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NBA Draft 2003
By Class:
Senior's 1st RD: 9
Senior's 2nd RD: 13
Junior's 1st RD: 5
Junior's 2nd RD: 1
Sophomore's 1st RD: 1
Freshmen 1st RD: 2
Freshmen 2nd RD: 2
International 1st RD: 8
International 2nd RD: 12
H.S. Seniors 1st RD: 4
H.S. Seniors 2nd RD: 1
Total Selected: 58
By Position:
Centers: 5
Power Forwards: 18
Small Forwards: 13
Shooting Guards: 11
Point Guards: 11
2003 NBA Draft Review
DATE: June 26, 2003

Site: Theatre at Madison Square Garden, New York
Through the years, there have been few NBA drafts with a surefire lock for the number one pick. Lebron James was ranked by most experts and journalists as the number one amateur player in the world. During his senior year, "The Lebron Effect" was tremendous leading up to the draft. His popularity and fame were so high that the demand for his games to grew in epic proportions. Auction websites such as EBay were selling video taped games for $25-$50.00 dollars. ESPN took it a step further and commenced to broadcast nationally televised games during his senior season. Even casual fans were tuning in to catch a glimpse of the next potential Michael Jordan. And unlike many of the Early Entry underclassmen, the freshman Carmelo Anthony led Syracuse to the NCAA Championship. For the first time in a long while, the NBA had two stars in Anthony and Lebron, who had already established huge fan bases before playing in the NBA. But add to this list the Serbian sensation, Darko Milicic who just turned 18, and had already played two years of professional ball in Yugoslavia’s top league. Scouts and GM’s were enamored with his height and shooting ability. UNLV’s Marcus Banks went from being an early second draft pick to one of the hottest names in the draft. Through private workouts Banks’ stock went through the roof.

One of the most interesting stories on draft night was the drama of Maciej Lampe. Although considered by many to be one of the top ten talents in the draft, he unbelievably slid out of the first round before being the first second round selection by the New York Knicks. Lampe’s stock plummeted when his overseas team, Complutense, sent memos to all of the NBA informing them that Lampe had a huge buyout and they still maintained his rights. This information made a lot of team's leery about drafting a player in the first round that could have legal problems.

Although both Jason Kapono and Luke Walton didn’t perform the way many scouts and GM’s hoped and although they weren’t marked as definite draft prospects, they did the best job of improving their draft stock. Slovenian guard Sani Becirovic also deserves admiration for coming back from two serious knee injuries that were so devastating, many called it career ending. Had Becirovic come out two years earlier, he quite possibly would have been a top twenty selection. Unfortunately, his injuries kept him out of the game for a year and he had opportunity for only one mediocre workout before the draft. Many will tell you he was probably only at 35-40 percent of his true playing level. Nevertheless, Becirovic’s success as a draftee is a testament to his perseverance and ability as a ball player.

This draft also led to a rule change as Sofoklis Schortsanitis and Darko Milicic were allowed to enter the NBA draft despite being age seventeen when they declared. Commissioner David Stern pointed to the league’s former rule that stated a player must be eighteen when they declare for the draft. Stern then went on to say that both Schortsanitis and Milicic were eligible if they were eighteen at the time of the draft. This worked out great for Milicic, but would Schortsanitis been better served staying overseas? He dropped out of the first round and was selected in the second round, 34th overall, by the Los Angles Clippers.

Then came the pick that made the most commotion and virtually no one knew about it. The Portland Trailblazer’s selection of Nedzad Sinanovic had many wide-eyed and open mouthed. After almost three years with the Bosnian Army, Sinanovic decided he was going to play basketball again. His agent had him signed and on his way to the Spanish club, Unicaja Malaga. Here, the raw prospect would workout, gain experience and training, but would never actually play for the team, giving him extremely low exposure to scouts and GMs. During this time Sinanovic developed tremendous potential, and because of his age, was automatically eligible for the draft. But with a non-English speaking agent and virtually no publicity, the prospect of going undrafted was at the door. This fate, however, was what Sinanovic was hoping for. Going undrafted equated to more dollars for the player. As a free agent, he would have bypassed the rookie pay scale and been able to sign a contract with any NBA team for an unrestricted amount. Needless to say, gone are the days of international surprises!

Automatically Eligible for Draft: All NCAA seniors, International players born in the year 1981, or players that transferred from a college team to a professional team in the same calendar year are automatically entered.
    Order: 14-29 Order is determined by season records and tiebreakers per team.

Early Entry: High school seniors and International draftees are eligible for the draft if they are in the same year in which they turn 18. All other candidates 18 and over such as H.S. Seniors, Freshmen, Sophomore, Juniors, Seniors and Internationals prospects born 1982-1985 can apply.       
Irregularities: None.
Lottery Picks: 1-13 Order is detremined by ping pong balls with the team with the worst record getting the most chances. Each team in the lottery is assigned a certain number of combinations, such that teams with worse records are assigned more combinations increasing their odds of landing a top-3 pick. There are a total of 1,000 combinations that are assigned, one of the combinations does not belong to any team and the 4 balls are redrawn if it is encountered. Having 1,000 combinations makes it easier to calculate the probability of receiving the first pick in the draft. 
Total Rounds: Two
First Pick: Lebron James (1st overall)
Naismith Player Of the Year: T.J. Ford (6th overall)
Last Man Standing: Andreas Glyniadakis (58th Overall)
First Point Guard: Kirk Hinrich (7th overall)
First Shooting Guard: Lebron James (1st overall)
First Small Forward: Carmelo Anthony (3rd overall)
First Power Forward: Darko Milicic (2nd overall)
First Center: Chris Kaman (6th overall)
Dominant Alumni: Foreign Leagues (20)
Darko Milicic (2nd overall)
Mickael Pietrus (11th overall)
Zarko Cabarkapa (17th overall)
Aleksandar Pavlovic (28th overall)
Boris Diaw (21st overall)
Zoran Planinic (22nd overall)
Carlos Delfino (25th overall)
Leandrinho Barbosa (28th overall)
Maciej Lampe (30th overall)
Sofoklis Schortsanitis (34th overall)
Axel Hervelle (52nd overall)
Szymon Szewczyk (35th overall)
Slavko Vranes (39th overall)
Zaur Pachulia (42nd overall)
Malick Badiane (44th overall)
Sani Becirovic (46th overall)
Pacellis Morlende (50th overall)
Remon Van De Hare (52nd overall)
Nedzad Sinanovic (54th overall)
Xue Yuyang (57th overall)
Andreas Glyniadakis (58th overall)

Final Four:
Syracuse: Carmelo Anthony (3rd overall)
Kansas: Kirk Hinrich (7th overall),Nick Collison (12th overall)
Texas: T.J. Ford (8th overall)
Marquette: Dwyane Wade (5th overall)
Total Underclassmen Declared: 74
Oldest Player Drafted: Travis Hansen (25)
Yougest Player Drafted: Sofoklis Schortsanitis (18)

Copyright © 2004 The Draft Review. All rights reserved.