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NBA Draft 2004
By Class:
Senior's 1st RD: 4
Senior's 2nd RD: 19
Junior's 1st RD: 8
Sophomore's 1st RD: 1
Sophomore's 2nd RD: 1
Freshmen 1st RD: 2
Freshmen 2nd RD: 1
International 1st RD: 6
International 2nd RD: 9
H.S. Seniors 1st RD: 8
Total Selected: 59
By Position:
Centers: 7
Power Forwards: 10
Small Forwards: 12
Shooting Guards: 16
Point Guards: 14
2004 NBA Draft Review
DATE: June 24, 2004

Site: Theatre at Madison Square Garden, New York
The biggest question before the draft was, "who’s going number one"? Many pegged the NCAA college player of the year, Emeka Okafor, whose sparkling career at Connecticut and post defense made him a serious front-runner in most minds. But in the end, the high schooler with tremendous potential and humble religious upbringings, Dwight Howard, was just too much to pass up for Orlando. Okafor and college teammate Ben Gordon went back to back, going two and three in the draft. The last College teammates to do so that high in the draft were Duke’s Jay Williams and Mike Dunleavy, who went 2 and 3 respectively in the 2002 NBA Draft. One of the greatest surprises of the draft was how high Rafael Araujo went at number nine. Many draft experts and journalists had him going in the top twenty. High Schooler Sebastian Telfair was another surprise, as he didn’t play all that great in workouts but was still taken in the lottery at thirteen with the Portland Trailblazers.

The few players that dropped farther than predicted were Peter John Ramos and Jameer Nelson. Many were outraged that Nelson lasted up till mid first before he was picked 20th. Peter John Ramos was labeled a high mid first rounder, but that came to a close as questions surrounding his attitude, work ethic and level of competition dogged him on draft night. Second rounder David Young sneaked into the draft after being somewhat of an afterthought and having to fight the small school label that most prospects similar to him are affected by. Jackson Vroman went from being a possible non-prospect to becoming 2 spots shy of getting into the first round due to his pre-draft camp play. Western Carolina’s Kevin Martin also moved up on the NBA’s draft list, as his workouts impressed many Gm’s and scouts.

It is after a record number of high schoolers (eight) that NBA Commissioner David Stern warns that he will try to reach an agreement with the players association for raising the minimum age limit. The international explosion that was last year’s draft cooled down as only one foreign player was among the first 20 picks in the first round. True firsts in draft history, the countries of South Korea (Ha Seung-Jin) and Latvia (Andris Biedrins), had their first players drafted by the NBA. The inclusion of the expansion team, Charlotte Bobcats, expanded the draft field from 58 selections to 60 selections.

Like every year, there are some players that probably hurt themselves by staying in college. Chris Duhon, Romain Sato, and Rickey Paulding all could have entered the draft at some point of their collegiate career and become first rounders. Instead, they choose to stay a tough discussion that shouldn’t be ridiculed, but still hurt their draft prospects. Christian Drejer took plenty of heat when he left the University of Florida in mid season to accept a contract and play for the Spanish pro team F.C. Barcelona. What Drejer didn’t count on was the NBA drafting him. Nor was he counting on struggling so much in international play. But due to the fact that he played for a college, he was automatically entered into the NBA draft (as stated in the draft rules). Unfortunately, it appears that impatience has cost Drejer dearly, as he went from a potential first rounder to a late second round pick.

This is the last draft in which the Minnesota Timberwolves will forfeit an NBA first round draft pick due to the league imposed punishment for the Joe Smith fiasco that almost ruined their franchise.

Automatically Eligible for Draft: All NCAA seniors, International players born in the year 1982, or players that transferred from a college team to a professional team in the same calendar year are automatically entered.
    Order: 15-30 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 1983-1986 can apply.
       Irregularities: The Minnesota Timberwolves have forfeited there first round draft pick. Would have been the 29th overall selection.
Lottery Picks: 1-14 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: Dwight Howard (1st overall)
Naismith Player Of the Year: Jameer Nelson (20th overall)
Last Man Standing: Rashad Wright (60th Overall)
First Point Guard: Shaun Livingston (4th overall)
First Shooting Guard: Ben Gordon (3rd overall)
First Small Forward: Josh Childress (6th overall)
First Power Forward: Dwight Howard (1st overall)
First Center: Rafael Araujo (8th overall)
Dominant Alumni: Foreign Leagues (15)
Andris Biedrins (11th overall)
Pavel Podkolzin (21st overall)
Viktor Khryapa (22nd overall)
Sergei Monia (23rd overall)
Alexander Vujacic (27th overall)
Beno Udrih (28th overall)
Anderson Varejao (31st overall)
Peter John Ramos (33rd overall)
Albert Miralles (40th overall)
Viktor Sanikidze (43rd overall)
Ha Seung-Jin (47th overall)
Sergei Lishouk (50th overall)
Spanoulis Vassilis (51st overall)
Christian Drejer (52nd overall)
Sergey Karaulov (58th overall)
Final Four:
Connecticut: Emeka Okafor (2nd overall), Ben Gordon (3rd overall)
Duke: Luol Deng (7th overall), Chris Duhon (39th Overall)
Oklahoma State: Tony Allen (25th overall)
Georgia Tech: None
Total Underclassmen Declared: 92
Oldest Player Drafted: Antonio Burks (24)
Yougest Player Drafted: Viktor Sanikidze (18)

Copyright © 2004 The Draft Review. All rights reserved.