Wednesday, October 05, 2005

30 Reasons to Get Fired Up For the 2005-06 NBA Season - #8


2005-06 Rookie Class

In the weeks leading up to the annual NBA Draft, we as fans cannot help but read any mock draft we can get our hands on. We can’t wait to see where experts have certain players slated and which guys our teams will be coming home with. I love calling my buddies and being like, “Yo, Tad Rectalson from Hangin’ With Mr. Hooper has the Celts taking Hakim Warrick at 18. Yeah, I have no clue who he is either, but still…” Well the chaos surrounding the Draft has been over for months now and rookies have already had their first chance to shine in various summer leagues. But nabbing All-VSL honors doesn’t necessarily translate into being a front-runner for Rookie of the Year. So, just who are the favorites to bring home the hardware? Check out my top-10 list in reverse order, as well as a few players who will surprise and those who will inevitably shit the rookie bed. Enjoy...

ROY CONTENDERS

10. Raymond Felton, Charlotte

If Brevin Knight didn’t re-sign with the team, I would have certainly pegged Felton much higher. I love Felton’s speed and reputation as a winner and think he will eventually push the Cats towards respectability. This year however, Ray Ray will go through his rookie struggles and end up splitting time with Knight on a 25-win team. While 25 W’s goes a long way in college, in the pros it’s a very different story.

9. Nate Robinson, New York
How can you not love this guy? I can’t wait for him and Earl Boykins to come out with instructional videotape ala Fred McGriff and Tom Emanski. Anyway, I’m sure I’m not the first to suggest that the Knicks should part ways with either Marbury or Crawford to get this kid more run. New York needs more energy guys and Robinson fits the bill. If Steph or Jamal do in fact get traded, I would shoot Nate up into the top-5. He’s that good.

8. Rashad McCants, Minnesota
This guy can go one of two ways. If he snuggles up under the KG-wing, I can see him developing into the quality perimeter player the Wolves desperately need, while helping them get back to the Playoffs. If he starts drinking caramel lattes with Wally World, it will be just another small push in KG’s back toward the “Get me the hell out of here” door. Please Rashad, step the fuck up and help this guy win.

7. Joey Graham, Toronto
Remember when all the mock drafts starting pouring out and Graham shot up faster than Kurt Cobain during the early-90s? Remember how everyone fell in love with him seemingly over night after his impressive showing at the Chicago combine? Well how come we’re not hearing anything about him right now? I think it’s due mostly to the fact that he missed the majority of the summer leagues with a groin injury, but I also believe he has an excellent chance at stealing the ROY out from under everyone’s noses. This was an excellent pick by Babcoclnmccmc. Jesus, the computer won’t let me write excellent and Babcockldflgf in the same sentence. That’s strange…

6. Hakim Warrick, Memphis
I love this kid to death and still kind of wish the Celts nabbed him at 18 instead of Gerald Green. No I’m not nuts, I just think Warrick is the type of player everyone needs to have off the bench. He has energy, quick feet, above-average post moves, and a monster repertoire of dunks. He should be a nice 3 or 4 off the pine and could eventually become a starter when the perennial injury bug hits this team.

5. Ike Diogu, Golden State
Mike Montgomery would be a complete moron to not try Troy Murphy at center and start this kid at the 4. Adonal Foyle is a joke. They need an energy guy down low to compliment Murph and Foyle just isn’t the guy. Diogu fits in perfectly with what the Warriors are seemingly trying to do—run n’ gun. If Ike starts and warrants 25+, he could be the sleeper of this crop. Excellent pick by Mullin in the 9 hole.

4. Andrew Bogut, Milwaukee
WHAT? Bogut at 4? Yeah, sorry but I don’t see him having a better shot at the hardware than the three guys listed below. Milwaukee has other capable players on their roster (Redd, Simmons, Ford, Mason) which should prevent Bogut from becoming a high-impact guy right away. Add to it that the team elected to re-sign Dan Gadzuric, and AB may be seeing just 20-25 minutes per night. Don’t get me wrong, I love the former-Ute and think he will be great for this club in the long run, but I just don’t see him getting the type of freedom he’ll need to nab ROY.

3. Marvin Williams, Atlanta
I really don’t know what to expect from Williams. He’s like that shady guy on the airplane that you just can’t take your eye off. While you remain realistic that nothing huge is going to happen, he could blow up at any minute. Marv was held on a strict leash by Roy Williams last season due to the fact that UNC had a slew of talent to play ahead of him. Now that the reigns have eased, expect Marv’s game to shoot through the roof. While he may struggle to find shots at times, there is no doubt that he will have a handful of jaw-dropping performances.

2. Deron Williams, Utah
Honestly, if I had the gonads I’d put Williams 1. I think he’s going to flourish in Jerry Sloan’s system and actually provide the Jazz with an excellent shot at making the Playoffs. However, while I love the signing of Milt Palacio this summer, it could end up taking away some valuable minutes from Williams. But I have faith that Sloan will go with his best option at the 1 and let D-Will prove to the fans of Salt Lake that Stockton’s replacement has finally arrived.

1. Chris Paul, New Orleans
Paul is the pick by default. He’s going to get as much freedom as he needs in order to instill his role as the leader of this young team. If he doesn’t win ROY it should come as a shock. The former Demon Deacon is a very special player that will undoubtedly be one of the best offensive PGs in the league within three years. One problem I foresee is CP becoming a lot like Stephon Marbury: a ton of offense, no real leadership qualities. Hopefully I’m wrong and New Orleans will soon surround him with the talent they need to win and more importantly, help restore the faith in this tragic city.

SURPRISES:

--Ryan Gomes, Boston

Could be a starter for Doc Rivers

--Jason Maxiell, Detroit
Second coming of Ben Wallace?

--Johan Petro, Seattle
Hey, it’s either him or Robert Swift at center…

--Brandon Bass, New Orleans
One of the best young college players will eventually get his shot

BUSTS

--Charlie Villanueva, Toronto

Couldn’t deliver in college, why should we expect any different here?

--Channing Frye, New York
Curry, A. Davis, J. James, M. Rose, M. Taylor…where’s Frye gonna play?

--Antoine Wright, New Jersey
Why didn’t they take Graham, Granger, Warrick, or Green instead?

10 Comments:

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

I agree on your look on Bogut but I think should be a higher. The Bucks have a fine team, and he's ready to get good numbers. I also think Marvin should be lower. I just cant see him contribute a lot this season although he probably will be entertaining.

I really think Johan Petro has no chance whatsoever in getting ROY. Now it seems like most of Sonics big guys will resign and last season their big guys were sharing part time. Also, it seems like Petro just isn't any good, at least from what I've seen. Even Chris Taft has more chance.

But what about Martell Webster? He's easily the most ready rookie coming straight from HS. He will get pt in Portland. He looks good. I like him.

What about Sean May? You think sharing the post with Okafor will prevent him from getting enough minutes, shots and boards?

I like Diogu (and I want to being a Warriors fan) but I'm afraid he will struggle. His height will bother him. He'll need to adapt to his height. Although he's a really big 6'7" ish guy he hasn't got enough offensive arsenal.

I think Bogut or Deron will be ROY. My darkhorse is Martell and Nate.

 
At 4:30 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Joe-
I didn't say Petro had a shot at ROY, just that he may surprise. As for Webster, I think he'll have too much competition with Outlaw and Miles. If the Blazers get rid of one of those two, fine, then I agree. But for now, I see McMillan using the other two guys a bit more.

Sean May just had knee surgery and will be competing with Okafor and Brezec for minutes. Charlotte really likes those two and as much as they like May, he's going to get the shaft.

In theory, I think you're right about Marv, but he's just one of those guys I can't help but root for. I think he'll be the best talent from this group 5 years down the line. Thanks for writing in.

 
At 5:37 PM, Blogger Paul Benedict said...

Hey what about Sarunas Jasikevicius and Jose Calderon? Just because they weren't drafted, doesn't mean they're not rookies. DUMBASS.

I agree with your order for the most part, but I'd have Bogut #1 or 2. He's the most NBA ready guy, he's guaranteed 35 minutes, the team is going to run a ton of plays for him, and he put up some nice numbers this summer. I think people are selling him a bit short. Putting Marv ahead of him, who's not even going to start for the Hawks and who struggled mightily this summer, seems like a bit of a stretch unless you think Marv busts out in the 2nd half (assuming Al Harrington is gone). I also agree that you might be selling May short-- c'mon, he was the best player in college last season by quite a bit. Charlotte didn't waste a lottery pick to sit him on the bench, they'll find a way to get him on the floor for 25-30 minutes a game. I have May as my sleeper for 1st Team All-Rookie at about 13 and 8 per game. Agree 100% on Maxiell, Bass, and Gomes, and absolutely am with you on all three of your busts. Salim is a potential sleeper too. But Petro?! C'mon! He was AWFUL during the summer! Go back and check out the numbers! This guy is a LONG ways from contributing. I'd also keep a close eye on Daniel Ewing, who seems destined to play big minutes given the injury woes of Sam Cassell and Shaun Livingston.

 
At 6:37 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Good call on Sarunas, Paul. I love it when you guys give each other shit on the comments. I've got to agree with Joe on Webster. The kid looks like he can play. From the videos I've been seeing of him it looks like he can shoot the lights out. He might not be ROY, but he could be a J.R. Smith-type. Ballsy move putting Deron up there #2. As an Illini fan, I hope he makes a solid pro.

 
At 7:24 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Hey DDDDDDDumbasses,
I love writing articles like this because almost everyone has their opinions. The only reason I threw Petro up there was because Marc Stein said he's going to challenge Swift and Potastanko for starter's minutes. And Paul you should know better that summer league means shit. Al Jefferson was atrocious two years in a row and we all know he's got the goods.

As for Sarunas, good call. I forgot about his Euro ass. But looking at the list, I don't think I'd put him in there. It's not like they're going to feed Tinsley to Travis Outlaw's dogs. He's still going to get ample run. So in terms of getting the minutes to crack this list, I guess I'd put him right with Felton. Jose Calderon, hahaha. Doesn't his name sound like he's gonna be pushing kilos during halftime? I'm not touching that guy. But as Paul and I discussed yesterday, look for Mike James to be a nice PG sleeper. He's better than advertised, although I've never seen him advertised. PEACE

 
At 10:43 PM, Blogger Ryan Kinkade said...

Hey, what's up Anthony, this is Ryan... I posted a couple coments about your KG articles... I figured I'd start a Garnett/Twolves blog... anyways...

"Please Rashad, step the fuck up and help this guy win."

HAHAHA, man... I've seriously been saying that every night before I go to bed. I think he will... because he's gonna have hell to pay if he doesn't.

 
At 12:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Antoine Wright a bust?! HA! That shows you know very little about collegiate prospects. The Nets, next to the Spurs, have the best scouts in the league and they've been following Wright since his High School days.

They are fully aware his capabilities. He has the range, athleticism, and most importantly the defense.

Granger: Has been injured prone ever since he got to New Mexico. Even sat out of the summer league because of an injury.

Warrick: Very skinny undersize PF and he might just end up playing SF for the Grizzlies. The Nets alreadly have an All-Star calibur SF in RJ.

Green: 9 finger defenseless high schooler...nuff said.

Graham: Wright > Graham simple as that.

 
At 1:01 AM, Anonymous Mike P said...

hey guys,

I agree with most of your picks, but don't you think Nate Rob is ranked a little too high? I know this guys screams atheleticism, but I think he's at least 1 to 1 1/2 years away from significant impact. you know starbury will break him. it's gonna be tough for him to get PT. perhaps a midseason trade right before the deadline when the NYC knicks let go of jamal crawfish and penny for cap room and picks will free up some room for nate rob. hopefully he doesn't go the way of a more glorified spud webb or, based on atheletic ability alone, the way of harold "baby jordan" minor. let's not forget about the Spurs rook oberto! he should be like #11 on this list!! keep it hot fellas!

 
At 9:17 AM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

There's nothing more I look forward to than responding to comments at 9 AM. Here goes...

Ry, I think we're all rooting hard for the T'Wolves this year and I honestly think McCants will allow them to finally move Wally. Well let's hope anyway.

Nets fan, I will eat my words if Wright ends up being a better pro than any of those guys I mentioned. The initial problem for him will obviously be PT. VC and RJ are going 38+ every night. Plus now that they have McInnis to spell either Kidd or the 2, it means even less run for Wright. Maybe he'll turn out to be a nice pro, but let's be honest, are you really going to wait for me for 5 years to make me eat my words?

Finally, Mike, sure Nate the Great is a little high on this list, but he's a Source favorite so we gotta keep pushing for him. Good call on Oberto, but I'd be a little skeptical about a guy with the last name of a beef jerky company. Keep writing in, thanks fellas.

 
At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Mike P said...

Ant,

The vibe around San Antonio is that everyone is really excited about this Oberto kid. I know that there was also a stink about that other Argentinian PF here, but Oberto is compensation enough. At least just someone to spell Duncan for a while because Big Shot Rob doesn't show up until the playoffs and Rasho is too busy being Rasho.

On the Rasho tip, I saw him out a couple of times at this bar here in San Antonio called Stonewerks. He has to be the goofiest guy in the NBA on and off the court! He was outside talkin on his cell (probably waiting for Beno, who's a cool cat by the way) wearing a polo shirt which looked like it was from target and some nut-hugger jeans and flip flops. Wouldn't you think that with the fat contract Rasho has he would at least be a little bit more refined? That probably is his best get up. His Slovenian goat-herder outfit was in the wash. NBA life style gots to rub off a bit on you. To his credit though, a lot of hot chicks seem to be feelin his target style. But it also makes me wonder why he was staring a my roommate (male) all night long. Rasho gave him the " You are bery sexy man! Come you will be my goat, and I will be herder!" look.

Keep up the great work guys.

 

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