It can take 5-7 years to grade a draft

Updated: January 10, 2005, 1:02 PM ET
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider

While a few teams have struck gold and a few others have come up empty, the majority of NBA teams are still waiting to see exactly what they have from the 2003 and 2004 drafts. It really takes from five to seven years to truly judge how well a team fared in a given draft. With that said, the signs look encouraging for these teams.


Orlando Magic: Magic GM John Weisbrod took a real gamble on draft night when he selected prep star Dwight Howard over Emeka Okafor with the No. 1 pick. While Okafor has been better so far, especially on the offensive end, the Magic have been pleased with Howard.

Howard has been a beast on the boards and runs the floor well for a big man. His offense should come around. He's very skilled, but rushes things too often right now. Had the Magic drafted Okafor, chances are they'd be a lock for the No. 4 seed in the East this year. But long term, it looks like Howard has the potential to surpass Okafor because of his size and athleticism.

Chad Ford

ESPN Senior Writer