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RATING THE DRAFT

(Team, Player(s) picked, Comment)

ATLANTA

Alan Henderson, Donnie Boyce, Troy Brown, Cuonzo Martin

Henderson is steady and dependable, if unspectacular. Just what the Hawks should expect at No. 16.

BOSTON

Eric Williams, Junior Burrough

Williams' stock rose at predraft camps, although speculation had him going later. Should give Dominique Wilkins help.

CHARLOTTE

George Zidek

The Hornets filled a backcourt hole by getting Kendall Gill Tuesday. That allowed them to reach for Zidek.

CHICAGO

Jason Caffey, Dragan Tarlac

The Magic wanted Caffey to back up Horace Grant. The Bulls may ask him to replace Grant. Tarlac is impressive shooter.

CLEVELAND

Bob Sura, Donny Marshall

Sura thought he was going earlier and to a team in need of a guard, i.e. Boston. Cavs need a backup guard.

DALLAS

Cherokee Parks, Loren Meyer

Mavs get a yin-and-yang center combo. Parks has finesse and Meyer is a banger. Parks could also be a forward.

DENVER

Antonio McDyess, Anthony Pelle

Do we see a strong playoff run in the near future? McDyess teamed with Dikembe Mutombo could be awesome.

DETROIT

Theo Ratliff, Randolph Childress Lou Roe, Don Reid

Ratliff gives Detroit some needed size. Childress is likely headed to Portland for Otis Thorpe.

GOLDEN STATE

J. Smith, A. DeClercq, D.Whitfield, M.Lewis, M.McDonald

He's no Shaq. He's not even a Glenn Robinson. But Smith was the best choice available. DeClercq will be a solid role player.

HOUSTON

Erik Meek

Like the Magic, Houston wanted a forward/center for depth. Except Houston had to wait until pick No. 41. Meek is a reach.

INDIANA

Travis Best, Fred Hoiberg

The Pacers lose Byron Scott in the expansion draft, so this was the next-Best thing. Hoiberg is a shooter.

L.A. CLIPPERS

Brent Barry, Constantin Popa

Clippers still the Clippers. Pass on Stackhouse, give up McDyess and get a couple of midrange players instead.

L.A. LAKERS

Frankie King

L.A. gave up two '97 second-round picks to get King, the nation's second-leading scorer. May play point guard.

MIAMI

Kurt Thomas, George Banks

Thomas was third player in NCAA history to lead nation in scoring and rebounding. Replaces John Salley.

MILWAUKEE

Shawn Respert, Rashard Griffith, Eric Snow

Nice inside-out combination for the Bucks. Respert was the draft's best shooter and Griffith is a premier shot blocker.

MINNESOTA

Kevin Garnett, Mark Davis, Jerome Allen

Give credit to Kevin McHale for taking a gamble and picking a high school star. And give him grief in 1999 if it was a bomb.

NEW JERSEY

Ed O'Bannon

There are questions about stability of O'Bannon's left knee. Otherwise, he's wonderful. Contrast to Jersey's usual whiners.

ORLANDO

David Vaughn

Orlando fulfills its need. Vaughn was among Magic's top hopes and should give much-needed depth up front.

PHILADELPHIA

Jerry Stackhouse

There was talk of Philly trading up to get Stackhouse. Instead, it stayed put and still got the next "Next Jordan."

PHOENIX

Michael Finley, Mario Bennett, Chris Carr

Neither Bennett nor Finley looks like a starter. So the Suns better hope Barkley and Manning return intact.

PORTLAND

Gary Trent

Final tally on Portland's two trades: Give up pick Nos. 17 and 18 to get Trent at No. 11 and a '96 first-rounder.

SACRAMENTO

Corliss Williamson, Dejan Bodiroga, Tyus Edney

Great potential. Williamson would have been a top-five pick in '94 but stock dropped. Edney is tiny, but a tremendous talent.

SAN ANTONIO

Cory Alexander

Alexander is small but can play both guard positions. Missed the '93-'94 season with broken ankle.

SEATTLE

Sherell Ford, Zyndrunas Ilgauskas

Ford averaged 26 points as a senior and was MVP of a predraft camp but slipped to No. 26. Could be a sleeper.

TORONTO

Damon Stoudamire, Jimmy King

Choice of Stoudamire means B. J. Armstrong is gone. Few had him this high, but Isiah Thomas should know point guards.

UTAH

Greg Ostertag

Ostertag is a 7-footer. He's also a 7-footer. In other words, he'll block shots, draw fouls and get the sporadic dunk.

VANCOUVER

Bryant Reeves, Lawrence Moten

Reeves was the best true center in the draft. Which doesn't say a lot about the big men. Moten is a pure scorer.

WASHINGTON

Rasheed Wallace, Terrence Rencher

The Bullets need a point guard, but none was worthy of No. 4 pick. So Wallace could be dealt to get a guard.

The New York Knicks did not have picks in the draft.

_ JOHN ROMANO

Up next:David Vaughn

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