Pro scouts intrigued by Duncan

April 24, 1995|By Newsday

Three dozen seniors gathered in Phoenix this past week for the NBA's annual scouting combine. Junior Burrough, a 6-foot-10 inside forward from Virginia, impressed with a soft shooting touch.

Other scouts like Sherell Ford, a guard with leaping ability from Illinois-Chicago.

None, however, will be drafted ahead of the top underclassmen who've made themselves eligible, such as Maryland's Joe Smith and Arkansas' Corliss Williamson.

But even Williamson and Smith take a back seat to the player who would be the consensus No. 1 pick if he declared: Wake Forest's Tim Duncan.

Scouts from coast (the Los Angeles Clippers) to coast (the Miami Heat) are wondering what's on the mind of the 6-10 Wake Forest sophomore center these days.

Scouts love his potential because he's even-headed and has played organized basketball for only four years; he started in athletics as a swimmer.

After the NCAA tournament, Duncan said he was giving no thought to turning pro. He's studious and loves school. Word is, however, that some are telling him he'd be foolish to spend an extra year in college, especially with the threat of a rookie salary cap looming for '96. As the top choice in June, Duncan could reap an average of $7 million a season.

The deadline for Duncan to change his mind is May 14.

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