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90'sNBARocked
08-21-2012, 07:51 PM
[url]http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-am-the-nba-rookies-to-watch/[/The Rookies To Watch:


There is no doubting that Olympian gold medalist and top overall pick Anthony Davis is the favorite in the clubhouse to win the Rookie of The Year award in 2012-2013. Second overall selection Michael Kidd-Gilchrist looked great in summer league and could have a solid season for the Bobcats. Washington’s Bradley Beal is in the perfect situation in Washington to flourish; even Sacramento’s Thomas Robinson could shine with the Kings. However there are a few rookies who were drafted outside the top five that either put on a show in Summer League or are now poised to have big roles in the 2012-2013 season that are worth paying attention to, here are a few of them:

Damian Lillard, Portland: Lillard was the co-MVP of the Las Vegas Summer League and truly looked like a man among boys at times running the show for the Trail Blazers’ summer crew. Lillard looks like he is the favorite to start for the Blazers and given his knack for scoring the ball and his polish, he does become a Rookie of The Year prospect, mainly because he’ll get the playing time and opportunity to showcase his skills. LaMarcus Aldridge is the lead dog in Portland, so Lillard won’t be the leading scorer, but if he can put up solid double-figure scoring and hand out the six-to-eight assists per game he says he’s capable of, Lillard could be one of the brighter rookies in the class.

Maurice Harkless, Orlando: Mo Harkless was projected to be a bench guy in Philadelphia, but after the Dwight Howard trade landed him in Orlando, things are looking up for Harkless. It’s unlikely that Harkless starts the season as a starter, but there is little doubt that Harkless will get every opportunity to speed along his development. A rangy small forward type, Harkless has shown glimpses of having Rudy Gay/Kevin Durant type scoring ability, which will make him a fan favorite for sure. Harkless was a streaky shooter at St. John’s, however, he’s spent the entire summer re-working his shooting mechanics. If he can drain the three-ball effectively, he will supplant anyone they put in front of him in Orlando. Mo may not start the season as a starter, but the smart money is on him ending the season as one.

Harrison Barnes, Golden State: There really couldn’t be a better situation for Harrison Barnes than the Warriors. There is almost no pressure on him and all he’ll be asked to do is play his game, not carry a franchise. Barnes was one of the brighter spots in summer league and he is expected to play a big role for the Warriors. The problem for Barnes is he’s not going to get nearly the amount of looks it will take to be a real Rookie of The Year candidate, but there is no doubting that the skills are there. The Warriors are so deep with young talent that Barnes day-to-day numbers may be underwhelming, but if you are looking for the guy that could give you 25 on any given night he might be that guy.

Terrence Ross, Toronto: The training camp battle between Terrence Ross and Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan will be one to watch. DeRozan has the bigger, more mature NBA body and he is certainly more explosive as a scorer. However, Terrence Ross is a far better shooter. There has been talk that the Raptors would try and find ways to get both guys on the floor together, but if Ross wins the starter’s job in camp or if injury strikes Ross has the ability to be an impact scorer. Like Barnes it’s unlikely that Ross gets the minutes and touches to be a real Rookie of The Year candidate, but when you start looking at the Rookies to watch he could be one of the best of the bunch.

Jared Sullinger, Boston: Sullinger proved in the Orlando Summer League that he’s not nearly as damaged as the draft process made him out to be and unlike most of the young bigs in summer league, he proved that he was ready to play. The Celtics have a lot of mature veterans in front of Sully, so it’s unlikely that he plays a big role as a rookie, but if he does get his shot he has the bulk and the knack for scoring that could make things interesting. He is not a Rookie of The Year candidate, but he should be fun to watch especially after the Celtic vets like Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce get a hold of him and teach him a little nastiness.

Perry Jones III, Thunder Jones won’t be starting games, but if he sticks to the plan with the Thunder and his knee holds up he’ll have a chance for a regular role. When the Thunder started the draft process they were actually open to trading the pick. When PJIII landed to them late in the first they really couldn’t have been happier. Jones is going to have to learn to run the Thunder system and that was a knock on him in the draft process. Everyone knew Jones could play, but the question was could he run a complex system? That’s something he’ll have to prove in camp. PJIII is not a Rookie of The Year prospect, but he could be a fun rookie to watch. The Western Conference got appreciably better this summer, but adding Jones to the OKC bench crew that will likely feature Eric Maynor, Reggie Jackson and Olympian James Harden makes them better as well. The second unit in OKC added another high volume scorer, as if they were not deep enough already.

Orlando Johnson, Pacers If there is one guy in the second round who could make a name for himself its likely Indiana’s Orlando Johnson. With a great mix of perimeter shooting, an attack-the-basket game, and a high basketball IQ Johnson could be a nice addition to a very young Pacers squad. Paul George is the starter at the two spot, but if Johnson gets some extended time he could provide a scoring boost like he did in summer league. There is no scenario short of a major injury in which Johnson will be in the Rookie of the Year discussion, but if you are looking for a dark horse rookie to watch, he might be the guy.

imbtyler
08-21-2012, 08:51 PM
I have to say, what scoring boost did OJ provide during Summer League? I agree with the statements, though. Summer League is just a farce when it comes to true projections, but it'd be awesome if he became a watchable rookie this year.

Heisenberg
08-21-2012, 08:59 PM
I have to say, what scoring boost did OJ provide during Summer League? I agree with the statements, though. Summer League is just a farce when it comes to true projections, but it'd be awesome if he became a watchable rookie this year.

He did put up 12.4 a game, 3rd on the team. Sure, wasn't exactly efficient at 26%, but it's still a scoring boost. I guess.

imawhat
08-21-2012, 09:23 PM
There are quite a few 2nd rounders I'd put ahead of Orlando, like Will Barton.

Sparhawk
08-21-2012, 10:09 PM
Apparently OJ couldn't miss against air defenders. Summer League he couldn't hit a shot.

Something tells me this guy could be like another streaky, and horribly inefficient scorer...AJ Price.

Hypnotiq
08-21-2012, 10:37 PM
OJ is Barbosa 2.0 streaky shooter and has blackhole traits

Ace E.Anderson
08-21-2012, 11:03 PM
If Lance and other players have shown us ANYTHING it's that killing it in the summer league doesn't really mean much. Yes I'm a bit worried about OJ's shooting percentage and lack of passing, but for all we know; the coaching staff could've told him to put it up as much as he could.

Though he wasn't converting these opportunities, OJ was able to create space and get good looks at the basket, which was somewhat of a question mark coming in.

He's a rookie 2nd round pick on a deep playoff team. If he gives us anything resembling a contribution offensively then it's a positive.

Heisenberg
08-22-2012, 02:11 AM
If OJ gets burn in more than 20 or so games then that's a successful rookie year as far as I'm concerned.

xtacy
08-22-2012, 02:21 AM
He did put up 12.4 a game, 3rd on the team. Sure, wasn't exactly efficient at 26%, but it's still a scoring boost. I guess.

%26! wow.

xIndyFan
08-22-2012, 07:19 AM
OJ is Barbosa 2.0 streaky shooter and has blackhole traits

boy, i do hope that OJ is Leandrhino 2.0. Barbossa can play.

imbtyler
08-22-2012, 09:03 AM
If OJ can fill the position of Barbosa, I won't be disappointed. Leandro disappointed overall, into the playoffs and such; but if OJ can provide some quick scoring, when it's most needed, then that'll be a success in my eyes.

I'm not really surprised that Plumlee isn't on the list of rookies to watch (as are several other interesting rookies), but I think that he'll be the rookie that we're keeping our eyes on to produce well. Since a few of us are looking at him to replace Hansbrough to some degree, I think Plumlee is going to be under the microscope all season.

xBulletproof
08-22-2012, 09:04 AM
What? No Plumlee? Sheesh.

Hicks
08-22-2012, 10:36 AM
Apparently OJ couldn't miss against air defenders. Summer League he couldn't hit a shot.

Something tells me this guy could be like another streaky, and horribly inefficient scorer...AJ Price.

Well, even if that's the case, at least this time he's actually playing shooting guard, not point guard.

But his %'s in college look good to me, and highlights show him hitting contested shots. I'm sure he's as streaky as any shooter/scorer is, but I'm encouraged that he can put up good %'s and hit contested shots.

http://insider.espn.go.com/nbadraft/results/players/stats/_/id/19670/orlando-johnson

His freshman %'s aren't good, but his final 3 years (the ones where he was at UCSB), his FG% was .481, .475, .451 and his 3G% was .397, .405, .427

Considering that he was apparently their only true weapon on offense (meaning he was the defense's focal point essentially all of the time), I think those are pretty good %'s.

vnzla81
08-22-2012, 10:39 AM
I'm still waiting for the "OJ is going to revolutionize the Pacers" thread.

J7F
08-22-2012, 10:43 AM
I'm still waiting for the "OJ is going to revolutionize the Pacers" thread.

So start it... After all you do trust the Pacers when it comes to drafting well...

Sparhawk
08-22-2012, 10:53 AM
Well, even if that's the case, at least this time he's actually playing shooting guard, not point guard.

But his %'s in college look good to me, and highlights show him hitting contested shots. I'm sure he's as streaky as any shooter/scorer is, but I'm encouraged that he can put up good %'s and hit contested shots.

http://insider.espn.go.com/nbadraft/results/players/stats/_/id/19670/orlando-johnson

His freshman %'s aren't good, but his final 3 years (the ones where he was at UCSB), his FG% was .481, .475, .451 and his 3G% was .397, .405, .427

Considering that he was apparently their only true weapon on offense (meaning he was the defense's focal point essentially all of the time), I think those are pretty good %'s.

He certainly shot the ball well in college. But that doesn't always translate. Just ask Adam Morrison. I think OJ's problem is that he isn't very fast, but he could turn out something like a MarShon Brooks lite. That's not a bad thing. I'd rather not see too much of OJ next season though...mainly cause I really want Lance to succeed and get all those backup sg minutes and even some at the point.

Not surprised Plumlee didn't make the list. hahaha I will say, even though the Pacers past up on better prospects, I do think Plumlee will have a longer and better career than Hans.

Hicks
08-22-2012, 11:17 AM
So why didn't it translate for Adam Morrison?

graphic-er
08-22-2012, 11:56 AM
Plumlee is gonna get some minutes, he'll be a joy to watch.

Sparhawk
08-22-2012, 12:39 PM
So why didn't it translate for Adam Morrison?

I feel like it's pretty obvious.

In college he shot 50%. In the NBA he never shot better than 38% (and probably against backups too).

Just cause you are an efficient scorer in college doesn't always mean you will in the NBA.

I'm not trying to dog OJ. I think he could be one of the few 2nd rounders to have a decent career. I certainly felt he was a better pick than Plumlee.

Hicks
08-22-2012, 01:06 PM
I feel like it's pretty obvious.

In college he shot 50%. In the NBA he never shot better than 38% (and probably against backups too).

Just cause you are an efficient scorer in college doesn't always mean you will in the NBA.

I'm not trying to dog OJ. I think he could be one of the few 2nd rounders to have a decent career. I certainly felt he was a better pick than Plumlee.

Maybe it is obvious, but I'm trying to pin down exactly what the problem was. Was he getting open more in college than he was in the pros? He struggles to hit contested jumpers? He got to the rim in college and couldn't in the pros? I don't remember much about the guy, so I don't claim to know.

graphic-er
08-22-2012, 04:29 PM
Maybe it is obvious, but I'm trying to pin down exactly what the problem was. Was he getting open more in college than he was in the pros? He struggles to hit contested jumpers? He got to the rim in college and couldn't in the pros? I don't remember much about the guy, so I don't claim to know.
Wasn't quick enough, and wasn't strong enough to play the SF position that about sums it up. If you aren't quick or strong, then you won't last in the league.

Mad-Mad-Mario
08-22-2012, 04:38 PM
OJ is a guy I would play the last few minutes of the first quarter, give him a few shots. If he hits them, keep using him. If he misses them, hes riding the pine till the end of the game unless its a blowout one way or the other. Maybe not the best way to develop him. But the Pacers can't exactly afford to lose games to develop second rounders.

Eddie Gill
08-22-2012, 08:20 PM
If OJ can fill the position of Barbosa, I won't be disappointed. Leandro disappointed overall, into the playoffs and such; but if OJ can provide some quick scoring, when it's most needed, then that'll be a success in my eyes.

I'm not really surprised that Plumlee isn't on the list of rookies to watch (as are several other interesting rookies), but I think that he'll be the rookie that we're keeping our eyes on to produce well. Since a few of us are looking at him to replace Hansbrough to some degree, I think Plumlee is going to be under the microscope all season.

I was as disappointed as anyone with Barbosa in the playoffs, but I think people forget the boost he provided in the weeks following his acquisition.

imbtyler
08-22-2012, 11:30 PM
I was as disappointed as anyone with Barbosa in the playoffs, but I think people forget the boost he provided in the weeks following his acquisition.

Don't get me wrong, he definitely added a good boost to the team. And I don't forget that he was the primary difference to give us our single regular season win against the Miami Heat. I liked what he did, but I would rather build a rookie into that kind of player based on our needs. I know Gerald Green can get to the rim and hit 3's; despite Barbosa's lightning-quickness, is there a difference between what El Rapido and Green bring to the table?

I would like to see OJ get some playing time, and develop into the next surprisingly good/decent/great player to be stolen in the second round (since '04: Trevor Ariza, Monta Ellis, Lou Williams, Paul Millsap, Glen Davis, DeAndre Jordan, Goran Dragic, Marcus Thornton, Chase Budinger, Sam Young, Landry Fields, Josh Selby, Isaiah Thomas). However, looking at this year's crop of players, I'd have to say that the players more likely to be "those guys" (besides OJ) out of the 2012 draft are Quincy Miller, Tyshawn Taylor, Doron Lamb, and maybe Will Barton.

Who knows?; maybe this year's Jeremy Lin will be Kostas Papanikolaou (picked 48th overall in 2012).

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/uDcKlLW5E_Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

What a dunk, Papa Niko. :applaud: :rotflmao:

Sparhawk
08-23-2012, 10:13 AM
Maybe it is obvious, but I'm trying to pin down exactly what the problem was. Was he getting open more in college than he was in the pros? He struggles to hit contested jumpers? He got to the rim in college and couldn't in the pros? I don't remember much about the guy, so I don't claim to know.

I'd say his lack of athleticism and speed were the main problems, but he couldn't even hit the outside J that he would just drain in college. I think OJ is gonna have the same problems, but at least his handles are better, so who really knows.

OJ and Lance could be a even be a nice tandem down the road. Lance at point and OJ at sg. Defense might be pretty ugly though. haha

Sparhawk
08-23-2012, 10:18 AM
I would like to see OJ get some playing time, and develop into the next surprisingly good/decent/great player to be stolen in the second round (since '04: Trevor Ariza, Monta Ellis, Lou Williams, Paul Millsap, Glen Davis, DeAndre Jordan, Goran Dragic, Marcus Thornton, Chase Budinger, Sam Young, Landry Fields, Josh Selby, Isaiah Thomas). However, looking at this year's crop of players, I'd have to say that the players more likely to be "those guys" (besides OJ) out of the 2012 draft are Quincy Miller, Tyshawn Taylor, Doron Lamb, and maybe Will Barton.



Also add Jeff Taylor and Jae Crowder to that list. The 2nd rounders this year will surprise many. Possibly Kyle O'Quinn too.

I think Jae Crowder will be the top steal of the second round followed by Quincy Miller.

Would have been nice to have picked Quincy Miller. He could turn into a pretty decent SF backup/starter.

It's all good though, I really loved the Gerald Green pickup. He should be the 6th man on the team soon.

Ace E.Anderson
08-23-2012, 10:42 AM
I'd say his lack of athleticism and speed were the main problems, but he couldn't even hit the outside J that he would just drain in college. I think OJ is gonna have the same problems, but at least his handles are better, so who really knows.

OJ and Lance could be a even be a nice tandem down the road. Lance at point and OJ at sg. Defense might be pretty ugly though. haha

I think OJ is a little bit of a better athlete than he was originally thought to be. He's not a freak by any means, but I think he's at least an average athlete. Adam Morrison was well below average in terms of foot speed, quickness, and athleticism.

Also, OJ has more of a "pace" to his game. He regularly stops and goes, keeping defenders off balance. All he needs to work on is making sure his J is tight, so that he's able to rise and shoot when he has the chance.

J7F
08-23-2012, 10:50 AM
Adam may have also had problems adjusting to the NBA 3pt line...

naptownmenace
08-23-2012, 12:30 PM
So why didn't it translate for Adam Morrison?

Slow of foot and slow release on his shot. If it was just one or the other, or if he was 6'9 or taller, he could still be effective (see Mike Dunleavy - slow of foot, quick release, 6'10" tall).

OJ doesn't have much speed and his release isn't quick enough to make up the difference. He's like Fred Jones and that's who I project his career to be like. That's not bad at all for a 2nd round role player.