THE NBA ROOKIE REPORT

The season is young but some of the rookie stars around the league have already begun to show their mettle and that they belong with the big boys. It appears that the list will be short in the race for Rookie of the Year as a tough combo guard from Weber State is making his presence felt more than others.

 

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR CANDIDATES

 

Damian Lillard, Combo Guard, (6-3, Weber State), Portland Trail Blazers

Thus far, Lillard has shown he is worthy of his number six overall selection in the 2012 draft. The Trail Blazers have given Lillard the keys to the car and encouraged the young guard to drive with cautious aggression. Through the first eleven games Lillard is amongst the league’s leaders in minutes per game (37.3), 15th in points per game (19.5, 45.5% field goals) and chipping in 5.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game.  If Lillard remains healthy and the Trail Blazers are able to make a run at one of the top eight playoff spots in the west he should run away with the honor of being Rookie of the Year.

 

Anthony Davis, Center, (6-10, Kentucky), New Orleans Hornets

The number one overall pick started the season quickly but has been slowed by a sore left ankle and mild concussion. The big man, who was a point guard until his junior year in high school is second in scoring (16.0) and first in rebounding (8.3) on a young Hornets squad.

 

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Small Forward, (6-7, Kentucky), Charlotte Bobcats

Arguably the prospect with the most upside in this year’s draft, Kidd-Gilchrist is fitting right in with the rigors of NBA life. The surprising Bobcats are showing early scoring balance and have six players averaging double figures with Kidd-Gilchrist producing at a 11.9  points per game clip (47.1% fg).  If the Cats continue to improve, don’t be surprised if Kidd-Gilchrist makes a strong run at Rookie of the Year.

 

Harrison Barnes, Small Forward, (6-8, North Carolina), Golden State Warriors

Warriors head coach Mark Jackson is high on the number seven overall pick and Barnes has responded starting eleven games and averaging 28 minutes per game, 11.3 points per game and 4.8 rebounds. Golden State should make a push for the eighth playoff spot in the west if Barnes continues to develop.

 

MOST INTRIGUING ROOKIE

The 35-year-old Euro League (Spain, Argentina) legend is the oldest rookie in the Association in forty years. The New York Knicks took a gamble on Pablo Prigioni, (6-3, Argentina) for the league minimum because of his high motor and quintessential basketball IQ at the point guard position. Look for Prigioni to make a significant contribution as the Knicks make a run at the 2013 eastern Conference crown.

Let me know what NBA Rookie you are excited about this season!