Andrew Bogut reacts to the crowd after being the first pick in the 2005 NBA Draft.
June 29, 2005
NEW YORK (AP) - Fourteen picks into the NBA draft, it what was clear to see why Andrew Bogut was the college player of the year.
And why North Carolina won an NCAA championship last season.
The Milwaukee Bucks made Bogut the first player with U.S. college experience to be drafted No. 1 overall in five years, and four Tar Heels were taken in the first round Tuesday night - matching a record for one school.
Milwaukee had been debating whether to take the Utah center or North Carolina's Marvin Williams with the franchise's first overall No. 1 pick since 1994. In the end, the lure of a versatile, athletic 7-footer was too much to pass up.
"I was confident, but I wasn't 100 percent," Bogut said. "Now that I'm here, it's a great honor."
The University of Utah also distinguished itself on this night, becoming the first school to have players picked first in the NBA and NFL drafts in the same year. Quarterback Alex Smith was drafted No. 1 by the San Francisco 49ers in April.
The Atlanta Hawks chose Williams second, and the 19-year-old player flashed a bright smile while shaking hands with commissioner David Stern.
"It's a great honor to get picked, and I wish the best for all the guys," Williams said.
It couldn't have worked out much better.
Not long after the Tar Heels' 6-foot-9 sixth-man was selected, three starters off UNC's fourth national title got to make that same joyful walk to the podium at Madison Square Garden.
Point guard Raymond Felton was next, going to the Charlotte Bobcats with the fifth pick.
"I am close to my hometown and to Chapel Hill, so that probably played a big role in it," said Felton, who's from South Carolina. "At the same time, I think I can bring a lot to the Bobcats."
Eight picks later, the Bobcats again looked close to home and took North Carolina forward Sean May.
"Ray told me yesterday he thought there may be a chance it would happen. Me being the person that I am, I thought my luck would never be that good," May said.
Next up, the Minnesota Timberwolves used the last lottery pick - No. 14 overall - to complete the Tar Heels grand slam by selecting shooting guard Rashad McCants.
That allowed North Carolina to match Duke as the only school to have four first-rounders in one draft. The Blue Devils did it in 1999 with Elton Brand, Corey Maggette, William Avery and Trajan Langdon.
Tar Heels coach Roy Williams was in New York to enjoy the moment with his former players, and called it a "big-time thrill."
"It's also a relief. I'd have been really mad if they had gone pro and none of them got drafted," he said with a smile.
Point guards were also in vogue early. Felton was the third of three straight to go in the top five.
Illinois junior point guard Deron Williams went third to the Jazz, who sent three first-round picks - Nos. 6 and 27 in this year's draft, plus a 2006 first-round pick - to the Trail Blazers earlier Tuesday.
New Orleans selected fourth and chose Wake Forest sophomore Chris Paul. It marked the first time since 1999 that three point guards were picked among the top 10.
The Portland trade was one of the few completed on a day that usually keeps the league office busy.
The other big deal had been in the works for days.
New York sent center Kurt Thomas and the No. 54 overall pick to Phoenix for shooting guard Quentin Richardson and point guard Nate Robinson of Washington, who was selected 21st. The Knicks also drafted Florida forward David Lee 30th, giving them three first-round picks.
High school senior Martell Webster of Seattle Prep went No. 6 to Portland, making him the first prep player taken in a draft notable for its historical significance. It likely marked the final time high school players would be eligible to jump directly to the pros - the route chosen by Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, LeBron James, Jermaine O'Neal among others.
Under terms of the new six-year collective bargaining agreement to take effect in July, high school players will have to wait one year after their class graduates to become draft eligible.
Connecticut sophomore forward Charlie Villanueva was chosen seventh by the Toronto Raptors, and the Knicks addressed their need for a big man by taking Arizona center Channing Frye - the first college senior selected - with the No. 8 pick.
Arizona State junior Ike Diogu went ninth to Golden State, and 7-foot high school senior Andrew Bynum of St. Joseph's High School in Metuchen, N.J., went 10th to the Los Angeles Lakers.
"Wow, man, I get to play with Kobe Bryant and get coached by Phil Jackson!" said Bynum, who was seated in the stands at Madison Square Garden rather than in the so-called green room near the main stage where most top prospects waited to hear their names called. "I'm looking forward to palm trees and Jack Nicholson."
Gerald Green - projected in most mock drafts to be the first high schooler taken - went to Boston at No. 18. Green was the last of three high school players taken in the first round. Six more went in the second.
Denver selected N.C. State guard Julius Hodge at No. 20, then picked Georgia Tech point guard Jarrett Jack two spots later and traded him to Portland for the 27th and 35th picks.
The NBA champion San Antonio Spurs selected French forward Ian Mahinmi at No. 28. He was one of seven international players to be chosen in the first round.
"Basketball is a global game, just like soccer is a global game," Bogut said. "You see the Manu Ginobilis and Yao Mings of the world. We can play the game in every country."