1. Kyrie Irving: Cleveland Cavaliers- 1st Pick
- Irving is the runaway favorite for Rookie of the Year and it is not hard to see why. He has been better than advertised and has an outstanding offensive skill set. He is already an excellent shooter, but is also extremely gifted when it comes to getting into the paint and finishing. He has also showed top-notch distributing skills and is a true point guard. He does need to work on his defense, which was expected, but there are no real holes to his game. He has star potential and carries himself with the confidence of one. He is an all-star player, it is only of matter of when and could happen as soon as 2013.
2. Ricky Rubio: Minnesota Timberwolves- 5th Pick (2009)
- Ricky Rubio has somehow matched the hype that has been building up for the last three years. His passing and court vision are already at an elite level and he has a wow factor about him. He has proven to be a solid three-point and free throw shooter, however his shooting percentage has to improve. Most shocking, has been Rubio’s defense, which has been surprisingly good. He will be among the leaders in steals and assists for years to come, however, he has hit the rookie wall as of late, which has to be discouraging for the Timberwolves. Regardless, he has an excellent future and is a young star in the making.
3. Brandon Knight: Detroit Pistons- 8th Pick
- Everyone knew that Knight had talent, but many were unsure how NBA ready he was and if he was even a true point guard. He has answered questions on both counts and he has proven that he is more than capable as a starter in this league. He has been inconsistent from game to game, but has showed the talent to be a star. He has showed immense talent in shooting and distributing, which proves that he has what it takes to be one of the best floor leaders in the league.
4. MarShon Brooks: New Jersey Nets- 25th Pick
- Brooks is a pure scorer and has proven that he has what it takes to be an elite NBA guard. He has an effortless offensive game and will be a big-time producer in the league. He sits at four, since he has not shown another above average skill besides scoring, but there is still time to develop those. Regardless, he could become one of the best scorers and shooting guards in the NBA.
5. Kemba Walker: Charlotte Bobcats- 9th Pick
- Walker has been as advertised, both good and bad. He is an elite scorer and can distribute, but is not ready to be a full-time starting point guard. He must continue to work on his point guard skills, as his height makes being a shooting guard impossible.
6. Isiah Thomas: Sacramento Kings – 60th Pick
- Thomas is the surprise of this draft. Mr. Irrelevant, (the last pick of the draft), has become a starter on the Kings and has been on fire recently. He has finally moved Evans to small forward, which is best for the team, as he can be a point forward a la Lebron James and Paul Pierce. The very undersized Thomas has scored in bunches and distributed when necessary.
7.Kahwi Leonard: San Antonio Spurs- 15th Pick
-Leonard was been in and out of the starting lineup for the Spurs, but the fact that he was starting for this veteran, contending team says a lot. He is already a very good defender, but is a much better shooter than most thought and has a very smooth offensive game. He may never be an all-star, but he is the perfect role player.
8. Nikola Vucevic: Philadelphia 76ers- 16th Pick
- Vucevic has been struggling with health, but has a very polished offensive game and has been a very solid spot starter with Hawes injured. His 40 minute stats are quite impressive; 15.5 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks and has proven to be a starting center in this league. To put this into perspective, all-star Roy Hibbert is averaging 17.7 points, 12.3 points and 2.17 blocks per 40 minutes.
9. Iman Shumpert: New York Knicks- 17th Pick
-The Knicks may have already found out what most questioned when Shumpert was drafted, that he is not a point guard. With Jeremy Lin in the fold, he does not have to pretend to be a point guard and can focus on doing what he does well. He is instant offense off the bench, a great athlete and a player with great potential on defense.
10. Norris Cole: Miami Heat- 28th Pick
- Cole, like Shumpert has proven to be an excellent backup, but the fact that he is playing a significant role on the title favorite Heat says a lot about what the players and coaches think of him. He also has the skills to be a starting point guard in the league, as he has elite speed. To become a better point guard, he needs to pass more and limit his turnovers, which is a product of his recklessly fast style of play.
11. Enes Kanter: Utah Jazz- 3rd Pick
- Kanter does not get the playing time he deserves, with the excellent inside depth on the Jazz. However, when in the game, he has proven to be capable of being a very good starting center in the league. He is playing well on both ends of the floor, which is increasingly impressive since he has not played real basketball in two years because of ineligibility issues in college.
12. Derrick Williams: Minnesota Timberwolves- 2nd Pick
- Williams is an extremely talented player, but has been lost in the shuffle in Minnesota’s plethora of forwards. It is not his fault that he plays the same position as his team’s best player. He is an explosive athlete with a very fluid offensive game, he just needs more playing time, which will be hard to get on this team. It is curious that the team has not put him on the trade block, as it is difficult to believe that he can play small forward full time.
13. Chandler Parsons: Houston Rockets- 38th Pick
- Parsons has been another big surprise, becoming a starter on the Rockets. The fact that a second round pick is starting on a playoff contender is extremely impressive. He is not the most talented of players, but he is an extremely hard worker on both ends of the court and has earned the trust of coach, Kevin Mchale.
14. Kenneth Faried: Denver Nuggets- 22nd Pick
- One unwritten rule in basketball is that rebounding is the number one skill that translates from college to the pros and Faried, who led the nation in rebounding last season, has become another example of this fact. He has recently been given playing time and has proven to be a very good player, an elite rebounder and instant energy.
15.Tristan Thompson: Cleveland Cavaliers- 4th Pick
- Thompson came into the league with elite defensive potential and a growing offensive game. Should he have been the fourth overall pick? It is too early to tell, but he has already showed off his defense and rebounding and is becoming a better offensive player on a day-to-day basis. He is definitely a keeper and should be a starter as soon as the team trades Jamison.
16. Markieff Morris: Phoenix Suns- 13th Pick
- It has been surprising that Markieff has thrived while his brother Marcus has been sent to the D-League on a regular basis. Most believed that Marcus was the better prospect and was more NBA ready than Markieff. Unlike his brother, he is a true power forward, with a blue-collar game. He has also been very effective behind the three-point line, which has been a very pleasant surprise. He is one of the only bright spots on the Suns, although more consistency would be nice.
17. Bismack Biyombo: Charlotte Bobcats- 7th Pick
- Biyombo has been incredibly inconsistent, but has an occasional game where he has a ridiculous stat line along the lines of 10 points, 10 rebounds and 7 blocks. There are only a handful of players who can do that in this league. He is as raw as advertised, but is amazingly athletic, long and has elite, Ben Wallace level potential on defense.
18. Gustavo Ayon: New Orleans Hornets- Undrafted (2007)
- Ayon has not had a spectacular year by any stretch of the imagination, but he has been a very solid player for the Hornets and has even made the starting lineup. The former Mexican star has a very good offensive game and even though he is 26, has room to grow.
19. Ivan Johnson- Atlanta Hawks- Undrafted (2007)
- Johnson has come from absolutely nowhere to become a very important part of the Hawks’ rotation. Not the most skilled of players, but he is a great energy player and works hard every second while on the court.
20. Chris Singleton: Washington Wizards- 18th Pick
- Singleton is an excellent defender, which is why he was drafted so early, however he has shown a lot on offense and is starter material in the league. He has the size and length to be an elite perimeter stopper and is on the perfect team, as he is the only one who tries on that end.
Just Missed Out: Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors 11th Pick), John Leuer (Milwaukee Bucks 36th Pick), Tobias Harris (Milwaukee Bucks, 19th Pick), Alec Burks (Utah Jazz, 12th Pick), Josh Harrelson (New York Knicks, 45th Pick), Reggie Jackson (Oklahoma City Thunder, 24th Pick), Andrew Goudelock (Los Angeles Lakers, 46th Pick)
They’re In Trouble:
Jimmer Fredette: Sacramento Kings- 10th Pick
- The fact that he has been beaten out by the last pick in the draft speaks levels on how he is playing. Every bad thing written about the BYU sensation has been true, no defense, bad decision making and poor shot selection. There still is hope as he is an amazing shooter and has a high basketball IQ, but his lack of athleticism and lack of point guard skills may hurt him.
Jan Vesely: Washington Wizards- 6th Pick
- Vesely was considered the anti-European player, one who would be NBA ready because of his elite athleticism, but he has simply looked lost on the court. He has showed some positive signs, but has a long way to go if he wants to play up to his draft position.
Marcus Morris: Houston Rockets- 14th Pick
- Wasn’t he supposed to be the better Morris twin and more NBA ready? It is true that he is on a team that is stacked at the forward slots, but he was completely beaten out by fellow rookie Chandler Parsons, in the starting lineup.