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2003 NBA Prospects

Updated 3.3.03

*This list is not an indication of where players are projected to be drafted, but a projection of how they will end up in the NBA.
The list is a focus on players that are realistic prospects for the 2003 NBA Draft.

  Prospect   Comments
Lebron James 6-8 240 SG Akron OH HSSr. No one has ever had this kind of hype coming into the league. So far LeBron has done nothing but live up to all the hype. He has changed the face of high school basketball forever. Lebron's biggest task is keeping the hype from getting inside his head, causing him to lose desire, and limiting his vast potential.
Darko Milicic 7-0 245 SF/PF (Yugoslavia) 1985 Could actually challenge LeBron for the top pick in the draft. He's that good. Unlike James, he has proven himself against top level competition. There are 2 franchise type talents in this draft. Milicic has as much potential as any European player ever and will likely have no trouble adapting to the NBA.
Chris Bosh 6-10 220 PF Georgia Tech Fr. Some believe he'll turn down his top 5 draft status and return to Georgia Tech to develop his body and game another year. He really needs physical development as much as anything. Very long, lean, but very agile and surprisingly skilled for a bigman. He benefited from a late growth spurt and developed perimeter skills early. His game is a cross between Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.
Carmelo Anthony 6-8 220 SF Syracuse Fr. The most dominant freshman in years. Hard to see anyone bumping him out of the 3 spot in the draft. Anthony is just a freshman, but could be as NBA ready as anyone in college.
TJ Ford 5-10 165 PG Texas So. The most valuable player in college basketball, and scouts are in a frenzy over him. Has unbelievable heart. A special talent. If he were two inches taller he would be a top 5 pick. And he still may be! He runs a team as well as any point guard in years. Bigger point guards will be able to post him and defend him more easily because of his size. His jumpshot has really come around.
Emeka Okafor 6-9 240 PF UConn So. A physical freak type with extremely long arms and great timing on block shots. Plays like a seven footer. Has developed on the offensive end, and seems to understand his limitations and play within himself. He must develop better post moves and some range.
Hakim Warrick 6-8 210 SF Syracuse So. Bigtime athlete in the Darius Miles mold. But he already has better skills. Still ironing out the fundamentals, but has tremendous upside. He's way ahead schedule on his development curve.
Anderson Varejão 6-10 230 PF (Brazil) 1982 Raw specimen type with big potential. Hasn't had the playing time to prove himself and it could force him to return, however the buzz around him could be enough to push him into the mid/late lotto area and force him to enter this year.
Jarvis Hayes 6-6 200 SG Georgia Jr. Pro scouts love his game. He is a solid rebounder and defender, and his jump shot is dynamite.
Travis Outlaw 6-9 190 SF Starkville HSSr. Has the kind of raw athleticism that makes your heart race. Still very unskilled, but has shown continued development. Inside sources say he's likely coming, and a late lotto/mid first round pick. His long term skills would benefit from a year or two in college.
Luke Ridnour 6-2 165 PG Oregon Jr. NBA scouts feel he's a mid first rounder because he isn't the top level physical talent. His competitiveness is what really grabs you. The guy leaves it all out on the floor every time out. Great understanding of the game and amazing maturity. His quickness is very good, but his smarts and competitiveness are what separate him from the rest. Was a huge fan of "Pistol" Pete Maravich , and some of his game can be seen in Ridnour's.
Chris Kaman 7-0 255 C Central Michigan Jr. Without question, top center prospect in college right now. Like Bosh, had a late growth spurt that enabled him to learn a small mans game and develop perimeter skills before growing into a post player. Kaman struggled in a game when many scouts showed up, with just 6 points against NIU, however he had back problems due to an errant elbow in practice going into that game.
Sofoklis Schortsianitis 6-9 253 PF (Greece) 1985 He's 99% headed for the 2003 draft according to sources. A lot depends on his height. European players are normally measured without shoes on, and his most common measurement is 2.05 meters which converts to 6-9. Some claim, he's closer to 6-8. If he's in the 6-9 to 6-10 range, he's a top 10 pick and has the potential to develop into a Karl Malone type of enforcer. But he still must make the transition from the C to the PF position.
Kirk Hinrich 6-3 180 PG Kansas Sr. Scouts absolutely love Hinrich's potential and feel he'll be able to handle the PG position without trouble. Huckleberry Finn in basketball shorts. Doesn't look like an NBA player, but the kid has game. Will be playing the 2 position this year, but showed that he can run the show as a point guard.
Ben Gordon 6-2 185 PG UConn So. A scoring point guard with great confidence and toughness. Some feel he'll return for his junior season, however he may find his stock is too high to pass up the draft.
Reece Gaines 6-6 195 PG/SG Louisville Sr. A very smooth game with point guard skills at 6-6. Doesn't try to be spectacular, but can take over games when his team needs it. Very solid all around game. Shot looks a little unorthodox, but he hits big shots time and time again.
Dwyane Wade 6-4 200 SG Marquette Jr. Very active and athletic player who seems to play at another speed. His quickness and decision making are excellent, and he has great desire. His size is a detriment, but his athleticism and long arms help make up for it.
Elton Brand-like beast. Powerful post player with super strength and intensity. Some insiders insist he's really leaning towards returning to G-town.
David West 6-8 232 PF Xavier Sr. Undersized PF with great versatility. A dominant college PF who can do it all, score, rebound, defend. Listed at 6-9 and due to his exceptionally long arms he is essentially a 6-9 player despite being only 6-8.
Rick Rickert 6-10 202 PF Minnesota So. Right now he's not a lottery pick because there are big questions about just how strong he can get. Will he be like a Shawn Bradley and have trouble packing pounds on? One of the best outside shooters in college and that's impressive considering he's close to 7 feet.
James Lang 6-11 320 C Central Park (Birmingham AL) Bigtime talent with BIG question marks. Most likely will dip into the draft early. Biggest fears about this guy revolve around his weight. Just the thought of Eddy Curry will drop this guy 5-8 spots.
Zarko Cabarkapa 6-11 230 SF/PF (Yugoslavia) 1981 Will probably benefit from the "Euro frenzy". At first glance, he looks very similar to the Gasol's and Nowitzki's with ball handling and athleticism from a 7 footer. However he lacks the instinct to ever be a team leader and some feel he's a bust waiting to happen. He can become a solid role player but will likely get hyped and drafted earlier than he should.
Christian Drejer 6-8 210 SG/SF Florida Fr. Highly skilled Danish player with great scoring ability and good athleticism. Really understands the game and passes well. His season has not lived up to expectations due to a severe ankle injury, but he has begun to find a groove and display his great abilities.
Mo Williams 6-1 185 PG Alabama So. Listed size is legit. Has explosive quickness, but not a big leaper. Has great creativity and maturity. Has a good basketball mind, which is key at the PG position. Has a bright future.
Kendrick Perkins 6-10 260 PF/C Ozen HSSr. Doesn't have the upside of Lang, but he's a more solid bet. Hasn't developed from his sophomore season to now as much as some would like, but there aren't many bigmen with this kind of strength, agility, and touch. Must show more intensity and consistency. Not very mobile for the PF position, and small for a center. A couple years in college are probably in his best interest.
Jerome Beasley 6-10 241 PF North Dakota Sr. Late bloomer, originally from Moreno Valley California. Very smooth bigman. Will likely blow some teams away with his shooting ability and athleticism and get taken in the mid to late first round area. Had a solid performance against Drew Gooden and Nick Collison last year showing that he's capable playing against talented players.
Nick Collison 6-10 250 PF Kansas Sr. Very skilled bigman with nice post game and touch. Lacks great strength and quickness. Very smart fundamentally sound player.
Mario Austin 6-8 255 PF Mississippi St. Jr. Lacks height, but a real warrior with great passing skills. One of the strongest post players in college basketball.
No one has improved their stock more than Josh Howard this year. He's now considered a mid first round pick.
Mickaël Pietrus 6-6 200 SG Pau Orthez (France) 1982 France's answer to Jason Richardson, except he doesn't have much patience or maturity on the court. Has a tendency to become too enamored with the three point shot despite average shooting numbers. Still his athletic talent is hard to dismiss.
Zoran Planinic 6-6 180 PG/SG (Croatia) 1982 Considered a likely late first rounder by scouts. Teams love the 6-6 playmaker and Planinic is next in the line of big guards with point guard skills to enter the NBA. Planinic suffered an injury which affected his play over the past two seasons. He is very similar to Jiri Welsch with a little less athleticism and more ball skills.
Darius Rice 6-10 205 SF Miami Jr. Similar to Tayshaun Prince, has incredibly long arms and a great shooting stroke. He's a perimeter guy who lacks quickness off the dribble and in the open floor.
David Harrison 7-0 240 C Colorado So. Neither tough nor durable. He comes to play about half the time, but due to his size and athletic ability he's considered a first rounder. He could be a lottery pick next year by playing up to his ability next year. But those guys with the "...if he could live up to his ability" tags never seem to.
Carlos Delfino 6-7 201 SG/SF (Argentina) 1982
Either you love him or you hate him. The better Manu Ginobili plays, the higher his stock climbs. NBA teams are big on the association game.
Charlie Villanueva 6-10 215 SF Blair Academy HSSr. Not a surefire first rounder because of the questions about his desire. There's no questioning his desire to be a pro, and it may come sooner than later. The post season All-Star games will likely decide his fate. If teams say he'll be a first rounder after a good showing, he's gone and possibly is regardless.
Romain Sato 6-4 185 SG Xavier Jr. A physical freak who plays above the rim and can shoot the 3 ball. His guard skills have steadily improved each year. Long arms allow him to play big, and he is relentless on the glass for a guard.
Plain and simple a top notch shooter. Similar to 16 year NBA veteran Dell Curry. It's raining again.
Edu Hernández 7-0 235 C (Spain) 1983 Not a stand out talent, but has size and skills to play in the NBA. Most likely will wait until 2004 and guarantee himself a spot in the first round, but he may test the draft process.
Aleksander Pavlovic 6-7 207 SG/SF (Yugoslavia) 1983 Very skilled forward with good athleticism and decent quickness. Understands the game very well and has become a key player for a top European team at under 20 years of age.
Marcus Banks 6-1 200 PG UNLV Sr. Scouts wonder if he's enough of a PG to run a team. He's got the physique of a tailback, but sometimes makes unsavory decisions. Has the razzle dazzle, and heart, just needs to tone his game down and show that he can be a fundamental playmaker and he can stick in the league.
Brian Cook 6-10 240 PF Illinois Sr. Agile bigman with shooting skills. Many scouts are sold on him being a legit NBA post player and a first round pick. Lacks a true position or the intensity to be much of a pro in our book, but a talented near seven footer.
Troy Bell 6-1 171 PG Boston College Sr. Fearless player with great leadership skills. Very head strong player with a knack for scoring and getting to the free throw line where he's automatic. Scouts think his lack of size and true point guard skills will keep him out of the first round.
Rashad McCants 6-3 201 SG North Carolina Fr. Scouts seem to disagree on his draft stock. Some feel he could actually be a first rounder while others think his size is too big an issue. He will most likely look to test the draft process. His inability to mesh with the team concept at North Carolina may cost him some.
Kyle Korver 6-7 210 SF Creighton Sr. A poor mans Wally Szczerbiak. Really has to hustle to make up for his athletic shortcomings, but plays harder than anyone, and has the best shooting stroke in college.
Chris Marcus 7-1 285 C Western Kentucky Sr. Has a chance to be taken in the first round. But he will have to rehab his foot and get himself in shape to have decent enough workouts to convince teams that he's worth the gamble. Without showing teams something in workouts he could slip to the end of the draft or possibly even go undrafted.
Ruben Douglas 6-4 200 SG New Mexico Sr. A scoring machine. Has very good offensive skills. Good quickness. But a bit undersized.
Dahntay Jones 6-6 210 SG Duke Sr. Lacks a great all around game, but his decision making and skills have improved along with his confidence. His leaping ability and body control are among the games elite.
Steve Blake 6-3 175 PG Maryland Sr. After TJ Ford, Blake is the second best floor general in college. He has an innate ability to run a team. His strength needs to improve but he has dispelled the notion that he can't shoot/score (his biggest knock) to an extent.
Boris Diaw 6-8 201 SF Pau Orthez (France) 1982 European scouts rave about his athletic ability. He has the total package with skills, and physical ability. He just lacks the aggressiveness and toughness to put it all together.
Leandro Barbosa 6-3 PG (Brazil) 1982 There seems to be a stigma against International guards. Maybe because the fundamentals are more important for a guard and international players, particularly South Americans tend to be less fundamentally sound. However, Barbosa has a lot of International experience and has impressed many with his athleticism and quickness. The biggest knock against him is his shooting ability.

Honorable Mention







High School Seniors

International Prospects

Past Rankings

12/13/03 Rankings
7/14/02 Rankings

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