As the shortened NBA season has begun, there are 10 players whom the average-to-hardcore NBA fan should look out for.
These players will grab headlines for being early round picks, possible trade bait or, in some cases, crucial ingredients for a playoff run.
Rookies have a critical role in determining the long-term success for numerous franchises, and these are the guys you should be watching this season.
Markieff Morris has all the tools to thrive in Alvin Gentry's offensive system. His athletic ability should make the Suns a more defensively capable team, and Morris should have a better season than his brother, Marcus.
Bold Prediction: Morris will start at least 20 games.
The international sensation has finally arrived and could provide a much-needed spark to a futile Wolves fanbase. Ricky Rubio will provide flair and boost season-ticket sales, but how will he play alongside fellow rookie Derrick Williams?
Bold Prediction: Rubio will average six APG.
MarShon Brooks can flat out score. With Brook Lopez sidelined for most of the first half, Deron Williams will rely on Brooks to give New Jersey an additional scoring threat.
Bold Prediction: Brooks will score 30 in a game...twice.
The Knicks' brass, along with their fans, are very interested to see how this guy pans out. Known as a defensive stopper in college, Iman Shumpert will have to adjust to a high-speed Knicks offense.
Bold Prediction: Shumpert will take over for Landry Fields halfway through the season as the starting SG.
In my mind, Jimmer Fredette is the Tim Tebow of the NBA. Many people want this guy to succeed, and I am one of them. Jimmer is playing in a guard-loaded offense and could struggle to see consistent playing time.
Bold Prediction: The Kings make the postseason behind 15 points a game from Fredette.
Kemba Walker's size could cause him to struggle in his first NBA season. However, this guy has more guts than any player I've seen coming out of college in a long time.
Bold Prediction: Walker struggles immensely and shoots under 30 percent his rookie year.
It's unreasonable to think Kyrie Irving can salvage a franchise that is still feeling the effects of LeBron James leaving. Irving has a lot to live up to with his No.1-draft-pick billing.
Bold Prediction: Irving averages 14 PPG and eight APG.
Derrick Williams came out of Arizona as an electric player whom draws comparisons to Lamar Odom.
Bold Prediction: Williams goes for a double-double in at least 10 games.
Norris Cole grabbed early-season headlines when he scored 18 points in the fourth quarter and helped the Heat defeat the Boston Celtics.
Bold Prediction: Cole and Mario Chalmers start an even amount of games until the playoffs, where Cole takes leadership.
I think this guy is the best rookie in the class. Brandon Knight has unbelievable ball skills and can do it all. Too bad he plays for the Pistons.
Bold Prediction: Knight wins Rookie of the Year.