NBA DRAFT : After Syracuse’s Coleman, Making Predictions Is Mere Guessing Game


The trade winds that blew through the NBA this week will turn into a slight draft today, but predicting the outcome is anything but a breeze.

The consensus No. 1 choice, Derrick Coleman of Syracuse, gets the honor partly by default, with several undergraduates having elected to remain in school and another top prospect, Dwayne Schintzius, acting too much like an eighth-grader for some teams. But after the New Jersey Nets open the proceedings in New York at 4:30 p.m. PDT and take Coleman, as expected, the draft becomes a guessing game.

Dennis Scott of Georgia Tech is regarded as the second-best player available, and the Nets could be interested in him after trading away guard Dennis Hopson Tuesday, but it is more likely they fill that guard spot with recently acquired Reggie Theus.

Seattle, which has the second pick, already has high-scoring Dale Ellis, and the SuperSonics need a point guard more than another outside shooter such as Scott. Gary Payton of Oregon State has been mentioned most often for the SuperSonics.


Is Scott bound for Denver? The Nuggets traded up to get the No. 3 pick in the recent flurry of deals, but they also could use a playmaker. LSU’s Chris Jackson fits the dual role of scorer/ballhandler more than Scott, who is projected as a small forward.

The depth at guard in an otherwise shallow year shows immediately. Kendall Gill of Illinois, Rumeal Robinson of Michigan, Bo Kimble of Loyola Marymount and Travis Mays of Texas all have top-10 potential, which suits the Clippers fine. They’re picking No. 8 and should have a pool of at least two, and maybe three, of the above to choose from.

The Clippers will have to be patient until the uncertainty is settled among the top teams, including Sacramento, before them. The Kings, at No. 7, were in line to grab Robinson, but on Monday they traded center Pervis Ellison, meaning front-court help is again a priority.

It will be a long draft wait by Clipper standards. Discounting 1986, when they didn’t pick until the third round, this will be their longest inactivity in six years, when the eighth choice was used for Lancaster Gordon. But given the realistic choice among Mays, Kimble and maybe Robinson, the talent will make it worthwhile.

Whom to take? The public relations of taking local hero Kimble aside, he still seems a logical choice, given his great shooting range and under-duress performance in the NCAA tournament. The latter is something General Manager Elgin Baylor has always put stock in.

Five picks later, the Clippers, still cashing in on the Ron Harper trade that also brought a first-round pick in 1992, will go again. This time, it’s for size, preferably a backup center. Schintzius, his stock having dropped dramatically because of weight and discipline problems, will get a look if Golden State, in desperate need of an inside force, passes. A more likely pick is Duane Causewell, in academic-induced hibernation at Temple since January but potentially a solid defender in the pros.

“I feel real good about this draft for us,” said Barry Hecker, the Clippers’ director of scouting. “We’ve done our homework and seen all of these guys a lot. There’s not any disagreement, either. Elgin, Mike (Schuler, the coach), and myself are all on the same wavelength as far as who we want for our needs.”

Barring a late trade, the Lakers will outwait everyone. Pick No. 27, the result of having finished with the best record during the regular season, will truly be a best-player-available move. A repeat of 1989, when every team ahead stepped aside as Vlade Divac dropped into Jerry West’s hands, would be appreciated in Inglewood.


Otherwise, their choices are varied. For rebounders, Cedric Ceballos of Cal State Fullerton and Trevor Wilson of UCLA could both be around, among others. For guards, there are Dee Brown of Jacksonville, Bimbo Coles of Virginia or A.J. English, the Division II player of the year at Virginia Union.

The Lakers will also choose 51st, near the end of the second round. The Clippers traded their second-round selection to the Warriors in February to get Winston Garland.

NBA Notes

A year after the Eastern Bloc invasion by such players as Vlade Divac and Sarunas Marciulionis, the foreign impact has thinned out to a class of one, Yugoslav Toni Kukoc. He is listed as a forward, but the way the member of the silver-medalist 1988 Olympic team handles the ball and shoots from long range has led some teams to consider the appeal of having a 6-foot-9 guard. The drawback is his foreign commitment--both athletic and military--that makes him something of a gamble.


The Dallas Mavericks acquired forward Rodney McCray from Sacramento for two first-round picks in today’s draft and center Bill Wennington. The Mavericks, who gave up the 14th and 18th picks in the 1990 draft, also got two second-round picks in 1991. The Philadelphia 76ers, faced with the prospect of not choosing until 47th, traded guard Scott Brooks to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 32nd pick. “We felt that by picking at No. 32, there’s a chance to get a player equivalent to somebody that might be available at No. 20,” Coach Jim Lynam said. . . . With Rumeal Robinson, Loy Vaught and Terry Mills, Michigan has a good chance to become the third school to have three-first round picks the same year, joining Indiana in 1976 and UCLA in 1979. If Sean Higgins, leaving after his junior season, slips in, the Wolverines could be the first with four. Most scouts, however, predict the former Fairfax High star will be a second-rounder at best.


The order of selection for both rounds of the 1990 NBA draft, to be held today in New York. FIRST ROUND 1. New Jersey 2. Seattle 3. a-Denver (from Miami) 4. Orlando 5. Charlotte 6. Minnesota 7. Sacramento 8. Clippers 9. ab-Miami (from Wash. thr. Dallas, Denver) 10. Golden State 11. Atlanta 12. Houston 13. c-Clippers (from Cleveland) 14. d-Sacramento (from Dallas thr. Indiana) 15. a-Miami (from Denver) 16. Milwaukee 17. New York 18. d-Sacramento (From Dallas) 19. Boston 20. e-Minnesota (from Philadelphia) 21. Phoenix 22. f-New Jersey (from Chicago) 23. g-Sacramento (from Utah) 24. San Antonio 25. Portland 26. Detroit 27. Lakers

SECOND ROUND 28. h-Atlanta (from New Jersey) 29. i-Chicago (from Orlando) 30. Miami 31. j-Phoenix (from Charlotte) 32. k-Philadelphia (from Minnesota) 33. g-Utah from Sacramento 34. l-Golden State (from Clippers) 35. Washington 36. Golden State 37. m-Washington (from Atlanta) 38. Seattle 39. n-Charlotte (from Houston) 40. o-Sacramento (from Indiana) 41. p-Golden State (from Cleve. thr. Miami) 42. Denver 43. q-San Antonio (from Milwaukee) 44. r-Milwaukee (from New York thr. Seattle) 45. s-Indiana (from Dallas) 46. t-Indiana (from Boston) 47. Philadelphia 48. Phoenix 49. g-Sacramento from Utah 50. u-Phoenix (from Chicago) 51. v-Lakers (from San Antonio) 52. w-Cleveland (from Detroit thr. Phila.) 53. x-Seattle (from Portland) 54. y-San Antonio (from Lakers)



a-with trade that sent the No. 9 and 15 overall selections to Miami (June 22, 1990)

b-with trade that sent Fat Lever to Dallas (June 21, 1990) after trade that sent Jay Vincent to Washington (Sept. 3, 1986)

c-with trade that sent Reggie Williams and the rights to Danny Ferry to Cleveland for Ron Harper (Nov. 16, 1989)


d-with trade that sent Rodney McCray to Dallas (June 26, 1990)

e-with trade that sent Rick Mahorn to Philadelphia (Oct. 27, 1989)

f-with trade that sent Dennis Hopson to Chicago (June 26, 1990)

g-with trade that sent Jeff Malone to Utah and sent Bob Hansen and Eric Leckner to Sacramento (June 25, 1990)


h-with trade that sent Dallas Comegys to New Jersey (Nov. 4, 1987)

i-with trade that sent Dave Corzine to Orlando (June 27, 1989)

j-with trade that sent Armon Gilliam to Charlotte for Kurt Rambis (Dec. 13, 1989)

k-with trade that sent Scott Brooks to Minnesota (June 26, 1990)


l-with trade that sent Winston Garland to the Clippers (Feb. 22, 1990)

m-with trade that sent Gus Williams to Atlanta (Jan. 6, 1987)

n-with trade that sent Robert Reid to Charlotte for Bernard Thompson (July 15, 1988)

o-with trade that sent Wayman Tisdale to Sacramento for La Salle Thompson and Randy Wittman (Feb. 20, 1989)


p-Golden State must exercise the option 48 hours prior to the draft to choose Cleveland’s most favorable choice in 1990 or 1992

q-with trade that sent Terry Cummings to San Antonio for Alvin Robertson and Greg Anderson, May 28, 1989)

r-with trade that sent Jerry Reynolds to Seattle (Oct. 4, 1988)

s-with trade that sent Detlef Schrempf to Indiana for Herb Williams (Feb. 21, 1989)


t-with trade that sent Jerry Sichting to Boston (Oct. 3, 1985)

u-with trade that sent Kyle Macy to Chicago (Oct. 4, 1985)

v-with trade that sent Mike Smrek to San Antonio (Nov. 2, 1988)

w-with agreement that Cleveland would not match 76ers’ offer for World Free (Dec. 30, 1986) and that Philadelphia would not match Pistons’ offer for Earl Cureton (Nov. 12, 1983)


x-with trade that sent Maurice Lucas to Portland (Nov. 11, 1987)

y-with trade that sent Mychal Thompson to Lakers for Frank Brickowski and Petur Gudmundsson (Feb. 13, 1987)