Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NBA Rookies

The days of landing a franchise cornerstone player in the NBA draft lottery are long gone. With so many players leaving college before their game is completely developed NBA teams end up with a project more often than not. For every Derrick Rose and Blake "The Barbarian" Griffin there is an Adam Morrison and Hasheem Thabeet. The immediate impact simply isn't there. The system that is currently in place encourages players to audition for the NBA in college for a year and enter the draft based on a suspect body of work. The end result is generally an unfinished product that doesn't live up to potential or expectation. We are almost a quarter of the way through the season and aside from a few big names we see this trend repeating itself. Here is a list of the top 10 picks from the 2010 NBA draft and how they are doing so far.

1. John Wall. He's shown the flashes of brilliance that made him the #1 overall pick in 2010. The Washington Wizards aren't a very good team and Gilbert Arenas is the world's worst mentor, but he's averaging 18 points and 9 assists per game (when he's healthy) and fortunately for him no one is expecting a miracle.

2. Evan Turner. Playing with Andre Iguodala is difficult for anyone with a scorer's mentality, but it looks like AI is on the trading block which should free up some minutes and shots for Evan Almighty. So far 8 points and a .416 shooting percentage isn't blowing anybody away.

3. Derrick Favors. Perhaps being the subject of trade rumors since he arrived in New Jersey has hampered his development somewhat, but NBA basketball is a business and he has to find a way to regain his confidence. 7 points and 5 rebounds a game is not what the Nets had in mind when they took him with the 3rd overall pick.

4. Wesley Johnson. Kevin Love and Michael Beasley carry this team so there's not a lot of opportunity for Wesley to shine. He was considered the player most ready for the NBA coming out of college so we won't close the book on him just yet.

5. DeMarcus Cousins. DeMarcus Cousins has trouble staying on the floor because he's always in foul trouble. In addition his field goal percentage is below 40%. With the Maloofs leaking money and coach Paul Westphal on the hot seat this situation may get worse before it gets better.

6. Ekpe Udoh. Hasn't played this season due to a wrist injury suffered this summer.

7. Greg Monroe. Shooting 35% and averaging 3.7 points in 17 minutes on a last place team. The definition of a project.

8. Al Farouq Aminu. Holding his own on a miserable team in complete disarray. Until Baron Davis comes back from injury the jury is still out on this guy.

9. Gordon Hayward. 1 of only 2 players in the top 10 to play on a winning team. Coach Jerry Sloan typically doesn't play rookies and the Jazz are deep at small forward so I doubt if we'll hear too much out of Gordon this season.

10. Paul George. Playing behind all star Danny Granger, James Posey, and Mike Dunleavy Jr. is a good way to go unnoticed. He's only played in 8 games this season so far and I don't expect him to see the court too often.

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