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Click and Roll has covered the regular season, the NBA Playoffs 2003 and NBA Finals 2003. Stick with us throughout the offseason as Click and Roll will cover NBA Draft 2003 and free agency as only we can.


Friday, June 27


Lampe's Long Night

June 27 -- Moments before the NBA Draft, you hear all kinds of things. And with the first four picks of NBA Draft 2003 almost a certainty, people were searching high and low to sink their teeth into something considerable.

'Melo and King James soak it all in on their big night.
(Jesse D. Garrabant/NBAE/Getty Images)
So, when a rumor began to circulate that Michael Jordan had agreed in principle to buy the Bucks and that he would actually make Milwaukee's pick at No. 8 during the Draft, well, you can imagine how that set cell phones abuzz.

Alas, it wasn't true (a fact later confirmed by Bucks GM Ernie Grunfeld on ESPN and by NBA Commissioner David Stern). But it gave the Draft a jolt of the unknown just before the inevitable. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

For instance ... LeBron James at No. 1? Well, surprise, surprise.

Darko Milicic at No. 2? Tell us something we don't know.

(James' and Milicic's jerseys were already available at concession stands at Madison Square Garden.)

Carmelo Anthony? Yeah, we're mellow, all right.

Even Chris Bosh going to the Raptors at No. 4 was expected, although Dick Vitale loudly (sorry, that's redundant) disagreed.

Then things got interesting.

"And with the fifth pick in the 2003 NBA Draft," Commissioner Stern said, "the Miami Heat select ... Dwyane Wade."

What the? Whoa, some intrigue in NBA Draft 2003. Wade? Wasn't he supposed to fall to Chicago at No. 7? He did in our scouts' mock draft.

Weren't the Heat supposed to take a point guard (T.J. Ford and Kirk Hinrich were available) or a big man, like Maciej Lampe?

Yeah, Lampe. What happened to Lampe? His was the biggest story of the night not featuring Jordan or "the next Jordan" (a.k.a. "LeBron").

And unlike many of the draft picks' moms who wept for joy, Lampe's tears came from frustration. There he sat in the green room (usually a sure sign you will be a first-round selection), watching pick after pick climb the stairs to the stage, shake hands with Stern and sit down to do a TV interview.

Moments before the Hawks selected Boris Diaw-Riffiod with the 21st pick (one of a record 21 international players selected), Lampe took the souvenir basketball that served as the centerpiece to his green room table and gently spun it in his hands as if he was about to shoot a free throw. He bounced it once, twice, like a bored teenager would, spun it again, bounced it and then gently placed it back in the center of the table. (Detroit Free Press)

And then he waited. And waited. And while others drafted ahead of him bounded out of the audience like they were on "The Price Is Right," Lampe was planted front and center.

"And with the 29th and final pick of the first round, the Dallas Mavericks select ..."

Not Lampe, but Wake Forest's Josh Howard.

In what had to be an excruciating evening, this must have been the most painful moment. Thanks to some questions as to whether his European contract had been bought out, Lampe lost out on a guaranteed three-year deal. He went, much to the delight of the crowd, to the Knicks with the first pick of the second round. (ESPN.com)

"Obviously, I thought I was going to go higher," Lampe said. "I was kind of surprised, but Iím just thankful for the opportunity the Knicks have given me. Iíll try to prove people wrong."

Best of luck, Mr. Lampe. You have 28 teams -- and a whole new world -- left to conquer. (New York Post)

Rob Peterson, NBA.com

Thursday, June 26


Anticipation ... It's Making Us Wait

NEW YORK, June 26 -- Jarvis Hayes didn't mind having only three people as his audience, including two NBA employees, near the conclusion of NBA Draft 2003 Media Day on Wednesday.

Of course, Hayes was "happy to be here" in New York. And no, he didn't mind waking up at 6 a.m. on Wednesday to take an 8 a.m. flight from Orlando and then arriving about 20 minutes after the start of media availaibility. After all, you don't mind being a little tired when you're waiting for the first day of the rest of your professional life.

Just like you pictured it in your dreams, right Jarvis?

The other side of the pillow has nothing on Jarvis Hayes.
(Nathaniel Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)
"It was different for me coming out of high school," Hayes said. "I wasn't highly recruited. I wasn't invited to All-Star games. I wasn't a McDonald's All-American. I was a high honorable mention, though."

"But do I feel nervous? No, I feel like I belong here."

That was a common sentiment among the players set up on the fifth floor of the Westin Hotel in Times Square. For Hayes, the trip to New York is especially sweet, considering how Georgia's season ended in an administrative scandal that kept the Bulldogs out of postseason play.

"These are my NCAAs," Hayes said. "I didn't get a chance at the postseason. And now, I'm getting my chance."

Why shouldn't Hayes be giddy? Hayes and seven other future multi-millionaires knew being invited to New York virtually secures them a spot in the first round and three years of guaranteed, gainful employment with an NBA team.

"Itís been fun," Hayes said. "But itís definitely a learning experience. Iím learning from it. Iíve been dreaming about this experience since I was a little kid. Itís finally here now and itís pretty gratifying."

Dwyane Wade is another player who is enjoying the attention. He knew in his wildest dreams that New York on draft day would be the place for him.

"Yeah, I did," Wade said. "I wasn't highly recruited out of high school and I sat out my first year, but I kind of knew I could get here."

As far as having his name called, Wade is ready ... somewhat.

"Itís going to be Ö I donít even know," Wade said. "Iím still dreaming about it. Everybody dreams about living theirs out and Iím getting a chance to do that."

Wade may be living out his dreams in his hometown of Chicago, as some prognosticators have him going as high as No. 7 to the Bulls. (Indy Star)

One Chicago columnist suggests Hayes for the Bulls at No. 7. (Chicago Tribune)

Some may say that's crazy, but then Hayes is used to crazy lately. He's made the rounds in the last fortnight and the frequent flier miles have been piling up.

"Just in the last two weeks I worked out for 10 or 11[teams]," Hayes said. "Iíve been a moving, traveling man. Whereís Waldo? Whereís Jarvis?"

Jarvis Hayes, of course, is right where he belongs.

Mock me, will you?
Well, yes, we will try to guesstimate the remaining 10 picks in the lottery leading up to the Draft. After all, you know who the top three are, don't you?

As if you needed any more convincing, on the second floor on Wednesday, a ballroom with a stage, a camera platform and many chairs had been set up so the media could meet the probable (note, probable) first three picks of NBA Draft 2003 -- LeBron James, Darko Milicic and Carmelo Anthony.

After that, it's anyone's guess. And, right now, that anyone is me. So, using newspapers' guesses/speculations/wishes from across the country, here's my estimates as to picks No. 4 though No. 13.

No. 4, Toronto: Chris Bosh
Says who? The New York Times

No. 5, Miami: Maciej Lampe
Says who? Miami Herald

No. 6, L.A. Clippers: T.J. Ford
Says who? San Antonio Express-News

No. 7, Chicago: Dwyane Wade
Says who? Indianapolis Star

No. 8, Milwaukee: Kirk Hinrich
Says who? Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

No. 9, New York: Chris Kaman
Says who? The New York Times

No. 10, Washington: Michael Sweetney
Says who? Washington Times

No. 11, Golden State: Ndudi Ebi
Says who? Oakland Tribune

No. 12, Seattle: Nick Collison
Says who? Tacoma (Wash.) Tribune

No. 13, Memphis: Mickael Pietrus
Says who? Memphis Commercial Appeal

Of course, this could all change in the blink of an eye with a trade or two. So, don't get married to it, OK?

Hey, mister, can you spare a dime?
He'll be the No. 1 pick in NBA Draft 2003 on Thursday night, but on Wednesday, James delivered the No. 1 quip. James, Milicic and Anthony rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. James was asked if he bought any stock while he was there.

"No, I didn't buy no stock. I ain't got no money."

Wade, with the follow up dunk!
When asked what LeBron was like, Wade said he was just like the rest of them except in two areas.

"LeBronís cool. Heís just like the rest of us. He just got a little more attention and a little more money in the bank. But heís just like the rest of us, down to earth."

Best exit line
Even though he understood every question asked in English, Milicic answered all of the media's questions in Serbian and had his interpreter translate. After the final question was asked, he surprised the media contingent with the one line of English he chose to speak as he was walking off stage.

"I'll be back!"

And so will Click and Roll, with a Draft analysis on Thursday night. See you then.

Rob Peterson, NBA.com

Monday, June 23


Certainties, Rumors and Speculation

Darko goes one-on-one with a reporter before Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
(Jesse D. Garrabant/NBAE/Getty Images)
When you look at NBA Draft 2003 (Thursday, 7 ET, ESPN), two things jump out at you. (NBA.com)

1) The top three picks are easy as one, two, three. After that, the Draft is messier than a teenager's room, because everything is up for grabs. (New York Times, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel )

(Just in case you don't remember, LeBron James will be the No. 1 pick. We know Detroit has its sights set on Darko Milicic at No. 2. And it's close to certain that Denver will take Carmelo Anthony at No. 3.)

Already, there is a lot of pressure on these three. They're the future of the NBA to some. (Orlando Sentinel)

Of course, this angle was the main NBA angle in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Sacramento Bee, among others, leading us to believe that story ideas, much like the top three picks in the draft, are predictable.

2) If you think that's predictable, there were no less than five stories about the European influx, including this one: "Draft may seem foreign to most Americans." (Denver Post)

Speaking of which, meet the Boys from Buducnost. (Boston Globe)

But back to the kids at the top. And they are kids. As for LeBron, he met his new coach for the first time late Friday afternoon. And by the picture in this article, Paul Silas liked what he saw. (Akron Beacon-Journal)

Then again, what's not to love? (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

As for the other high-schoolers? Well, some experts are not too high on the high-schoolers. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

But these days, being a four-year starter in college isn't exactly a guarantee either. (Indy Star)

Where have you gone, Darko Milicic? Pistons nation turns its lonely eyes to you. (Detroit News)

Are the Knicks at No. 9 trying to work a deal with the Raptors at No. 4 to swap picks? (New York Post)

If they do swap, it could involve Latrell Sprewell in some way. Most rumors about the Knicks now include Sprewell. (New York Daily News)

Maybe the Knicks will throw in some Sprewell Racing rims, too (you know, the rims that spin)?

Miami doesn't like its position at No. 5. It's both too high -- and too low. Read it. It will make sense. (Miami Herald)

And what will be left for the Sonics at No. 12? (Seattle Times)

New York Daily News NBA writer Mitch Lawrence has some juicy dish on the Draft. Maybe Seattle will move up? Milwaukee and the Heat swapping picks? The Bulls and Grizz? We'll see. (New York Daily News)

Here's Sam Smith's juicy rumor column as well. (Chicago Tribune)

Then again, one columnist says all the rumors should be taken with a grain of salt (which will increase the already high blood pressure of many GMs). (Deseret News)

So, you want to be a GM? Think it's easy? Ha! (Orlando Sentinel)

Close to Draft day, coaches will be working out tired players who have worked out eight or nine of their last 10 days. Is this any way to run a railroad? (Miami Herald)

And finally, did you know the last time the Timberwolves had a No. 1 draft pick, LeBron James was in eighth grade. That is just one of the reasons the Wolves have an interesting offseason. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Rob Peterson, NBA.com

Thursday, June 19


Feelin' A Draft

Smart money says LeBron James won't need to hitchhike to NBA Draft 2003.
(Randy Belice/NBAE/Getty Images)
Ah, good readers of NBA.com and Click and Roll, thank you for sticking with us through our first season. Now that the games are done, let the game begin.

What game is that, you say? The NBA Draft 2003 guessing game, of course. You know, reading the tea leaves, looking into the crystal ball and speculating on who'll go where and which NBA veteran can be traded.

Will we make predictions and sort out the NBA Draft for you? No, of course not. We don't make predictions. We get scouts to make predictions for us. (NBA.com)

No, what we'll try to do between now and next Thursday, when 29 young men will become guaranteed millionaires (7 p.m. ET, ESPN), is bring you the news from around the web about tryouts, speculation on player movement and opinions from columnists doing what they do best: second guessing GMs.

First, let's go with what we know. Cleveland will take LeBron James with the first pick. How do we know? Cavs owner Gordon Gund personally told us. (NBA.com)

After all, now the Cavs need to concentrate on pick No. 31. (Akron Beacon Journal)

And we're pretty sure Darko Milicic will go to Detroit with the No. 2 pick. Why? Well, just look at the warmup he wore at Game 5 of the NBA Finals. (NBA.com)

In Denver, it looks as if Carmelo Anthony has Nuggets fans and the town atwitter. (Denver Post)

After 'Melo, though, everything is up in the air. One of the quickest risers in the Draft pulled out on Thursday, shocking many. (ESPN.com)

Meanwhile, in Washington, they liked what they saw of Georgia's Jarvis Hayes. (Washington Post)

Bulls GM John Paxson couldn't get to France, but B.J. Armstrong will get to go to see Mickael Pietrus. Be like Mickael? (Chicago Tribune)

Meanwhile, Georgetown's Michael Sweetney is on the fence about the Draft. (Washington Times)

So is Mo Williams. (Tuscaloosa news)

As is high schooler, Travis Outlaw. (Clarion-Ledger)

The Celtics are weighing their many draft options. (Boston Herald)

One columnist compares the Draft to a blind date. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

Luke Walton is old school, just like his dad. Just as long as he doesn't have dad's feet. (Arizona Republic)

In this Draft, at age 22, Kansas' Nick Collison is just old. (Toronto Globe & Mail)

Also, this young man may be too young for the NBA. (Arizona Daily Star)

Rob Peterson, NBA.com