Every single season the NBA we get to see a another rookie class either flourish on the professional level or struggle to transcend their game after being the dominant player in college basketball.
This season was no different as we saw plenty of great rookie players come into the league and show everyone what they got and how they can help their new team. The one player than most people had their eyes on coming into this NBA season was the Los Angeles Clippers number one overall pick in forward Blake Griffin.
During his time with the Oklahoma Sooners, Griffin was an amazing talent as he was gifted with Tim Duncan like skills in the post and LeBron James’ athletic ability. Maybe that was given him a little too much credit, but watching him in the NBA with something that everyone was looking forward to as it was quite possible that he could finally get the Clippers back into the playoffs.
Unfortunately, like many Clippers draft picks before him, Griffin went down with a serious knee injury and didn’t get to play a single game this season as he could only watch the Clippers throughout another awful NBA regular season.
With Blake Griffin on the sidelines, three other big name rookies emerged as legitimate candidates for the rookie of the year award.
Two of these promising young players were college basketball superstars and the other decided to take his game to Italy as he was ineligible for the NBA draft due to the age restriction.
Despite already having a famous father who played in the NBA in Dell Curry, Stephen Curry played for a Davidson during his college basketball career and light up the scoreboard on a nightly basis. Even though Currie could light up the scoreboard on any given night, his body wasn’t exactly NBA ready as he is a skinny frame, a baby face and thought not to be able to transcend on the professional level.
Even with all the negative press coming into the NBA draft, the Golden State Warriors to be chance on a young kid at a Davidson and drafted him with the seventh overall pick. Fortunately, but it paid off as Curry became one of the best scoring point guards in the league as he averaged 17.5 points, 5.9 assists and 1.9 steals per game.
One the other players that were in contention for the rookie of the year award was Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks who despite having a lot of criticism coming into the NBA draft he has been able to completely turn around the bucks franchise and lead them into the playoffs.
Not only was Jennings a big surprise for the Bucks in terms of readiness to play immediately, but he has also become a dominant scorer as he scored a record 55 points against the Golden State Warriors and 34 points against the Atlanta Hawks in his playoff debut.
Needless to say, a star was born in Milwaukee and Jennings was the only prominent rookie to make it into the playoffs.
Then there was the Sacramento Kings point guard Tyreke Evans. The Kings may have had an extremely disappointing season this year, but their future looks incredibly bright with Tyree Evan’s leading the way and running the point.
Not only does this kid play like an old-school basketball player and someone who’s been playing this game for 20 years on the professional level, but he is also the best going point guards in the league as the average rookie best 20.1 points, 5.8 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game.
In my opinion, Brandon Jennings should have gotten more consideration for the award as he was able to turn his team into a playoff team, but Evans is the real deal and will be a superstar in this league sooner rather than later.