NBA Draft looms ahead

May 13, 2002, midnight | By Calvin Anderson | 18 years, 8 months ago

Who will go number one, sure won't be Ming

With the NBA draft looming ahead teams are faced with the tough decision of picking the player to lead the franchise for years to come. There are a plethora of quality players available this year and unlike last year's they won't all be 18 year olds. The biggest story of this year's draft will undoubtedly be 7'5 phenom Yao Ming. But will he be the best player in this year's draft?

No. Absolutely not. No basketball league in China can simulate the quality of the NBA. I can see him as the third overall pick in the draft. He will not fall out of the top five because a 7'5 player does not come along everyday.

The best player coming out this year, is Connecticut's versatile 6'7, 235 pound small forward, my man Caron Butler. Butler is a scoring machine and I place him higher than Ming, Jay Williams, Mike Dunleavy, Drew Gooden and just about anybody else in the draft. Butler brings superior handles, range, and size. He averaged 20 points a game in a tough Big East conference and he brings unmatched talent to the draft this year.

Jay Williams would be an excellent number two pick. He's not as complete a player as Butler mainly because of his falters at the line in clutch situations. Even if Williams never becomes a clutch player he will still be one of the best ballers at the next level.

Dunleavy surprised us all when he declared for the draft. Dunleavy is equipped with everything a NBA swingman needs except bulk. If Dunleavy packs on a few extra pounds he should go number four overall and be an excellent addition to anyone's team. He can already handle the rock because of his days as a 6'4 shooting guard and now that he has rocketed to almost 7'0 tall he could dominate at small forward, with a few more steaks.

Gooden can play both forward positions and even sub in at center occasionally. He has excellent size, versatility, and potential. He does not have all the skills of a Dunleavy or Butler, but Gooden should close out the top five. If he plays small forward in the league he will wreak havoc on the smaller guards.

Our hometown boy Chris Wilcox will be sixth overall based on sheer athletic ability and potential. He is not nearly as polished as any of the others in my top ten. He has a lot to learn and will probably create shockwaves throughout the league in few seasons.

My man Dajuan Wagner will go seventh and if he stayed in college another year his stock would go up to the top three. Wagner posses Iverson like quickness and should be able to dominate games like him as well. If Wagner goes to a team with a supporting cast could be the missing piece to a championship puzzle.

The last three players in my top ten are Kentucky's all-star Tayshaun Prince, USC's Sam Clancy, and Cincinnati's Steve Logan. Prince brings a great overall game and a polished outside shot but like Dunleavy he is skinny. Clancy is one of the most developed big men in the draft and I expect him to make an immediate impact. Logan will barely crack the top ten because there are two great point guards already ahead of him. If teams are looking for guards he'll make the top ten.

For all of the fans out there, who are wondering why Juan Dixon is not my top ten, they should understand that Dixon is about a buck fifty after Christmas dinner. Also Dixon would have to make the switch to point guard and there are at least three point guards that are guaranteed to go before him, Williams, Wagner, and Logan. He's still my man though. With some good workouts he'll break the first round.

Cal's Call: This ought to be an interesting draft. I'm looking forward to seeing what Yao Ming will do in America. I personally can't wait for Shaq to throw him a few bows. I think Ming like Kwame Brown will take some time to adjust to the faster paced and more competitive pro game. The most finished product in the draft, Butler will have the biggest immediate impact. After seeing this baller drop 32 points against Maryland in the elite eight battle, of the NCAA Tourney he was given the prestigious honor of being dubbed one of "my men."

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Calvin Anderson. Calvin Anderson was born in Washington D.C. on January 3rd 1986. He now lives with his mom in Takoma Park Maryland. Calvin is the man behind the infamous column Cal's Call. In addition to writing his column he enjoys playing sports including lacrosse and basketball … More »

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