NBA Rookies: NBA Rookie Watch
NBA rookies are players that are in their first season as an active NBA player. If a player gets drafted, but then plays overseas, or isn't actually signed to an NBA contract, or for whatever reason does not actually play in the NBA regular season, they aren't an NBA rookie yet. Or to put it simpler -- and probably the only thing that needed to be said - NBA rookies are first-year NBA players. They're freshmen. They're new to the NBA level. And generally quite young. So most NBA rookies tend to struggle, and only a select few have a real impact on their team.
Most NBA rookies tend to sit on the bench and watch the action. A handful are in a team's rotation, coming off the bench. And select few NBA rookies start. And in an NBA Rookie Watch, to monitor candidates the NBA Rookie of the Year award, really, it's all about opportunity. Rookies that play big minutes, usually on a bad team, often rise up in the NBA Rookie Watch. Whether they've earned those minutes, or handed them thanks to an empty roster, NBA rookies that spend a lot of time on the court tend to rise high in the NBA Rookie Watch, even if they're not particularly great players yet.
The 2013 NBA Draft was one of the weakest in years, so the 2013-14 NBA rookie performances haven't been especially good.
InsideHoops.com will update our actual NBA Rookie Watch rankings list soon. Probably early/mid December. But for now (December 4, 2013), if we had to rank rookies, Michael Carter-Williams (Philadelphia 76ers) would be first, Victor Oladipo (Orlando Magic) second, Ben McLemore (Sacramento Kings) probably third, and then we'd mention that Trey Burke (Utah Jazz) is doing nicely after starting the season hurt, and then... we'd probably change the subject.
NBA ROOKIE WATCH: 2013-2014 NBA ROOKIE OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE RANKINGS
1) Michael Carter-Williams PG, 6-6, 185, Philadelphia 76ers
Comments: Started off with a bang and quickly put himself on the basketball map. Through Dec. 4, averaging 17.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 7.3 apg and is the clear Rookie of the Year if the season ended today. Long way to go, though.
2) Victor Oladipo G, 6-4, 215, Orlando Magic
Comments: Athletic, sturdy Oladipo looks solid in many ways for the Magic, putting up 13.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.8 apg, and playing good defense.
3) Trey Burke G, 6-1, 190, Utah Jazz
Comments: Got a late start to his NBA rookie season due to injury, Burke has come on strong quite quickly, averaging 12.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg and 3.4 apg per game through December 4, 2013.
4) Ben McLemore G, 6-5, 195, Sacramento Kings
Comments: The athletic guard has shown flashes of a decent future. FOr now, he's averaging 9.1 ppg and 2.8 rpg per game through December 4, 2013.
Much more coming in early/mid December, with a longer list as well as honorable mentions.
ALL-TIME NBA ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS
1952-53 - Don Meineke, Fort Wayne
1953-54 - Ray Felix, Baltimore
1954-55 - Bob Pettit, Milwaukee
1955-56 - Maurice Stokes, Rochester
1956-57 - Tom Heinsohn, Boston
1957-58 - Woody Sauldsberry, Philadelphia
1958-59 - Elgin Baylor, Minneapolis
1959-60 - Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia
1960-61 - Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati
1961-62 - Walt Bellamy, Chicago
1962-63 - Terry Dischinger, Chicago
1963-64 - Jerry Lucas, Cincinnati
1964-65 - Willis Reed, New York
1965-66 - Rick Barry, San Francisco
1966-67 - Dave Bing, Detroit
1967-68 - Earl Monroe, Baltimore
1968-69 - Wes Unseld, Baltimore
1969-70 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee
1970-71 - Dave Cowens, Boston (tie) / Geoff Petrie, Portland (tie)
1971-72 - Sidney Wicks, Portland
1972-73 - Bob McAdoo, Buffalo
1973-74 - Ernie DiGregorio, Buffalo
1974-75 - Keith Wilkes, Golden State
1975-76 - Alvan Adams, Phoenix
1976-77 - Adrian Dantley, Buffalo
1977-78 - Walter Davis, Phoenix
1978-79 - Phil Ford, Kansas City
1979-80 - Larry Bird, Boston
1980-81 - Darrell Griffith, Utah
1981-82 - Buck Williams, New Jersey
1982-83 - Terry Cummings, San Diego
1983-84 - Ralph Sampson, Houston
1984-85 - Michael Jordan, Chicago
1985-86 - Patrick Ewing, New York
1986-87 - Chuck Person, Indiana
1987-88 - Mark Jackson, New York
1988-89 - Mitch Richmond, Golden State
1989-90 - David Robinson, San Antonio
1990-91 - Derrick Coleman, New Jersey
1991-92 - Larry Johnson, Charlotte
1992-93 - Shaquille O'Neal, Orlando
1993-94 - Chris Webber, Golden State
1994-95 - Grant Hill, Detroit (tie) / Jason Kidd, Dallas (tie)
1995-96 - Damon Stoudamire, Toronto
1996-97 - Allen Iverson, Philadelphia
1997-98 - Tim Duncan, San Antonio
1998-99 - Vince Carter, Toronto
1999-00 - Elton Brand, Chicago (tie) / Steve Francis, Houston (tie)
2000-01 - Mike Miller, Orlando
2001-02 - Pau Gasol, Memphis
2002-03 - Amar'e Stoudemire, Phoenix
2003-04 - LeBron James, Cleveland
2004-05 - Emeka Okafor, Charlotte
2005-06 - Chris Paul, New Orleans/Okla. City
2006-07 - Brandon Roy, Portland
2007-08 - Kevin Durant, Seattle
2008-09 -Derrick Rose, Chicago
2009-10 –Tyreke Evans, Sacramento