Sunday, August 1, 2010

Preseason Rookie Rankings

After getting a chance to see most of the rookies display their skills in the summer league, we've compiled the top 10 in terms of fantasy potential next season.

  1. John Wall: Clearly the most impressive player in the summer league. He displayed all of the attributes that scouts have been praising. He's the closest thing to a lock next season. (Projected stats: 15 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 1.5 steals)
  2. Blake Griffin: Still considered a rookie due a season ending injury, Griffin has as much upside as Wall. His injury is still a concern as the Clippers wouldn't allow him to participate in the Las Vegas Summer League even though he's been clearled for full contact. With Griffin's strength, athleticism, and explosiveness, he can be one of the steal's of your fantasy draft if he's fully recovered. (Projected stats: 16 points, 9 rebounds, 1 steal)
  3. DeMarcus Cousins: While Wall and Griffin are considered locks to make a fantasy impact if healthy, the rest of the players on this list are not. Cousins was very impressive in summer league action, but he has veteran Samuel Dalembert to compete with for a starting center spot. More than likely Cousins starts the year coming off the bench, but he could easily become the starter if he plays well and/or the Kings struggle and decide to give the young guys a chance to play. As long as Cousins acts mature and stays focused, he could being putting up some great numbers by the second half of the season. (Projected stats: 11 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block)
  4. Evan Turner: He's the most NBA ready player in the draft, so he should step right in and put up decent numbers. He's also likely to be the opening day starter at SG. Turner though, just has the least upside of anyone on this list. Turner struggled in summer league play, but that shouldn't discourage anyone from drafting him as he should round into shape once regular season action begins. Like Wall, he's the type of player that can give you all-around production. (Projected stats: 12 points, 6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1 steal)
  5. Greg Monroe: Like Turner, Monroe is coming into the league with more polish compared to other players in this draft class. Monroe was pedestrian in summer league play, but he showed much of his passing and shooting skills. Monroe has a good chance of being the starting PF on opening day due to the Pistons lack of depth at that position. At the very least, Monroe will be a rotation player getting quality minutes. (Projected stats: 9 points, 7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1 block)
  6. Derrick Favors: Favors is the most high risk/high reward player on this list. The reason he is ranked this high is that he has basically no competition in New Jersey at PF. The Nets could choose to start Travis Outlaw ahead of Favors, but Outlaw is a natural SF. Favors is a great player to take a chance on because he's entering a very favorable situation on a rebuilding Nets squad and he has the most upside of anyone in the draft. He'll get every possible opportunity to succeed. (Projected stats: 9 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block)
  7. Tiago Splitter: The Spanish League MVP is the most proven player in this rookie class. It would not be surprising if he was the opening day starter for the Spurs alongside Tim Duncan. On a veteran Spurs team, though, Splitter may not get as much playing time or scoring opportunities as the rookies on weaker teams. Additionally, he is the type of player who will give you points and little else. He is an especially weak rebounder for a 7 footer, so category leagues should be cautious. (Projected stats: 10 points, 4 rebounds)
  8. Wesley Johnson: Due to an injury, we didn't get to see much of Johnson this summer. Still, he's one of the older players coming out of this draft and is more of a finished product who's ready to contribute. The concern with Johnson is whether he'll get the opportunity to start, which is unlikely with the draft day acquisition of Martell Webster. Johnson should get his share of minutes off the bench and should be a good source of points and rebounds. (Projected stats: 9 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal)
  9. Larry Sanders: Sanders was one of the more impressive players in the summer league. He'll likely start the year coming off the bench, but if he can continue his impressive play during the regular season I can see him taking the starting PF spot away from Drew Gooden. Sanders is a player who could go undrafted in standard sized leagues, so monitor the Milwaukee box scores early in the year and don't be afraid to scoop him up if he's getting consistent minutes in the early going. (Projected Stats: 4 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block)
  10. Ed Davis: Much like Favors, Davis is purely an upside pick who's entering a favorable situation. Davis, though, appears more likely to play a bench role with Amir Johnson the likely starter for the Raptors. He'll also face competition for playing time from Reggie Evans. Davis is another player you'll want to monitor in the early going before committing a roster spot to him. (Projected stats: 5 points, 5 rebounds)

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