Draft standing a mystery to Diogu - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Draft standing a mystery to Diogu

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Posted: Tuesday, June 28, 2005 1:00 am | Updated: 8:10 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Ike Diogu is reading all the same Web sites and poring over all the same mock drafts that all pro basketball fans do, and the pontificators claim he could be anything from a lottery selection to a second-round, non-guaranteed pick in today's 2005 NBA draft.

“I've been trying to figure out where I might go for a few months now, and I guess I'll finally find out today,'' the former Arizona State star said Monday before boarding a plane for Dallas — where he will watch the draft at his family's home.

“I don't think I'll get a lot of sleep (Monday night), but (today) will be exciting. I'm about to find out where my future is headed.''

After making his final decision to leave ASU last Tuesday, Diogu said he had two final workouts last week with lottery teams — one with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have the No. 14 pick today, and a second workout with the Golden State Warriors, who pick ninth and have shown consistent interest in the Pac-10 Player of the Year who led the conference in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots.

Diogu turned down workout invitations with Boston, Charlotte and the Los Angeles Lakers.

He was not one of the top 16 players invited to New York as potential lottery picks, but that doesn't mean lottery teams aren’t interested.

The Warriors have been enamored with Diogu since he wiped the floor with Pittsburgh's Chris Taft in a private workout last month. Minnesota now has Rex Chapman — who saw Diogu up close for three years as a college scout and then personnel director for the Suns — helping to call the shots as a draft consultant. Interestingly, Chapman joined the organization just before Diogu was brought in for a look-see.

But there are other options. New Jersey (picking 15th) has needed a power forward since Kenyon Martin left for Denver. Toronto (16th) needs size and scoring, as does Denver (20th). Houston (24th) could use a scorer to complement Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming and Utah (27th) has shown interest.

The Suns brought Diogu in for two workouts, but indications are they will pass even if he is still available when they draft 21st.

“I could go in the teens, I could go in the 20s, I really have no idea,'' Diogu said. “People might think I know, but I really don't.''

Diogu said the days following his decision to leave ASU have been “really tough'' and he's spent a lot of time with friends and former teammates in Tempe.

“When I woke up the next day, I was wishing I would have had more time to decide. It was more difficult than anyone realizes.''

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