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NBA Draft 2004: Who Came Out the Best?
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Old 25 Jun 2004, 09:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default NBA Draft 2004: Who Came Out the Best?

I think Chicago got the better end of the deal in the draft this year. They picked Ben Gordon (G, UConn) as their number 3 pick, then got Luol Deng (F, Duke) in a trade for F/C Jackson Vroman, cash, and a future 1st round pick.

Another winner was Boston. They had three first round picks this year. They got high-schooler Al Jefferson (F, Prentiss, Miss HS) at 15, then selected Delonte West (G, St. Joseph's) at 24, and Tony Allen (G, Oklahoma State) at 25.

I think the Magic made a horrible mistake taking Dwight Howard at #1. Thing is, high schoolers aren't ready yet, well most, with the exceptions of Kobe, T-Mac, Kevin Garnett, LeBron, etc. 8 high schoolers were drafted this year, and none are going to be immediate stars. On the other hand, Emeka Okafor, who the Magic passed up (he was picked by the Charlette Bobcats) is NBA ready. He's 4 years older than the high schoolers, more mature, and more talented.

The thing is with high schoolers, they can perform great on their level, but going against 5'5" guards and centers with langly arms as wispy mustaches sure as hell isn't the NBA. The likes of Okafor, Ben Gordon, Luol Lang, Jameer Nelson (G, St. Joseph's), and other collegiate ballers are ready to play, while high-schoolers will take at least 3 years to develop to their full potential. Every high schooler thinks they're the next LeBron or Kobe, but LeBron and Kobe are bright spots, exceptions that were able to make the leap. Most high schoolers aren't. For example, Shaun Livingston, who went 4th by the Clippers (G, Peoria, Ill. Central High School) is the scrawniest player I've ever seen. I mean, my little brother has bigger arms than him. It's pathetic, the kid's going to get pounded. Four years in high school would have done him well, to build not only muscle, buyt maturity, as well.

OVerall, I was disappointed that so many high schoolers were chosen, but I'm glad my Huskies went 2/3 (Okafor/Gordon), My Nets, on the other hand, did crappy. They drafted Viktor Khryapa (F, CSKA Moscow, Russia) and traded him for guard Eddie Gill and "cash considerations", then in their second round pick they drafted Christian Drejer (F, F.C. Barcelona, Spain). Yeah, I've never heard of them either.
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