The Clips traded down to get the man they wanted all along in Livingston. He's a few years away from contributing but not many teams can pass on a 6'7" point guard with court vision like this. It's not like the Clippers are getting to the playoffs any time soon.
5) Dallas Mavericks - Devin Harris PG
The question here is will this be the Mavs pick or part of a deal to bring Shaq to Big D, meaning the Mavs will be picking for the Lakers? Either way, Harris could be the guy here. If Steve Nash is involved in the trade, the Mavs get an able PG to replace him. If not, the Lakers have Gary Payton's new back up. Pavel Podkolzine is also a possibility here.
6) Atlanta Hawks - Andre Iguodala SG/SF
The Hawks were all set to select Josh Smith but with Iggy falling to them here, they can't pass him up. He's been compared to Scottie Pippen and the Hawks can definitely use his all around game. They only have four players under contract for next year.
7) Chicago Bulls - Luke Jackson SG
Don't get too attached to him Bulls fans. He'll likely be heading to Indiana in return for Al Harrington. Larry Bird is very high on Jackson and the Pacers need a replacement for Reggie Miller. The Bulls will also get Inidana's first round pick, #30.
8) Toronto Raptors - Ben Gordon PG/SG
The Raps decide that Andris Biedrens is too much like Chris Bosh and decide to get Vince Carter some help in the back court. Gordon will get plenty of PT next year and is Gothamist's early favorite for rookie of the year. He could have a Dwyane Wade type year.
9) Philadelphia 76ers - Al Jefferson PF
The Philly front line is very old and not very athletic so send in big Al J to the rescue. He averaged 42 points per game in high school. Al won't come close to that next year but he'll contribute.
10) Cleveland Cavaliers - Josh Childress SF
LeBron's new running mate will just be expected to fill in wherever necessary. His improved outside shooting will come in handy considering all the open shots he's likely to get. He and LBJ will be a nightmare for opposing back courts to match up with.
11) Golden State Warriors - Andris Biedrens PF
New GM Chris Mullin has scouted him heavily and really likes him. The Warriors figure to lose their two best centers to free agency this summer so are going to need some help down low. Biedrens is raw offensively, but can play D and rebound.
12) Seattle Supersonics - Rafael Araujo C
With local boy Jackson off the board, Seattle goes big and taps the BYU product. Seattle needs toughness in the worst way. Araujo is known for his mean streak and won't hesitate to mix it up.
13) Portland Trailblazers - Sebastian Telfair PG
Will Portland take him here or gamble that he'll be there when they pick again at 22. Rumors are floating around that he'll be gone by 20, so the Blazers bite the bullet and select Coney Island's finest early.
14) Utah Jazz - Sergei Monya SG/SF
Monya hasn't moved since Version One. Boston likes him but would have to move ahead of the Jazz to select him. A Boston/ Seattle trade isn't out of the question as the Sonics could still get Araujo at 15 and maybe pick up Boston's pick at 25.
15) Boston Celtics - Kris Humphries SF/PF
Every draft outlet in cyberspace is calling high schooler Robert Swift here, but Gothamist still thinks it will be Humphries. In the last two days, both GM Danny Ainge and new coach Doc Rivers have cited the teams need for a "big 3" to match up against opposing small forwards and let them create mismatches at the 2 with Paul Pierce. Aimge said early inthe draft process that Humphries was more of a 3 than a 4, so Humphries it is. The C's gamble that Swift will be there at 24.
16) Utah Jazz - Pavel Podkolzine C
At 7'5" by far the tallest player in this draft. Still not convinced about him, but if he's even decent, they will have someone to bang with Yao and Shaq.
17) Atlanta Hawks - Josh Smith SF
The Hawks wanted local boy Smith at #6, so they are doing back flips since he's still here at 17. Smith is the draft's best athlete and should put plenty of butts in seats for the hawks.
18) New Orleans Hornets - Kirk Snyder SG
Snyder hasn't moved since Version One. High schooler JR Smith is a possibility here if Snyder is off the board.
19) Miami Heat - Jameer Nelson PG
Pat Riley loves Nelson and he could be the pick depending on what else the Heat do. They are trying to get into the Tracy McGrady derby by dangling Eddie Jones and/or Caron Butler and change. Not likely, but if they move one of those guys, they will have space in their back court for Nelson. Swift could also be the pick here.
20) Denver Nuggets - Sasha Vujacic - PG?SG
The Nugs figure to fill their pressing needs through trade or free agency so if they keep the pick and select Vujacic, they can keep him overseas for a few years. Don't be surprised if they trade the pick. Boston will definitely inquire about it.
21) Utah Jazz - JR Smith SG
Smith's athleticism is off the charts and he supposedly is money from downtown. The Jazz need some athletes to pair with AK47 and Jerry Sloan is the best coach in the business to teach this high schooler some fundamentals.
22) Portland Trailblazers - Dorrell Wright SG
Having already selected Telfair, the Blazers go for "the next Tracy McGrady" by taking prep star Wright. He'll have plenty of time to ease into his role, especially if Portland trades Shareef Abdur Raheim to New Jersey for Kerry Kittles and Aaron Williams.
23) Portland Trailblazers - PJ Ramos C
The Blazers take a flyer on the Puerto Rican center since they can have him sit behind shot blocker supreme Theo Ratliff.
24) Boston Celtics - Robert Swift C
The Celtics fan in me believes he will still be here at 24 although I seriously doubt it. As ugly as this kid is, he just looks like a Celtic. He would have fit right in on the All Ugly team in 1986 with McHale, DJ, Fred Roberts and Greg Kite.
25) Boston Celtics - Victor Khryapa F
Again, I doubt that the C's will hold onto all three of these picks but if they do, they'll take the athletic Khryapa and stash him overseas for a year or two.
26) Sacramento Kings - Donta Smith SG
Same as Version One. The Kings could also go with Anderson Varejao here so they are more prepared when Chris Webber goes down with his yearly injury.
27) LA Lakers - David Harrison C
The Lakers are gonna need a big body to replace Shaq when he moves to Dallas and Harrison is the best big man left. All the evil eye glances Kobe is bound to shoot at him over the course of the year should be enough to keep him in line.
28) San Antonio Spurs - Anderson Varejao PF
Same asVersion One. The Spurs will be overjoyed if he is still around. They have scouted him extensively.
29) Minnesota Timberwolves - no pick due to league sanctions
30) Indiana Pacers - Beno Udrih PG
The Bulls might be making this pick if Indy trades up, but they could still use this 6'4" foreign PG. He was the only player that really helped his stock in the annual Chicago pre draft camp. A few teams are intrigued by him, mostly because of his age, 22, and his height.
The NBA Draft will be broadcast on ESPN live from the Theatre at Madison Square Garden tonight at 7 PM. Provided Danny Ainge doesn't trade Paul Pierce to Chicago, Gothamist will be here to provide post draft coverage. If he does, someone may want to check in on me later tonight. It could get ugly.