Best indications are that Charles Barkley is fed up, and collectors should consider dumping Sir Charles memorabilia while the time is right. Barkley, disgusted with his Houston Rockets' el foldo in the first round of the playoffs, is weighing retirement again. Barkley said the same thing two years ago and was considering entering politics in his native Alabama. This time, though, Barkley's age, injuries and lack of opportunity to win an elusive NBA title should put him over the top and on the sidelines permanently.

Forget waiting in line to see the new Star Wars movie. Collectors should start lining up to grab ahold of NBA rookie cards this fall.

With Duke's Corey Maggette joining two of his underclassmen teammates in declaring their eligibility for the June NBA draft, the prospects of a deep, talented class have increased. And, following a lockout shortened year, their chances of having impact in their first year should improve over this year's rookie class.

Randy Minkoff is a regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine, and Crain's Chicago Business. He has been syndicated nationally as a radio/tv critic and has also written a weekly column for the Daily Herald. He is the author of Ron Santo; For Love of Ivy, the biography of the former Cub third baseman and his battle against diabetes. A native of St. Louis, Mo., he is a graduate of Drake University School of Journalism.