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Rookie of the Year Rankings: Preseason Edition

Anklesnap September 14, 2009 Blogs 18 Comments

Griffin ROY

September 14, 2009 – Matt Anaya

Matt graduated from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in May of 2007 majoring in TV Production. Matt is currently a writer at StaticMultimedia.com, TheBleacherReport.com, NationalSportsNation.com, SportsMixed.com, FanFever.com, Filmcatcher.com, 2 Much Swag, and TheHoopDoctors.com. Matt will provide you with insightful wit and an eager eye for sports.

1. Blake Griffin
The obvious number one pick will likely win the 2010 Rookie of the Year Award and do so in runaway fashion. Griffin might be a role player this year but will put up solid numbers across the board and he will solidify and injury plagued frontcourt. It is highly unlikely Griffin will move from the top spot all season long.

2. James Harden
James Harden is percentage points ahead of Tyreke Evans and that is because he is more mature and will not turn the ball over as much. Harden has a defined role on the Thunder and he is a perfect compliment to “veterans” Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Jeff Green.

3. Tyreke Evans
Tyreke was drafted as a PG but now I am hearing he will only play PG in an emergency. Evans played PG out of necessity last season at Memphis and his decision-making was shoddy as he averaged 4 apg and 3.6 turnovers per game. The Kings have a plan for Evans and he is beast of a combo guard so he should produce right away.

4. Terrence Williams
Williams has a chance to come in and produce right away, as the Nets are a team building for the future and the summer of 2010. Williams is a versatile G/F and he will find minutes playing both positions. Bobby Simmons and Jarvis Hayes will not be ahead of him on the depth chart and you can expect Williams to be apart of the Nets future.

5. Brandon Jennings
Three months after the draft it still boggles my mind that Jonny Flynn was taken ahead of Brandon Jennings. BJ is very talented and can do a lot of things offensively but he will likely backup Luke Ridnour. By season’s end look for Ridnour and Jennings to be splitting minutes, as this is Jennings’ team starting in 2011.

6. Stephen Curry
This might be a little high for Curry since he is in Golden State and nobody hates rookies more than Coach Nelson. Curry should average over 20 mpg but the Warriors are over loaded with guards, especially veteran guards, and that will hurt Curry’s production. He will likely have an inconsistent season but look for him to put up 30 points a couple times this season.

7. Earl Clark
Due to his versatility Earl Clark should be able to step in and contribute right away. Clark will see more than a few starts this season and is versatile 6’10” Forward that can play both SF and some PF. He will see a lot of minutes for the Suns especially when they starting trading their assets.

8. Gerald Henderson
Head Coach Larry Brown does not like typical rookies but that is because they refuse to defend and lack maturity. Gerald Henderson is an atypical rookie as he can defend almost anyone and he understands the game more than our average rookie. Although Raja Bell will start most of the games, Gerald will still produce in his rookie season.

9. Jonny Flynn
A few weeks ago Jonny Flynn was near the top of this list as he was supposed to step in and contribute right away. But as of September 9 his role was greatly diminished as the Wolves will likely sign Ramon Sessions and they traded for backup PG Antonio Daniels. Flynn and Daniels will likely split backup duties and Sessions should average over 30 mpg, this was not a good week for Flynn’s production.

10. Jordan Hill
Jordan Hill will battle for minutes all season long but the Knicks will not be a good team and Hill should see an increase in minutes as the season progresses. Only David Lee and possibly Darko Milicic are ahead of him on the depth chart and the athletic big man should have a solid rookie season.

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  • INFO

    Are you high? Where the shit is DeRozan. You think Terrence Williams is 3rd? This whole ranking is a joke. Please just stop being a douche in later posts :D

  • Matt

    Wow, OK DeJuan Blair is a second rounder and nowhere near a top rookie.

    DeMar is 19 years old and behind Hedo, Antoine Wright, and Marco Bellineli on the depth chart but I do like DeMar a lot.

    Thanks for reading guys.

  • Illinois Baller

    The fact that DeJuan Blair is not on this list basically makes it completely invalid.

  • http://kneejerknba.blogspot.com/ KneeJerkNBA

    Thanks for being one of the only bloggers out there who isn’t hyping up Curry as the next Gil Arenas. He’ll have a really hard time defending either guard spot. And yes, Nelson will mindfuck him.

    I’m also a big Griffin fan but I’m not sure him winning ROY is a given. He still doesn’t have much of a perimeter game and he’s not big enough to dominate down low every night. Plus Harden’s really good. But I think you got the top 2 right, for sure.

  • http://sbrother.wordpress.com brothersteve

    Everybody on this list except Blake Griffin is a WAG. (so would anyone else be)

    But using the “he won’t start but he can defend almost anyone” rationale is really projecting something that almost no rookie could ever live up to.

    Really any rookie not expected to start will have a very hard time getting any consideration over rookies who do start. They just won’t get enough minutes.

    There will be some really good rookies this season, you probably have most of them on your list – But for sure you missed some.

    Oh, the Coach and GM of the Raptors have both said DeMar is the likely starter at SG. Doesn’t mean he’s a better player right now – just expect him to start.

    Cheers

  • Mike

    Actually, hedo and wright will be playing in the 3 spot, whereas Demar will play the 2. You might want to check out an interview with Coach Triano on tsn.ca, where Triano says Demar is gonna get minutes. here’s the link to the article, http://www.tsn.ca/blogs/Tim_Chisholm/?id=288787. I don’t disgrre or agree with your list because who knows this early, however i think your taking some risky predictions by including williams and jennings on those lists, i mean the nets and bucks are going to struggle and I see those players getting exposed. Also by your own admission curry is going to buried on the warriors bench. I wouldn’t have put demar in the top but made 7-8. I think Dejuan blair is going to have agreat season, but I don’t see him in the running for ROY but I do see him just on the outside of this list, maybe 11-12.

  • spirow

    You must be blind not putting derozan on that list. . . Straight up i’d put him as the 3rd favourite rookie to have a chance. . . . After evans . . . And FYI henderson averaged like what 1 point a game in the summer league . . . This is the NBA . . . james harden will be good not not a superstar. . . He’ll be a really good robin to batman which is kd

  • http://buyathletes.com BuyAthletes

    Yeah, no Derozen? That guy could kill it this year. Just watch what he did to UCLA last year. After a couple months in the league, he might be a nightly staple on SportsCenter.

  • Illinois Baller

    “Wow, OK DeJuan Blair is a second rounder and nowhere near a top rookie.”

    Yeah, because being one of the most prolific rebounders in the history of the NCAA and a projected top 10 draft pick isn’t the kind of qualifications that make up a potential top rookie.

  • hajikdsnas

    hahahahahh wow u r so jokes…how the hell do u leave out demar?this kid gets compared to vince carter(though i don’t agree he is any where close to being v.c right now) and u leave him out?wow this article is JOKES.

  • Matt

    Gentlemen,

    DeMar DeRozan is the man and should be a great player but without looking it up I can confidently say almost all 19 year old kids do not contribute right away. I can think of two that contributed right away, Rose and Durant and that’s about it, and both of them are going to the HOF ;).

    DeRozan might start but so did Nicolas Batum last season.

    BTW, I wanted the Wolves to draft DeRozan but they thought Corey Brewer is sufficient. Ouch, David Kahn is an idiot.

    I hope DeRozan cracks the list. I love the kid but he is too young for me and I think the Raptors will be a playoff team and it wont be because of DeRozan.

    It is safe to say DeJuan Blair will not make this list all season long. If he does what ya’ll think he will (20 ppg and 10 rpg LOL) I will put him up there but c’mon. I will be surprised if he averages over 7 rpg and expect him to average 4 ppg and 4 rpg.

    Thanks for reading!

    PS Did you notice I left out the #2 pick in the draft? LOL, I thought I would get hate from Memphis.

  • J

    Your writing lost a whole lot of credibility not because of omitting DeRozan, but because you said (probably without much thinking):

    “Wow, OK DeJuan Blair is a second rounder and nowhere near a top rookie.”

    So you basically just took the top 14 picks in a draft oft-quoted to be only 14 players deep, removed the likes of Thabeet, Rubio, DeRozan and Hansborough (hard work, considering only 3 of those players will be in the league, and both Thabeet and Hansborough have been heavily criticized), jiggled the order around a tad, and stamped your approval. Is that close enough to the truth?

    Are you simply not all that familiar with the 2009 draftees, or did you not put enough time shaping your opinion from the glut of mock draft boards available, because someone who is more than just a bandwagon fan would have answered that query about Dejuan Blair with something more like “I expect him to flounder quite a bit due to injuries” rather than, and I paraphrase, OMGosh, he’s a 2nd rounder so how could he possibly be a top rookie?

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  • Illinois Baller

    “It is safe to say DeJuan Blair will not make this list all season long. If he does what ya’ll think he will (20 ppg and 10 rpg LOL) I will put him up there but c’mon. I will be surprised if he averages over 7 rpg and expect him to average 4 ppg and 4 rpg.”

    You do realize that he rebounded better than any player in the past EIGHT years of the NCAA, right?

    http://www.fannation.com/si_blogs/tourney/posts/56721-the-power-of-dejuan-blair

    More in this article. Educate yourself, Matt. The ONLY reason Blair fell out of the top 10 is because he’s expected to have a career of 6-7 years, maximum.

    If he puts up 20 and 10 per game, he shouldn’t make your list, he should (easily) be Rookie of the Year. What was the 10th best rookie player last year averaging? The rookie of the year last year (Rose) didn’t even score 20 PPG!

    If Blair puts up 14 and 8 or 10 and 10, he will be in the top 3 or 4 in RotY voting. I think he’ll put up somewhere around 10 and 8 or even 8 and 8 this year (in limited minutes), which would still easily qualify him for any RotY ranking in basically every NBA season.

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  • Matt

    DeJuan Blair has limits to his game. He cannot jump (literally), is not a scorer, cannot pass, and has no agility/athleticism. Therefore he was a second round pick and he will likely average 4 and 4 (in limited minutes).

    He can rebound and take up space and was a great college rebounder. What is he going to do against NBA athletes that can also rebound? Will he be able to rebound a ball when Tyrus Thomas jumps over him?

    We will see but I will be surprised if he is better than Reggie Evans.

    Players ahead of Blair on my list (in no particular order): Thabeet, Hansbrough, James Johnson, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson, Jeff Teague, Eric Maynor, Darren Collison, Omri Casspi, Taj Gibson, Rod Beaubois, Wayne Ellington, Toney Douglas, and DaJuan Summers.

    Dude’s got a long ways to go.

    Thanks for reading guys!

    Twitter.com/shmattshmanaya

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