Lawler's Draft Predictions (6/23)

"The Voice of the Clippers," Ralph Lawler, checks in again with to give an updated look at how he thinks the 2003 NBA Draft will shape up. The action is heating up as time is ticking off the clock....

June 23rd - The Rumors are Flying! Any pick from 3 on down could be traded by the end of Draft Day 2003. With that in mind, here’s the way it looks as we approach D-Day:

#1 Cleveland LeBron James - St. Vincent-St. Mary H.S.

Ralph's Take:
They love him even more after a 45 minute work-out last week. No player has ever been so highly

touted coming into the league. In this case, the teenage schoolboy from

Ohio has the game to match the hype. Coach Paul Silas already has him

written in as his starting point guard.


#2 Detroit Darko Milicic - Yugoslavia

Ralph's Take:
He’s a 7-1 Euro star with an

uncharacteristic low post game and a bit of a mean streak.

He can also step out and make jump shots. Just turned 18.

Now Ben Wallace can be a full-time power forward.

#3 Denver Carmelo Anthony - Syracuse

Ralph's Take:
If he were to wait a year

he would be Number 1 over-all in the 2004 draft. But he’s ready

now and his NCAA Title as a freshman at Syracuse made his decision

to turn pro an easy one. Kiki is not encouraging trade offers but he is

listening to them.

#4 Toronto Chris Bosh - Georgia Tech

Ralph's Take:
He’s a 6-10, 219-pounder. Athletic.

A very smooth offensive player with 3-point range. Raptors would

love to bring in an established player in trade. I’ll be surprised if they

hold on to this pick.

#5 Miami Maciej Lampe – Poland

Ralph's Take:
One of those Dirk Nowitzki-types: a 7-footer

who can run the floor and shoot the lights out. He’s only 18 and

probably a bit of a project, but Riley likes his upside.

#6 CLIPPERS Chris Kaman - Central Michigan

Ralph's Take:
With Podkolzin back in Russia, they

turn to Plan “B.” Not a bad fall-back option. The big 7-footer is much

further along than Michael Olowokandi was when he was tabbed as the

first overall pick in 1998. He’s 7-0 and 255.

#7 Chicago Dwayne Wade - Marquette

Ralph's Take:
Talented combo-guard seems to be

just what the Bulls want. Not a great shooter but he’ll find a way to

score. Bulls could move this pick, but Wade seems like the perfect

choice in light of the Jay Williams motorcycle accident.

#8 Milwaukee T.J. Ford - Texas

Ralph's Take:
Best point guard instincts of any player

entering the league since Jason Kidd turned pro in 1994. Wooden and

Naismith Award winner. Could be the fastest player in the game.

Bucks would be thrilled to have him fall into their laps at #8.

#9 New York Kirk Hinrich - Kansas

Ralph's Take:
Had impressive work-outs. The Knicks

have a need at his position and he’s too good for them to pass up.

This young man can really shoot the ball.

#10 Washington Jarvis Hayes - Georgia

Ralph's Take:
Everybody loves a shooter and Hayes can

shoot. He needs to get better off the dribble. Has an NBA body at

6-7 and 220. Could opt for Pietrus here.

#11 Golden State Luke Ridnour - Oregon

Ralph's Take:
Warriors had hoped for Hinrich, but will

settle for Luke as a point guard replacement for free agent-to-be,

Gilbert Arenas who appears to have one foot out the door.

#12 Seattle Mike Sweetney - Georgetown

Ralph's Take:
He’s big and strong and the Sonics

could use some of both. They also own #14 and may try to swap both

picks for a spot in the Top 5.

#13 Memphis Mickael Pietrus - France

Ralph's Take:
Jerry West would trade up in the draft to take

this guy if he had too. He might not have to. This is a pick the Grizzlies

got from Houston. It hardly replaces the one they gave up to Detroit, but

the athletic Pietrus has a big up-side for a player chosen #13.

OTHERS TO WATCH:: Nick Collison, Sfoklis Schortsianitis, David West, Leandrinho Barbosa,

Reece Gaines, Brian Cook