Allen Iverson said the No. 1 pick is a toss-up, Stephon Marbury disagreed and Isiah Thomas considered neither player as he wondered what to do with the No. 2 pick.
Much remained unsettled Tuesday on the eve of the NBA draft, even among the teams picking near the very top. On Wednesday, trades and surprises were expected all day.A record 36 underclassmen and high school players have declared themselves eligible, and general managers and scouts will choose from a mixed bag of prospects who are certainly the youngest - and possibly the least polished - the league has ever seen.
"It's one of the most puzzling, confusing and exhilarating drafts because nobody has a clue," said Marty Blake, director of the league's scouting service.
The Philadelphia 76ers are expected to take a point guard with the first pick, and the choice is between Iverson of Georgetown and Marbury of Georgia Tech.
Both Iverson and Marbury have listed Philadelphia as their first choice, and both have refused to work out for other teams. Iverson is leaving school after two years and Marbury is leaving after one.
The second pick belongs to the Toronto Raptors, who want the best big man and don't need a point guard. Thomas, the general manager of the Raptors, was trying to decide between Marcus Camby of Massachusetts and Shareef Abdur-Rahim of California.
Abdur-Rahim worked out for the Raptors on Monday. Camby, who heard Thomas commit to him before Abdur-Rahim changed his mind for a second time and re-entered the draft, has been left wondering whether he could drop to third or lower.
Vancouver might end up trading the third pick if Iverson and Abdur-Rahim are taken first and second. The Grizzlies want Marbury, not Camby, but Marbury doesn't want to play in Vancouver. That could entice the Grizzlies to trade down in the top 10 and pick up a quality player and a good draft pick at the same time.
Following Philadelphia, Toronto and Vancouver, the draft order is Milwaukee, Minnesota, Boston, the Los Angeles Clippers, New Jersey, Dallas and Indiana.
The final nine first-round choices go to Cleveland, New York, Vancouver, Denver, the Los Angeles Lakers, Utah, Detroit, Orlando, Atlanta and Chicago.
The picture gets murkier in the middle and late first round.