Stoudamire the "steal of the draft"
Photo By Carl F. Shifflette III
Cat Tracks Editor
Posted Jun 28, 2005


Salim Stoudamire just missed out on the first round. After working hard to overcome knocks on his height, his athleticism and his attitude, Stoudamire climbed back up the draft boards but missed guaranteed money by one pick. The Hawks made the Wildcat shooter the first pick of the second round.

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Although Stoudamire will not receive guaranteed money, he will have the next best thing. The Hawks have a need at guard, especially the point guard where veterans Tony Delk and Tyronn Lue shared the duty this past season.

“This guy will be the starting point guard for the Atlanta Hawks next year,” said ESPN analyst Greg Anderson during the NBA Draft broadcast on the network.

The Hawks needed a three-point shooter and Stoudamire gives it to them. The team shot a miserable .312 from behind the arc last year, with only one player, big man Jason Collier, making more the 40% of his shots. Collier was just 6-14 from three-point range. They ranked last in the NBA in three-point shooting.

Stoudamire led the nation in three-point shooting last season with a .504 average. For his career the Portland native was a 45.8% shooter from behind the arc.

Unlike most college guards, Stoudamire has legitimate NBA range.

"I think the guy we got at 31 is a hired gun," said former Hawk Dominique Wilkins on NBA.com. "He can make shots. He is very quick, and he is one of these lefties who is very tough to defend. He's a guy who is going to be good for us, no doubt."

Stoudamire will have to make the move to point guard after primarily being an off guard for the Wildcats. He did play spot minutes at the point and is a decent passer, but averaged less than two assists a game for his career.

All week Stoudamire was getting love from various talk show hosts and journalists. Most praised his shooting touch and his lineage. No commentator was more in the corner of Stoudamire than Dick Vitale.

Salim Stoudamire is the steal of the draft,” exclaimed the Duke-friendly broadcaster on the ESPN broadcast.



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