NBA Draft: Howard's No. 1

High school phenom Dwight Howard has emerged as the consensus No. 1 prospect for the 2004 NBA Draft.

Originally Published: January 9, 2004
By Chad Ford | NBA Insider
First for the good news. There will be no Dwight Howard watch this season. No endless replays of him dunking over scared, skinny 6-foot-4 kids. No talk of him signing a $100 million deal with Nike. No Hummer scandal. No Michael Jordan comparisons. Chances are, you'll never see him play before a highlight reel rolls on draft night.

Now for the tough love. Howard, a 6-foot-11, 255-pound, 18-year-old power forward from Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy (SACA), will not save the NBA. He will not average 19.9 ppg during his first few months in the league. He may not even be the top candidate for the NBA Rookie of the Year.

Finally, the hating. His game resembles Kwame Brown's more than LeBron's.

However, if things continue as they have, he will be the first player to hear his name called at the 2004 NBA Draft on June 24. Ladies and gentleman, we give you the consensus top NBA prospect in the country.

Chad Ford

ESPN Senior Writer