Suns News

2002 NBA Draft Scouting Report

Posted: June 20, 2002

With the 2002 NBA Draft less than a week away, Suns.com brings you a position-by-position breakdown of this year's top draft prospects, courtesy of Chris Monter, editor of the NBA Draft News and College Basketball News (see bottom for subscription information).

The following rankings are soley the opinion of Chris Monter and do not reflect the views or opinions of Phoenix Suns basketball operations personnel or the Phoenix Suns' organization.


The Houston Rockets are expected to make Yao Ming the top pick in the 2002 NBA Draft.
(NBAE Photos/Getty Images)
CENTERS
Name Height Weight Year From
Yao Ming 7-5 296 -- China
Curtis Borchardt 7-0 238 Junior* Stanford
Dan Gadzuric 6-11 248 Senior UCLA
Jason Jennings 7-0 249 Senior Arkansas State
Jamal Sampson 6-11 235 Freshman* California

Yao Ming is the projected top pick in the NBA Draft after impressing NBA scouts during an individual workouts in Chicago last month. The 7-5 Chinese center runs the floor well and has a good outside shooting touch. He is an excellent passer who needs to continue to gain strength in the upper body. He has a decent frame at 296 pounds and is much stronger than Manute Bol or Shawn Bradley. He averaged 32.4 points and 19.0 rebounds per game and led the Shanghai Sharks to their first-ever Chinese Basketball Association title.

Curtis Borchardt is a high percentage shooter who made big strides in his game as a junior, raising his scoring average from 6.4 points per game to 16.9 points. Borchardt missed 28 games as a freshman and sophomore due to stress fracture in his right foot. He runs the floor well for his size and showed three-point range this season. Borchardt needs to continue to get stronger, but scouts like his potential.

Dan Gadzuric is perhaps the draft’s best floor running big man. He runs the floor like a guard and is often able to beat defending centers down the floor for easy buckets. Gadzuric is a good shotblocker, who finished second in UCLA history in that category. He needs to avoid foul trouble and has had some knee problems in the past. Gadzuric is a poor free throw shooter who needs to add bulk to his frame. He starred in the Bruins’ upset win over #1 seed Cincinnati in the NCAA tournament, scoring 26 points. Gadzuric averaged 11.7 points per game for the second straight season.

Jason Jennings is a former Arkansas transfer who was named Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year. He blocked more than 100 shots for the second straight season. Jennings was measured with a 7-7 wingspan, the biggest of any player at the recent Chicago pre-draft camp. He has made big strides as a free throw shooter and makes a high percentage from the field. Jennings needs to get stronger and improve his passing skills. He is a likely late first or early second round pick.

Jamal Sampson elected to leave California after an impressive freshman campaign. He is a good shotblocker and defender who is still learning on the offensive end as he scored in double figures just nine times in 32 games. Sampson, a cousin of former NBA All-Star Ralph, needs to get stronger and improve his free throw shooting. He needs time to develop, but has the chance to a solid NBA big man.

  • Suns.com interview with Sampson


    Kansas' Drew Gooden is one of the top power forwards in the 2002 NBA Draft.
    (Jeff Jacobsen/KUAC)
    POWER FORWARDS
    Name Height Weight Year From
    Drew Gooden 6-10 227 Junior* Kansas
    Chris Wilcox 6-9 218 Sophomore* Maryland
    Maybyner Hilario 6-10 253 -- Brazil
    Amare Stoudemire 6-10 233 Senior# Orlando (FL) Cypress Creek
    Melvin Ely 6-10 240 Senior Fresno State

    Drew Gooden was considered the top offensive rebounder in college basketball this season. He finished as CollegeBasketballNews.com runner-up as Player of The Year as he led the Big 12 in scoring and rebounding. Gooden improved in all areas of his games, especially on the defensive end as he posted career highs in blocked shots and steals. He is a considered a bit of a “tweener,” since he lacks the bulk of a NBA power forward and still needs to improve his perimeter skills to play small forward. Gooden is considered a high lottery pick.

    Chris Wilcox was a lightly-used freshman who emerged as a sophomore for the Terrapins. He is an excellent athlete who runs the floor better than any power forward in the draft. Wilcox is an outstanding leaper and powerful dunker. He uses his body well and shined in the NCAA Tournament. Wilcox needs to finish better around the basket and improve his touch from the free throw line.

  • Suns.com interview with Wilcox

    "Nene" Hilario is moving up the draft list after several impressive individual workouts. The Brazilian native shined in the Goodwill Games where he blocked three of Jermaine O’Neal’s shots. He is just 19 years old and has an excellent upside. Hilario needs to improve his offensive game, but his physical skills make him a likely lottery pick.

  • Suns.com interview with Hilario

    Amare Stoudemire was CollegeBasketballNews.com top senior and he decided to enter the draft straight out of high school. He is a powerful inside player who uses his strength well. Stoudemire needs to expand his offensive game, but he is a likely late lottery or mid first round pick.

  • Suns.com interview with Stoudemire

    Melvin Ely put his name into the NBA Draft, but decided to return for his senior season. He was the WAC Player of the Year for the second straight season and he finished fifth in the country in scoring. Ely is a strong physical player who is a good shotblocker. He has improved his free throw shooting and shots a high percentage from the field. Ely could be the first senior drafted.

  • Suns.com interview with Ely


    Mike Dunleavy averaged 17.3 points and 7.2 boards this past season at Duke.
    (Photo courtesy of Duke)
    SMALL FORWARDS
    Name Height Weight Year From
    Mike Dunleavy Jr. 6-9 230 Junior Duke
    Caron Butler 6-7 222 Sophomore* Connecticut
    Nikoloz Tskitshvili 7-0 225 -- Georgia
    Qyntel Woods 6-9 213 Sophomore* Northeast Mississippi (MS) CC
    Jared Jeffries 6-11 230 Sophomore Indiana

    Mike Dunleavy Jr. can play inside and inside and is a good ballhandler and passer for his size. Some scouts feel that he can play point forward or maybe even point guard in the NBA. Dunleavy has good shooting range and was a first team CollegeBasketballNews.com All-American.

    Caron Butler shined in the NCAA Tournament, scoring more than 30 points in two games. He decided to enter the draft after his sophomore season. Butler has excellent strength and is a good passer and rebounder. He turned 22 years old recently and may be more ready to step in than many of the young players in this draft. Butler figured to go among the top seven picks.

    Nikoloz Tskitshvili is considered the top young European player. He is being called by some observers as being more athletic and a better outside shooter than Dallas standout Dirk Nowitzki. Tskitshvili does not play many minutes for Benetton Treviso in Italy, but international scouts rave about his game. He is only 19 years old.

    Qyntel Woods has been compared to Tracy McGrady, due to his long, lean frame and ability to handle the ball. He is an excellent leaper with good range. He needs to be more consistent beyond the arc and sometimes tries to do too much. However, his potential is very intriguing to NBA teams.

  • Suns.com interview with Woods

    Jared Jeffries is a versatile player with plenty of offensive talent. He handles the ball well for his size. Jeffries is an excellent defender and has added nearly 15 pounds of muscle since the end of the season. He needs to improve his outside shot, but is a likely late lottery pick.

  • Suns.com interview with Jeffries


    Kareem Rush worked out for the Suns on June 14.
    (Missouri Media Relations)
    SHOOTING GUARDS
    Name Height Weight Year From
    Kareem Rush 6-6 199 Junior* Missouri
    Jiri Welsch 6-7 208 -- Czech Republic
    Roger Mason 6-5 199 Junior* Virginia
    Casey Jacobsen 6-6 215 Junior* Stanford
    Frederick Jones 6-4 218 Senior Oregon

    Kareem Rush is a skilled offensive player who struggled a bit with his shot as a junior. He moves to shooting guard after playing small forward in college. Rush needs to improve his outside shooting consistency and his ballhandling to make the transition. He is an expected mid first round pick.

  • Suns.com interview with Rush

    Jiri Welsch is a talented European prospect who can play both guard spots. He is a good outside threat who plays for the Czech national team. Welsch is an expected first rounder.

  • Suns.com interview with Welsch

    Roger Mason is a versatile player who saw time at both guard spots. He is an outstanding free throw shooter and has a varied offensive game. Mason is a likely first rounder.

    Casey Jacobsen is perhaps the top outside shooter in the draft. Jacobsen is more athletic than given credit for, but needs to improve his defense to face some of the top athletes at shooting guard. He is a likely late first round pick.

  • Suns.com interview with Jacobsen

    Frederick Jones is one of the top athletes in the draft. He made strong strides in his game and was CollegeBasketballNews.com Pac-10 Player of the Year. Jones is a bit undersized at the shooting guard spot and needs to improve his outside shot.


    Jay Williams averaged 21.3 points, 5.3 assists and 3.5 boards a game his junior season at Duke.
    (Photo courtesy of Duke)
    POINT GUARDS
    Name Height Weight Year From
    Jay Williams 6-2 197 Junior* Duke
    Dajuan Wagner 6-2 193 Freshman* Memphis
    Frank Williams 6-3 212 Junior* Illinois
    Dan Dickau 6-0 170 Senior Gonzaga
    Tito Maddox 6-4 200 Junior* ex-Fresno State

    Jay Williams was CollegeBasketballNews.com Player of the Year this season after leading the ACC in scoring. He has excellent quickness and deep shooting range. Williams has the ability to play both guard spots, although some observers wonder if he is a true point guard. He figures to be one of the top two picks in the draft and has a good chance of winning NBA Rookie of the Year.

    Dajuan Wagner is a scoring machine who left Memphis after just one season to turn pro. Like Williams, some wonder if he can become more of a true playmaker. The son of former NBAer Milt Wagner, he scored 100 points in a high school game. He has excellent strength and can take over a game with his offensive ability. Wagner is a lottery pick.

    Frank Williams had a bit of a down season after being the Big 10 Player of the Year as a sophomore. He has excellent strength and can take over a game. He needs to increase his intensity and improve his outside shooting. Williams has good size at the point guard post and is a mid first round pick.

  • Suns.com interview with Williams

    Dan Dickau is an excellent outside shooter who was WCC Player of the Year and the WCC Tournament MVP. He has deep shooting range and is better athlete than given credit for. He needs to improve his defense to guard the top NBA playmakers. He is a first rounder.

  • Suns.com interview with Dickau

    Tito Maddox did not play this season after being dismissed from Fresno State after receiving illegal benefits from an agent. He played well in the Chicago pre-draft camp. Maddox has good size at point guard and is a creative ballhandler and passer. He needs to cut down on his turnovers and improve his outside shot. He is a first round pick.

    * = Underclassman
    # = High School Senior


    Chris Monter edits and publishes the Monter Draft News, an NBA Draft newsletter in its 12th year, and College Basketball News, a college basketball monthly that is entering its fifth season. He also covers both subjects on his new web site, which can be accessed at CollegeBasketballNews.com or MonterDraftNews.com. Monter Draft News is $45 for a one-year subscription. To subscribe or get more information, call 1-800-NBA-DRAFT or e-mail Chris at: Cmonter@aol.com.