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NBA draft leaves chances and surprises

June is the time of year for NBA teams to be blessed with new talent. The 2002 draft was loaded with talent, but many of the players could take time to develop. Potential is a great asset, but many coaches, fans and teammates look for things to happen right away.

The first pick this year went to the Houston Rockets. They took perhaps the biggest gamble of all the draft choices available on Yoa Ming, a 7-foot-5 center from the Shanghai Sharks in China. Ming has outstanding potential, but nobody has seen him play against the top centers of the NBA. Ming will have to adjust to the rough, physical ways of the NBA.

The next two picks came from the same university, winning a college title together. Jay Williams and Mike Dunleavy Jr. came out second and third respectively. Williams was chosen by the Chicago Bulls and Dunleavy was snatched up by the Golden State Warriors.

The Bulls could use Williams in many ways. Through college he has shown that he can do what a point guard needs to do and more. The only overwhelming weakness that Williams has is his sub-par free throw shooting. Other than that he’s one of the most exciting players to watch with his amazing quickness, ball handling skills, jumping and shooting ability from anywhere on the hardwood.

The Warriors took Dunleavy at a time when they desperately needed a versatile player that can do it on both ends of the floor. As a junior, Dunleavy averaged 17.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game in the more than challenging Atlantic Coast Conference. He is six feet nine inches tall, but with the agility of a guard. The Warriors will definitely use Dunleavy in more than one way this next season.

Some surprises were Caron Butler going at number 10, when many projected him to go as early as number three. Also there was Fredrick Jones, from Oregon going at number 14 to the Indiana Pacers. He stands at six feet four inches tall, has long arms, phenomenal jumping ability and performs when he’s needed in the clutch. Although Indiana received much criticism for this choice, the league will be surprised when Jones’ dunks on whom ever gets in his way next season.

It will definitely be exciting to see how these young players fare next year against the best players basketball has to offer.