Sunday, June 25, 2000

Top centers in the NBA Draft

By Mike DeCourcy
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        1. Chris Mihm, 7-foot, 262 pounds, Texas. Mihm is a classic study in draft psychology. Two years ago, Michael Olowokandi left Pacific with not nearly the same skills, but the Los Angeles Clippers weren't widely criticized for making him the No. 1 pick. Mihm shoots, handles and blocks shots like few big men in the league, has top-notch hands and feet, and he's getting taken apart. It's up to Mihm whether he becomes hungry enough to be great, but he'll never be less than very good. He can start in the league for a decade and a half.

        2. Joel Przybilla, 7-1, 260, Minnesota. While we're comparing players to current Clippers, how is it Lamar Odom's character was questioned last year because he vacillated on entering the draft, but Przybilla is getting a free pass for walking out on his team? With the academic scandal, Przybilla understood class attendance was mandatory — he didn't have to pass anything, because he was leaving for the draft — and still he refused. Even though he blocks shots and his offense improved more than is widely recognized, is that a guy you want on your side?

        3. Ernest Brown, 7-0, 245, Indian Hills (Iowa) C.C. Brown showed off a stunning ability to hit shots facing the basket at the pre-draft camp. He's not just an athlete and dunker any longer, but he certainly still has that in his arsenal. He has not faced the same competition as others in the draft, must develop an understanding of how to play and how to play hard and needs to continue growing his upper body. But his speed and agility make him a mid-first steal.

        4. Primoz Brezec, 7-2, 245, Union Olimpija (Slovenia). As the NBA looks for more mobile big men, Brezec runs the court well enough that he should have generated more attention at the pre-draft camp. One problem is that he's produced little as a European player and another is that his arms are a bit short for his body. He's at least as good a gamble as players like Alek Radojevic and Fredric Weis, who were first-rounders last year.

        5. Iakovos Tsakalidis, 7-2, 220, AEK Athens (Greece). One respected NBA scout says Tsakalidis couldn't get around a Patrick Ewing or Dikembe Mutombo if he were driving a Porsche. It's one thing to have slow feet when you're as skilled as Arvydas Sabonis, but Tsakalidis is said to have limited shooting range and few offensive moves. He also has contract obligations to Athens that may become problematic for a team that drafts him. And still, it's said he could be a top-five pick. Let the debate begin.

        6. Soumaila Samake, 7-2, 230, Cincinnati Stuff (IBL).

        7. Dalibor Bagaric, 7-0, 220, Benston Zagreb (Croatia).

        8. Jamaal Magloire, 6-10, 243, Kentucky.

        9. Mamadou N'diaye, 7-0, 235, Auburn.

        10. Jabari Smith, 6-11, 250, LSU.

NBA teams gamble on youth, 'upside' in draft
Enquirer's mock NBA draft
Top power forwards in the NBA Draft
Top shooting guards in the NBA Draft
Top small forwards in the NBA Draft
Top point guards in the NBA Draft
- Top centers in the NBA Draft

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