Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

NBA Draft: Grizzly Coups, Serbian Longshots

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey -- On the day the general managers finally had to tell the truth, the NBA draft produced the usual bushel of surprises.


Toronto's Isiah Thomas -- who praised Marcus Camby on national television, throwing everyone off his track -- actually selected him.


Syracuse's John Wallace, congratulated for returning for his senior year, fell out of the lottery and tumbled to No. 18, going behind two high school kids.


Wallace fell to the New York Knicks, who had three picks -- and used them all for small forwards, despite having no starter at the other positions under 30.


Stephon Marbury cried when the Milwaukee Bucks drafted him, later sobbing, "I can't even describe how I feel, I waited 20 years -- 20 years! -- for this day and it's here now. It's here now!"


He was then traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves where he'll be with his best friend, Kevin Garnett, making him even happier. He didn't even have to wait 20 years for that one.


"I can't believe it," Marbury said. "It happened so quick. I was with Milwaukee for like a minute."


Is this a great league or what?


Despite weeks of trade talks, the draft ran close to form. Allen Iverson went to Philadelphia, becoming the first point guard to be selected first overall since Magic Johnson in 1979.


Youth records fell in droves. The first round set new highs with 13 undergraduates, two high school players, and five from European leagues. There were only 11 of that vanishing breed, the college senior. The first seven picks were undergrads, yet another new mark.


Here's how it went:


Coups. The Vancouver Grizzlies squirmed for a week, sure Thomas wanted Shareef-Abdul Rahim. They offered their No. 22 pick to the Philadelphia 76ers to flop picks to jump ahead of Thomas. The Sixers, fearing Thomas was really after Iverson, said no.


The Grizzlies got Abdur-Rahim just by staying put, then got Alabama's promising shot blocker, Roy Rogers at No. 22. For the Grizzlies, the best trade was definitely the one that was turned down.


The Timberwolves' Kevin McHale got Marbury at a bargain price: Ray Allen and a 1998 No. 1. Bringing in Garnett's friend improves Minnesota's chances of keeping the pair.


The Cleveland Cavaliers got 6-10, 277-pound Vitaly Potapenko at No. 13 and 7-3, 258-pound Zydrunas Ilgauskas at No. 20. The Ukrainian Potapenko is far ahead of the Lithuanian Ilgauskas but both are legitimate prospects.


Bargains. Jerome Williams to the Detroit Pistons at No. 26. Everyone thought he'd go in mid-round. Doug Collins loves scrappy, self-effacing players like him.


Efthimis Retzias to Denver at No. 23. The 6-11 youngster was ticketed for the Golden State Warriors at No. 11 but they got cold feet about the year left on his Greek contract.


Longshots. Teams have trouble pulling the trigger on Europeans (Vlade Divac fell to the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 26 in 1989, eluding the Chicago Bulls who passed on him three times) but the Sacramento Kings stepped up at No. 14 for Sasha Stojakovic, a 6-8 Serbian hot gun.


(For other results, see Scorecard.)