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Draft Day Eve: Still Awaiting Word on Yao
Negotiations with CBA continue in China as Rockets await FIBA clearance; who will the Rockets take at 15?
TUESDAY, JUNE 25, 2002   8:08 AM CST
By Clutch
Copyright 2002
Draft Day Eve: Still Awaiting Word on Yao
Alas, there still has been no word on a conclusion to the negotiations between Yao Ming and the Chinese Basketball Association, and thus no letter of clearance from FIBA just yet.

The Rockets hope that word comes today, and Yao's agent Erick Zhang told the Houston Chronicle that one way or the other we will know today, and he remained very optimistic.

"We think it will get done on time," said Zhang. "Nothing has changed that. By end of the day I will know for sure if he will have his clearance. All the discussions we have right now are very positive. There is a will to have it resolved before the draft. People understand the need to have this done before the draft. That is what I expect."

I'm not really allowed to say much here, but I will say this: It will take a monstrous change of events for the Rockets to not select Yao #1 tomorrow.

But the Rockets don't have just the top pick to worry about. They also select with the 15th pick Wednesday.

The two most impressive Rocket workouts I am aware of, as far as candidates at 15 go, are those of Amare Stoudemire and Bostjan Nachbar.

Stoudemire, who actually injured his shoulder in the Rocket workout and missed several workouts after that as a result, was here with Drew Gooden, and the high school kid "destroyed him", said a Rocket source.

Strength, energy, speed and desire are some of Stoudemire's greatest strengths. It's likely he will be gone by #15 though, and some teams are trying to acquire a late lottery pick to snag him.

Nachbar on the other hand shot lights out in Sunday's workout. Both mid-range and from long ball, the Italian league forward, who measured closer to 6-foot-10, just ripped the cord all day. His defense is said to need some work however.

One player who has been dropping is Qyntel Woods, and according to a source, Woods showed zero defensive skills in his Rocket workout, and that is probably as big of a reason as to why he is dropping as is the fact that his character and background are being questioned.

All in all, Wednesday is going to be a hell of a day. Suspense at 1, 15 and 37. Get off work early and get in to the Clutch Chat room by 6 as the place is going to be rockin'.