CHICAGO -- More than 40 NBA scouts turned out in Rhode Island for Lamar Odom's first game. Double that were at the United Center last week for the Great Eight Classic.

With the NBA lockout showing no sign of ending, no college class in history will be scouted as much.And no college class may be as lacking in overall talent.

A poll of a half dozen NBA executives last week on the top talent in college suggested that Duke's Elton Brand is the most likely to be the No. 1 pick in next June's NBA draft.

Yet two general managers, when asked to project Brand as an NBA pro, said he reminded them most of Danny Fortson, the undersized Denver power forward from Cincinnati. NBA scouts don't look for the best college players. They look for whether players can succeed in the NBA and for so-called "tweeners" like Brand, because they are too small for power forward and too slow for small forward.

Of course, at this time last year few scouts even had Michael Olowokandi ranked among the top 20 players. So changes are likely and often dramatic. But here's the way a half-dozen NBA executives project the NBA draft if it were being held now:

Lamar Odom, Rhode Island, 6-10, sophomore: The next in a long line of next Magic Johnsons. The scouts like his athletic ability, arm length and potential as a huge guard, though not his background.

Wally Szczerbiak, Miami (Ohio), 6-8, senior: Great shooter, all-around athletic player. Mature from a solid basketball family.

Andre Miller, Utah, 6-2 senior: NBA teams are starting to place a premium on mature, senior players. His big question is whether he can shoot well enough. But he's savvy and a good leader.

Elton Brand, Duke, 6-8 sophomore: A wide-bodied type who makes things happen, but pro scouts wonder whether he can handle the bigger NBA players at his position.

Richard Hamilton, Connecticut, 6-6 junior: Would have to play two-guard in the NBA, but pros wonder about his ability to take the pounding with a skinny frame. Hope he projects out like Kerry Kittles.

Jumaine Jones, Georgia, 6-7 sophomore: Another athletic small forward from Georgia; the rebirth of Dominique Wilkins.

Lee Nailon, TCU, 6-9 senior: A big-time college scorer who could have trouble in the pros since he scores so much inside.

Brad Millard, St. Mary's, 7-3 junior: No one's seen him play because of a broken foot. But he could move up quickly because of the lack of size in the draft.

Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State, 6-2 junior: A solid all-around player in a strong class of guards. But needs to shoot better.

Trajan Langdon, Duke, 6-3 senior: Another guard. A mature player and an excellent shooter.

Baron Davis, UCLA, 6-2 sophomore: Had knee problems, but if healthy a top overall talent who is a little undisciplined.

Ed Cota, North Carolina, 6-1, junior: Top ballhandler who doesn't shoot well, like Tyus Edney.

Laron Profit, Maryland, 6-5 senior: A quick, athletic player who needs to shoot better and may have trouble finding an NBA position where he can score.

Todd MacCulloch, Washington, 7-0 senior: A center who shoots a high percentage and should have a long NBA career as a backup.

Quentin Richardson, DePaul, 6-6 freshman: One of those players with a knack for the ball. One scout likened him to a young Adrian Dantley when Dantley was a top rebounder at 6-5.

Others who could be in this group are Dion Glover of Georgia Tech, Arthur Lee of Stanford, Scott Padgett of Kentucky, Jason Terry of Arizona, Vonteego Cummings of Pittsburgh, Kenny Thomas of New Mexico and Northwestern's Evan Eschmeyer.