Meet The Picks Several savvy sites can make you better acquainted with the likely choices in the NBA draft

June 24, 2001

Remember the days when the characters in the NBA draft seemed as
familiar as those on Cheers? Now, because of an influx of high
school stars, college underclassmen and international prospects,
identifying the players in Wednesday's proceedings at Madison
Square Garden (TNT, 7 p.m.) feels more like trying to name the
contestants in the first episode of Survivor. Fortunately,
several websites can introduce fans to these rookies-in-waiting.

The best is information-packed nbadraft.net, run (with the help
of contributors and "NBA insiders") by San Francisco-based Aran
Smith, 28. The site has an up-to-the-second draft countdown and
a mock draft updated once every three days. As of Sunday it had
the Wizards, who choose first, selecting Seton Hall forward
Eddie Griffin (page 86). On the site's International Prospects
link, the top talent is 7'6" center Yao Ming of China. ("This
guy is already stronger than [7'6" Mavericks center Shawn]
Bradley will ever be.") Looking for sleepers? Check out
nbadraftreport.alliancesports.com, which weighs in on the
predraft camps and offers the predictions of scout John D.
Thompson. St. John's guard Omar Cook (above), says Thompson, is
a first-round lock after a solid performance at the Chicago
camp. Clutchcity.net, run by three rabid Rockets rooters, has
balanced, well-reported bios on 24 possible first-rounders.
Finally, sportsline.com's Pro Potential Index ranking, compiled,
the site says, "with the actual help of several hundred people
across the country" by basketball writer George Rodecker, grades
200 players on a 1-to-10 scale in 12 categories. Kwame Brown, a
6'10" forward out of Glynn Academy in Brunswick, Ga., was graded
highest (93.25). The site's experts had Brown going no lower
than fourth.

--John O'Keefe

COLOR PHOTO: MANNY MILLAN

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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