Draft stars come out at Hoops

Updated: June 9, 2004, 9:04 AM ET
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider
  • Chad Ford's mock draft: Standard version | Slideshow version

    CHICAGO -- Over the next 24 hours, a hoard of NBA GMs, scouts and coaches will descend upon tiny Moody Bible College here for the NBA's annual Chicago pre-draft camp.

    They will spend the next four days poring over the second-tier players in the draft -- essentially every prospect who isn't assured of being a first-round draft pick. One or two players will surprise folks here, raising their stock and working their way into the first round.

    But for the most part, Chicago has become a disappointment, as the draft's top players now skip the event for fear of playing poorly, getting hurt or, worse, getting exposed.

    Unbeknownst to most, the real pre-draft camp actually takes place about five miles east of Moody at the legendary Hoops the Gym, where Tim Grover, director of A.T.T.A.C.K. Athletics, is training five of the top seven players in the draft.

    Grover, the former trainer for Michael Jordan and a host of lottery picks over the years (including Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Chris Kaman last year), may have his best group ever. His client list reads like a who's-who of the 2004 draft -- Dwight Howard (who arrives Wednesday), Shaun Livingston, Luol Deng, Andre Iguodala and Devin Harris.

    Monday, Grover granted Insider exclusive access to Hoops while his clients prepared for private workouts with NBA teams later this week. After spending weeks in Europe and traveling throughout the U.S., I can say unequivocally that the best four players I've seen personally this year were at Hoops.

    Here's an Inside look at the real place to be in Chicago this week ...

    Chad Ford

    ESPN Senior Writer