Can Okafor hold off Howard for No. 1?

Updated: June 23, 2004, 5:57 PM ET
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider
Finally, we know for sure who is and isn't in the draft. Thursday's deadline for underclassmen to withdraw saw several international players who had been projected in the first round -- Martynas Andriuskevicius, Kosta Perovic, Peja Samardziski, Tiago Splitter and Roko Leni Ukic -- bail out, leaving plenty of room in the lottery and the late first round for players to move up.

How weak did the draft get with all of the pull-outs? In my mind, the true first-rounders stop after No. 21. Everyone below, in a better draft, would be good second-round picks.

Knowing who's in the draft is a relief. Now, if we just knew who's drafting whom. There's a flurry of trade talk going on right now that could turn the draft completely on its head and make a mockery of this mock.

The first eight teams in the drafting order -- the Magic, Clippers, Bulls, Bobcats, Wizards, Hawks, Suns and Raptors -- are all in serious trade talks. A few -- the Clippers, Bobcats and Suns -- appear likely to make deals. The others are still trying to sort out the pieces.

Until they do, take everything you read here with a grain of salt. We'll update this mock one more time on Thursday morning.

Go to the second round of Insider's Mock Draft.


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Chad Ford | email

Senior Writer, NBA Insider

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