Dwyane Wade-Wade could emerge from the pack as a top Rookie of the Year candidate. Although he hasn't received nearly the hype of the top 3 picks, scouts agree he has the fluid game and maturity to make an impact right away. In summer league play, despite having to learn to play primarily pg, Wade averaged 13.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 2.0 steals and 3.4 turnovers in five games. He also worked out for famed trainer Tim Grover this summer in Chicago, where observers say he more than held his own in pickup games against NBA stars.
Mickael Pietrus-Pietrus, dubbed the "French Jordan," brings a reputation as a terrific athlete and solid defender. He probably won't see much playing time behind Jason Richardson and Mike Dunleavy Jr., but Warriors coaches love his potential. Pietrus doesn't have much of a scoring game yet, but he can run the floor and jump out of the gym like Desmond Mason. On defense, he has size, quick hands, good footwork and a knack for making plays and just being in the right spot. Pietrus is just 21 and has a lot to learn about the NBA game, but he's worth a close look this month.
Zarko Cabarkapa-This long, thin 22-year-old has the makings of a star. He impressed in summer league play at the Rocky Mountain Revue, averaging 16.8 points and 7.4 rebounds. Zarko still needs to gain strength, and the Suns already have a pretty good small forward in Shawn Marion, so he probably won't play much at first. But coach Frank Johnson loves his shooting touch and all-around ability and thinks he can contribute. Given the Suns' success with first-round picks in recent years, who's going to argue?
Maciej Lampe-Although he was a 2nd-round pick, Lampe has created almost as much buzz in Gotham as 1st-round selection Michael Sweetney. The raw 18-year-old actually was projected to go in the lottery before contract issues with his Euroleague team sent his stock plummeting. Since then he has shown he was worth the gamble. He was the only rookie to be named to the all-tourney team at Rocky Mountain Revue, where he averaged 17.2 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 45.0% (9-of-22) from 3-point range. He's probably still a year or two away, but long-suffering Knicks fans no doubt can't wait to get a glimpse.
Luke Walton-Another 2nd-round pick, Walton might be the best passer in the Class of 2003. Although he lacks foot speed and isn't a great shooter, his intelligence, court vision and unselfishness make him a good fit for a Lakers team that figures to have enough scorers. With Rick Fox sidelined by foot injury and Devean George perhaps more suited for a bench role, coach Phil Jackson said Walton might see a big role immediately.