NBA

BURLISON: Ready to tip off in Chicago

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Frank Burlison

 
   
 

CHICAGO

The NBA's Pre-Draft Camp — a chance for about 65 wannabe players to show the league's coaches, general managers, personnel directors and scouts why they should be picked in the first round come June 26 — gets under way Tuesday night at Moody Bible College. The vast majority of the high-profile college players — think Jay ("Lose the Jason, please") Williams — won't step foot on a gym floor this week and will only be in town to be weighed and measured by NBA officials and to participate in media sessions on Saturday. Only four of the camp participants a year ago were picked in the first round, so, in reality, the week's proceedings are more apt to give us an up close and personal look at the second round. The players will participate in drills Tuesday night, then drills and games in double sessions over the next three days.

Lottery shakedown

The majority of NBA scouting personnel is convinced that the 13 lottery selections will come from the following pool of 16 players: Centers: Yao Ming (China), Curtis Borchardt (Stanford) and Melvin Ely (Fresno State)

Forwards: Drew Gooden (Kansas), Marcus Haislip (Tennessee), Nene Hilario (Brazil), Jared Jeffries (Indiana), Bostjan Nachbar (Slovenia), Amare Stoudemire (Cypress Creek High in Orlando), Nikoloz Tskitishivili (Georgia/Russia), Chris Wilcox (Maryland) and Qyntel Woods (Northeast Mississippi JC) Swingmen: Caron Butler (Connecticut) and Mike Dunleavy (Duke) Guards Dajuan Wagner (Memphis and Jay Williams (Duke)

NBA Draft notes

  • The prevailing opinion is still that Houston will make Yao Ming the No. 1 choice. Speculation has Dallas, New York and possibly Golden State at least exploring the notion of trying to trade for the pick (and Ming). The one possible trade that was bounced around by NBA types during the USA Basketball Trials in Colorado Springs over the weekend that sounds intriguing: the Knicks packaging Marcus Camby or Kurt Thomas and their pick (No. 7) for the right to draft Ming.
  • Another proposal (real or imagined; does it matter?) making the rounds in Colorado Springs: The L.A. Clippers offering up one of their two lottery picks (No. 8 and No. 12), plus Lamar Odom, in attempt to get to at least No. 5 in the first round.
  • As for Chicago possibly parting with the No. 2 pick, forget it — it's not going to happen. Unless Houston (or someone trading for the pick) snatches him at No. 1, Jay Williams will be wearing a Bulls uniform next season.
  • Mike Dunleavy — and his father — say his decision on whether to remain in the draft or return to Duke will come down to the wire (the deadline is June 19). But NBA types seem to think it's a given that he will remain in the draft and go No. 4 to Memphis — if the Warriors don't snag him at No. 3.
  • Maryland forward Chris Wilcox — projected by some to be picked as soon as No. 5 (by Denver) — has yet to participate in a workout for an NBA club while recovering from an ankle sprain. His management team apparently will hold three separate "regional" workouts for him, in New York, Chicago and Phoenix, and selected clubs' personnel will get to watch.
  • Stanford junior Casey Jacobsen has had workouts in front of at least seven teams — the Lakers, Clippers, Phoenix, Golden State, Detroit, Toronto and Memphis — and is now listed in many scouts' mock first rounds. The picks most often associated with Jacobsen are No. 22 (Phoenix) and No. 28 (Lakers).
  • With Western Kentucky center Chris Marcus having elected to play another season (courtesy of an NCAA rule allowing him to regain the year he lost to freshman ineligibility), Fresno State center Melvin Ely is the only senior with a remote hope of being a lottery selection. Frank Burlison can be reached at his e-mail address: fburlison@foxsports.com.
  • Tagged: Bulls, Warriors, Clippers, Knicks, Lamar Odom, Kurt Thomas, Marcus Camby, Memphis, Houston, Stanford, Indiana, Western Kentucky, Duke, Maryland, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Lamar, Wagner, Butler, Connecticut, Colorado, Kansas, Fresno State

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