The Draft Blog
Welcome to NBA.com's The Draft Blog, the first and last word on NBA Draft 2005. This is your space to see what we see at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. From Draft suits to Draft hats to Draft picks, we have it covered.
It's A Wrap
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 12:57 p.m. ET
As we reflect on what transpired over the past few hours, we understand just why the experts were saying this was one of the deepest drafts in years. After the first four or five picks, it was anybody's guess who was next to go, with a few surprises mixed in along the way -- see Chris Taft slipping to No. 42.
Not entirely a surprise, the Bobcats selected two North Carolina Tar Heels, Felton and May, to join them for the franchise's second year in the league. If you're a young team in search of help, why not look to the group in your backyard with some hardware to show they're proven winners.
Felton joined fellow point guards Deron Williams (No. 3) and Chris Paul (No. 4) in the top 10, the first time since 1999 three have been chosen so high. In 1999, Steve Francis, Baron Davis, Andre Miller and Jason Terry all went in the top 10.
In addition, Felton and May are the first set of college teammates to be drafted by the same team since Todd Day and Lee Mayberry of Arkansas were each drafted by Milwaukee in 1992. Last year, the Trail Blazers traded for the rights to Viktor Khryapa of CSKA Moscow and drafted his teammate Sergei Monia.
From the college ranks, nine seniors were selected in the first round this year, up from five in 2004. They are: Channing Frye (8), Joey Graham (16), Danny Granger (17), Hakim Warrick (19), Julius Hodge (20), Luther Head (24), Jason Maxiell (26), Wayne Simien (29) and David Lee (30).
As for those players forgoing their college eligibility, a record nine high school seniors were selected this year: Martell Webster (6), Andrew Bynum (10), Gerald Green (18), CJ Miles (34), Ricky Sanchez (35), Monta Ellis (40), Louis Williams (45), Andray Baltche (49), Amir Johnson (56).
Short of last year's record nine international players selected in the first round, seven players from outside the United States were chosen in the the first round this year: Andrew Bogut (Australia), Fran Vazquez (Spain), Yaroslav Korolev (Russia), Francisco Garcia (Dominican Republic), Johan Petro (France), Linas Kleiza (Lithuania) and Ian Mahinmi (France).
Finally, we have a few change of address cards being filed as a result of tonight's proceedings. They are:
-- Utah traded the Nos. 6 and 27 picks and a future first rounder to Portland in exchange for the No. 3 pick.
-- Milwaukee acquired Jiri Welsch from Cleveland for a second round pick in 2006.
-- Denver traded the rights to No. 22 Jarrett Jack to Portland for the rights to No. 27 Linas Kleiza and No. 35 Ricky Sanchez.
-- Seattle traded the rights to No. 55 Lawrence Roberts to Memphis for the Grizzlies’ own 2006 second-round pick, the Grizzlies’ own 2007 second-round pick and cash considerations.
-- Phoenix traded Quentin Richardson and the rights to No. 21 Nate Robinson to New York for Kurt Thomas and the rights to No. 54 Dijon Thompson.
-- Phoenix also traded the rights to No. 57 Marcin Gortat to Orlando for cash considerations.
With all that being said, we turn to the offseason. Teams can begin courting free agents as of July 1, although, due to the new collective bargaining agreement being reduced to a definitive writing, the moratorium on free agent signings that was to expire on July 14 is extended to July 22. What does that mean? We'll just have to wait to see if any teams make additional moves.
Last But Not Least
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 11:47 p.m. ET
With the 60th and final pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons look to Alex Acker, Pepperdine's junior guard. Acker joins Rashad Wright (2004), Andreas Glyniadakis (2003) and Corsley Edwards (2002) as the last men selected in the last three drafts.
And with that, the lights are on, the house music is up and the crowd -- if you can call it that at this point -- refuses to go home, chanting, "One more pick!"
We're not going home yet, either. We'll be back soon with a short analysis of this year's crop of new NBA players.
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 11:36 p.m. ET
With only a few picks remaining in the Draft -- one for every 20 or 30 fans left standing -- and the selections moving along, it's time for us at NBA.com to give a shout out to the ESPN.com crew sitting at our side, working with us to hunt down a few of the little-known picks being announced.
Toronto just picked Uros Slokar. That's okay, guys, we've got this one.
You Just Never Know
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 11:18 p.m. ET
As Deputy Commissioner Granik approached the podium to announce the Sonics' No. 48 pick, the rowdy crowd hushed to hear the announcement: A flawless execution of the name Mickael Gelabale (JELL-a-bal). What followed was the fans' realization, "He's here!" Even Granik, who had already begun to retreat backstage for the next pick, was caught off-guard.
Even more surprising, however, was the fact that the seemingly-rowdiest of fans knew Gelabale played for Real Madrid in Spain! Now there's some diehards.
We Have A Trade
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 10:59 p.m. ET
Last year's Draft was marked by trades -- 10 actually. Tonight, not so much. But, Granik just announced Jarrett Jack won't be heading to Denver after all. Apparently the Blazers decided they liked him and swapped the draft rights to No. 27 Linas Kleiza and No. 35 Ricky Sanchez to the Nuggets.
Back in the arena, a "We want [Tom] Tolbert!" chant has broken out. The few fans remaining in the upper reaches of the Theater didn't seem to agree and let it be known.
The Chant Remains The Same
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 10:48 p.m. ET
Okay, so the title may not be entirely true, but the fans remaining through the second round of the Draft are chanting or cheering for nearly every pick announced. Look no further and Ersan Ilyasova and Ronny Turiaf -- both in the stands when their names were called at Nos. 36 and 37. I have a feeling I could get drafted next and it's a 50-50 chance whether I'd get heckled or lauded.
Turiaf's pick for the Lakers has us thinking the team is looking for size after experiencing a year minus the Big Diesel. Turiaf stands 6-10 and goes 249. We already mentioned Bynum is one big kid.
Diamonds In The Rough
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 10:35 p.m. ET
With the announcement that the New York Knicks took Florida's David Lee with the final pick in the first round, Commissioner Stern is now done for the evening, turning the festivities over to Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik for the lightning round. Teams will have a mere two minutes between picks, as opposed to the full five alloted for the first round.
While all the glory -- not to mention guaranteed paychecks -- goes to the guys in the first round, there's always a steal to be had in the second. It'll be interesting to watch the picks of the Sixers, Wizards, Cavaliers, Bulls and Mavs, who didn't have a single first round selection among them. Such second-round steals in recent years include All-Stars Rashard Lewis (1998), Manu Ginobili (1999), Michael Redd (2000) and Gilbert Arenas (2001).
The Mavs and Cavaliers, though, know a thing or two about the late stages of the draft. Cleveland snagged Carlos Boozer at No. 35 in 2002, while the Mavs waited for the 2003 Draft to wrap up before inking a deal with Auburn's Marquis Daniels. Think 28 other teams wouldn't like a second crack at Daniels?
A cursory glance of the players still out there makes us think somebody's going to get a bargain over the final hour of the Draft. This year's steals could include Travis Diener, Ryan Gomes and Ronny Turiaf.
Spurs Do It Again
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 10:23 p.m. ET
San Antonio has a habit of mining international gold with their less-than-desirable draft positioning. Manu Ginobili (1999, No. 57) or Tony Parker (2001, No. 28), anybody?
At No. 28 this year, the Spurs took Ian Mahinmi, an 18-year-old power forward from France. How little known was this guy? He's not included in the official NBA Draft Media Guide and his player page on ESPN.com is bare bones. From what we're gathering, he's a rebounding machine ala Dennis Rodman.
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 10:07 p.m. ET
In case you're sitting at home wondering if Commissioner Stern just pronounced the name of the Sonics' pick correctly ... yes, he did. The newest big man in the Pacific Northwest is JOE-han PET-tro from France.
Hints: mar-TEE-nas on-droosh-KE-vee-choos, MIN-doe-gus ka-te-LEE-nas and MEE-lan MY-store-a-vich
Little Man Nate
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 9:43 p.m. ET
Hold the presses. Nate Robinson will not wear the purple and orange. ESPN's Ric Bucher just announced that the player most closely compared to Denver's Earl Boykins is likely the final piece in the rumored Knicks-Suns trade, which reportedly would send Kurt Thomas to Phoenix and Quentin Richardson to New York.
Before Bucher made the announcement, the crowd was awed by the highlight package ESPN showed of the 5-9 guard. Robinson's not the scorer Boykins is, but he can do everything else -- not to mention he can flat-out jump. The Knicks faithful continued loudly applauding Bucher's news.
Green Room No More
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 9:30 p.m. ET
A sigh of relief was felt through the Theater, not to mention many cheers heard, when the Memphis Grizzlies let it be known that Hakim Warrick was their man. After shaking Commissioner Stern's hand, Warrick told Stuart Scott on ESPN the wait was, "the longest two hours of my life."
Next up out of the stands: Julius Hodge, who we told you earlier was in the building. Hodge is headed to Denver, and the fans seemed to approve the pick. A quick tally of the selections gives us five seniors, 10 underclassmen, three high school seniors and two international players selected through the first 20 picks.
A Different Shade Of Green
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 9:23 p.m. ET
Gerald Green is now off the board, bound for a Celtics jersey after Boston took him at No. 18. That leaves only Syracuse's Hakim Warrick sitting with friends and family at the Theater hoping for the best.
Meanwhile, one NBA.commer reports that Martell Webster was sitting backstage surfing the web and looking for his photo on NBA.com's Draft section before chatting with fans online at ESPN.com.
Last Man Sitting
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 9:14 p.m. ET
Nobody wants to think about it, but when the Nets selected Antoine Wright at No. 15, leaving only Danny Granger, Gerald Green and Hakim Warrick in the green room -- that's really neither green nor a room -- you can't help but wonder who will be the last invited guest to be drafted. Or when.
Thoughts turn to Rashard Lewis in 1998, when his hometown Houston Rockets passed on the then-high schooler. Lewis was left in tears as he slipped into the second round.
Also from Houston, Green awaits hearing his name called. The Rockets hold the 24th pick this season.
This just in ... Granger is going to Indiana. And ESPN just aired a clip of him singing. Um, dare we say, "don't quit your new day job?"
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 9:04 p.m. ET
In a magical year for the North Carolina Tar Heels, the good fortunes continue as four players on the NCAA championship squad were selected in the first round -- Marvin Williams (No. 2), Raymond Felton (No. 5), Sean May (No. 13) and Rashad McCants (No. 14). The only other time a team placed four players in the first round was Duke in 1999.
From The Cheap Seats
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 8:49 p.m. ET
The Lakers made Andrew Bynum the second high schooler taken in the top 10. The big kid -- he's 7-0, 285 -- was the first player this year to scamper out of the crowd and shake Commissioner Stern's hand. Asked if he was surprised to be here after not being an invited guest, Bynum replied, "Not really surprised after all the hard work I put in." I'll assume he meant in his preparation for the NBA on the court, rather than the commute -- Bynum resides in New Jersey. Then again, he did have to make it to midtown Manhattan during rush hour.
Dunk You Very Much
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 8:32 p.m. ET
During a TV timeout, the screen in the Theater showed the Sprite Courtside Countdown top 10 dunks of the 2004-05 season. Judging the sounds of things, I'd have thought we were witnessing a one-sided heavyweight boxing match. Painful "oohs" were the soundtrack to such finishes as last year's No. 17 selection Josh Smith posterizing Primoz Brezec.
Welcome, Young Man
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 8:17 p.m. ET
The last two years we didn't have to wait long for the first high schooler to make the NBA -- five minutes, to be exact. Tonight, the wait lasted exactly six picks, when the Portland Trail Blazers made a regional selection, choosing Martell Webster, from Seattle Prep, over Gerald Green from Gulf Shores Academy in Houston.
That, and the Raptors' selection of UConn's Charlie Villanueva at No. 7 pleased the hometown crowd, whose beloved Knicks hold the eighth pick. Chants of "Ger-ald Green" rang throughout the house for much of the five minutes. Even a fan in a Raptors jersey was standing on the railing in the upper reaches chanting the youngster's name.
Think Commissioner Stern wanted to disappoint the crowd that gave him a rousing ovation when he approached the podium? And the Knicks select ... Channing Frye from Arizona. You've got to love the unpredictability of the Draft.
The Measure Of A Man Is ...
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 8:02 p.m. ET
... the worth of his collectibles on eBay? Er, maybe not, but we were curious anyway. This morning, there were 209 listings for Andrew Bogut; 215 for Marvin Williams. The big-ticket item, you ask? How about a Bremerton High School "senior night" t-shirt bearing Williams' photo and autograph. Yours for only $25,000.
Slightly out of my budget, I gave up on the tee in favor of basketballs autographed by the young stars -- each could be had for about a Grant. Bids from 11 people have the price of Williams' ball up to $52, while Bogut had a lone bidder at $39.99.
If You Can Make It Here
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 7:50 p.m. ET
Ah, New York sports fans ... they're quick with the jeers. When the ever-enthusiastic Dick Vitale made his first appearance of the night on the big screens, a chorus of "heys" and "boos" rang out. Those quickly turned to cheers and high fives, however, as the recently-announced No. 1 pick Andrew Bogut was led through the crowd and on to his media interview circuit.
Buck To The Playoffs
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 7:39 p.m. ET
With the No. 1 pick in the 2005 NBA Draft ... the Milwaukee Bucks select ... Andrew Bogut, much to the chagrin of the assembled crowd. Hugs around, climb the stairs, shake, smile, flash bulbs, congratulations and welcome Mr. Bogut.
Bogut, the first player with college experience taken first overall since Kenyon Martin in 2000, becomes the sixth international player who competed in the NCAA to be selected first overall, joining Michael Olowokandi (1998), Tim Duncan (1997), Patrick Ewing (1985), Hakeem Olajuwon (1984) and Mychal Thompson (1978).
Bogut repeatedly said he believed he was the top player available, and apparently the Bucks agreed when they tabbed the Utah sophomore, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor), Kent Benson and Glenn Robinson as players the franchise selected with the top overall pick.
Yesterday, Bogut told the media he also wanted to make Michael Redd an All-Star again and return the team to the playoffs after a one-year absence. He may get help with the latter goal, as the Bucks received the good news Monday that T.J. Ford has been medically cleared to absorb the hits associated with basketball. The speedy point guard missed all of last season with a spinal cord bruise.
As Bogut alluded to yesterday, this ain't your 2004-05 Milwaukee Bucks. New rookie center. New head coach -- yet to be named. New -- sorta -- floor general. Things are looking up in Brew Town.
Let The Countdown Begin
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 7:20 p.m. ET
It's nearly a full house and there's less than 10 minutes until Commissioner Stern takes the stage to announce the first overall pick in this year's Draft.
And with that a chorus of shouts, boos and applause have all rang out at different times, including just now as the lights dimmed to get the action underway.
As ESPN's opening video, with clips of the top draft prospects, played on the large screens flanking the stage, it may come as no surprise that the largest cheers rang out for Syracuse's Hakim Warrick.
Live From Studio ... MSG
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 7:15 p.m. ET
The audience here at the Theater is, in all respects, a live studio audience. ESPN has two sets situated in between the crowd and the stage where Commissioner Stern announces the night's selections. At one set, Mike Tirico holds court and tries to keep order over Greg Anthony, Jay Bilas and Stephen A. Smith -- a tall task to be certain.
On the other set, Stuart Scott is holding slightly more intimate conversations with the prospects.
Approaching that second set a moment ago, a young autograph seeking boy yelled to Deron Williams -- Scott's current guest -- as he was preparing for an interview, "Deron, I love Illinois." Yes, young fella, a lot of people fell in love with Deron and the Fightin' Illini after their remarkable season and run in the NCAA tournament. But, what are your thoughts on Salt Lake?
After Utah traded up for Portland's No. 3 pick, all indications are Williams is Jazz material. He looked sharp in his pinstriped suit and orange striped tie. We'll have photos soon.
Fill 'Er Up
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 7:00 p.m. ET
The Theater is beginning to fill up. The doors have opened to fans and the mad rush for seats was as entertaining as ever. While the fans were corralled in the lobby trying to get in, North Carolina State's Julius Hodge was trying to get out.
No, Hodge wasn't a late addition to the green room. The Bronx native didn't have far to travel, so why not come out and await hearing your name called.
Travelling slightly further than Hodge, Mile Ilic, from Boznia-Herzegovina, made the trip to crash the party when a team selects him. Some experts have Ilic penciled in as an early second round selection.
We'll see if there are any others joining Hodge and Ilic, looking to jump up on the stage and shake hands when they're selected.
Let's Get It Started!
Posted by Jeff Dengate (NBA.com) on June 28 2005, 5:30 p.m. ET
Greetings, from New York City and the Theater at Madison Square Garden. We've set up shop in the stands, which are still empty. The crowd -- and their customary chants -- won't arrive until the doors open at 6:45 ET, so for now, the loudest thing in the Theater is my cranberry dress shirt.
Certainly much more fashionable than me, the Draft prospects will arrive soon and we're all eager to see the threads they've had tailored for the big night. Here's hoping we'll see something to rival Jalen Rose's red pinstripe outfit from 1994. Yesterday, the prospects weren't even hinting at what we might expect:
"I can't tell you," Marvin Williams said about his suit. "I can't. I'm sorry. It's top secret. I wouldn't even show my mom. She begged me to show her last night, so I had to show her. But, you'll be surprised."
Moms, Dads, brothers, sisters, family and friends. We're watching them all and we'll bring you their reactions when their loved ones go higher or -- gasp -- lower than they had hoped.
Hoping the picks don't move up or down too much are those prognosticators better known as Mock Drafters. While the draft prospects are looking for validation to all their hard work, the experts are looking to show us they're at the top of their games, as well. So, the Chad Fords, Chris Monters and Tony Mejias of the hoops world will sweat out the picks almost as heavily as the men hearing their names called by Commissioner Stern.
For now, we'll leave you with a few last-minute Draft rumors -- in addition to the Portland-Utah swap from earlier today -- until we return with more from inside the Theater.
-- Are the Sonics fielding trade offers for their late first round selection?
-- The Mavericks don't have a first-round pick, but it looks like they'll need one if they have their eyes on a certain player.
-- Is Jamaal Magloire on the move to Toronto?
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