- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 24, 2004

From combined dispatches

DEERFIELD, Ill. — The Chicago Bulls added a pair of college standouts in the NBA draft on Thursday, taking Ben Gordon of Connecticut and agreeing to a trade for Duke’s Luol Deng.

The Bulls took Gordon with the No.3 selection, then got Deng at No.7 in a trade agreement with the Phoenix Suns.

“We need to start building this team up again. We’re still a very young basketball team,” Bulls general manager John Paxson said. “We’ve addressed some needs. We needed scoring and shooting out of this draft.

“With Ben Gordon, we get both. With Luol Deng, we get both.”

Gordon led the Huskies to a national championship, averaging a team-leading 18.5 points this season. The junior guard averaged 21.2 points during six NCAA tournament games.

The 6-3 guard was selected one pick after Huskies teammate Emeka Okafor, who went second to the expansion Charlotte Bobcats.

Deng was taken at No.7 by the Phoenix Suns, who made the pick for the Bulls. Chicago traded a future first round selection, a second round pick and cash for Phoenix’s first-round choice.

Gordon joins a young Bulls backcourt that includes Kirk Hinrich, Chicago’s first round draft selection last year. Hinrich was one of the few bright spots on last season’s team, averaging 12 points and nearly seven assists.

The selection of Gordon could mean the end of Jamal Crawford’s tenure with the Bulls. Crawford, the eighth pick of the draft in 2000, is a restricted free agent.

Crawford led the team in scoring at 17.3 points a game, though his defense and shot selection were often questioned.

This is the third straight year the Bulls have used their top pick on a guard. Chicago took Jay Williams of Duke two years ago, then lost him in the offseason last year to a motorcycle accident.

Gordon’s stock rose leading up to the draft after several impressive workouts. He was projected as a point guard in the NBA, but could slide over to shooting guard for the Bulls.

He ended his career at Connecticut with 1,795 points and 437 assists, and his 246 3-pointers are a school record. He was a career 42.3 shooter from 3-point range.

In Deng, the Bulls added much-needed depth at the small forward position. The 6-8 Deng left college after averaging 15.1 points and 6.9 rebounds in his only season at Duke.

Iguodala to Philly

PHILADELPHIA — Versatile Arizona swingman Andre Iguodala was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers after he slipped to the No. 9 pick.

Iguodala averaged 12.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists as a sophomore last season.

“I’m looking forward to coming in and assisting Allen Iverson,” Iguodala said. “I can play above the rim. I can play the one [point guard]. I can do everything well.”

The Sixers are coming off a disappointing 33-49 season, missing the playoffs for the first time since the 1997-98 season. Iguodala is the first pick under Jim O’Brien, the third coach hired by Philadelphia since Larry Brown resigned after the 2002-03 season.

The 6-foot-6 Iguodala has been compared to Scottie Pippen. He is considered an excellent passer, but inconsistent shooter. Many draft projections had him going in the top five.

“His athletic ability is something we coveted,” Sixers general manager Billy King said. “He can play three positions.”

He is Philadelphia’s highest selection since the Sixers took Larry Hughes at No. 8 in 1998. Hughes was traded 1½ years later.

Other players picked at No. 9 in past seasons include Tracy McGrady (1997), Dirk Nowitzki (1998), Shawn Marion (1999) and Amare Stoudemire (2002). But there’s also been several busts picked ninth, including Tom Hammonds (1989), Willie Burton (1990) and Ed O’Bannon (1995) and Joel Przybilla (2000).

O’Brien, the former Boston Celtics coach hired to replace interim coach Chris Ford in April, was in Lexington, Mass., for his daughter’s graduation on Thursday, leaving the personnel moves to King, assistant general manager Tony DiLeo and director of player personnel Courtney Witte.

Livingston makes history

LOS ANGELES — Shaun Livingston became the first point guard to go directly from high school to being an NBA lottery pick when the Clippers took him fourth in the draft.

Livingston, who starred at Peoria (Ill.) Central High, had originally committed to Duke. He twice led his school to the Class AA state championship and last season was chosen as Illinois Mr. Basketball.

“We got the player we wanted,” Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor said. “From the first time we watched this kid we just thought he was something special.”

The 6-foot-6 Livingston who has a nearly 7-foot wingspan turns 19 on Sept. 11.

“I look to make a contribution sooner than later and take a tough work ethic into the Los Angeles Clippers,” he said from draft headquarters in New York.

The knock on Livingston is his slight build. He has increased his weight from 175 pounds to 186 since his high school season ended, Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said.

“He may not have stopped growing yet,” Dunleavy said. “He has a frame that can put weight on.”

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