As far as experience and established recognition go, Minnesota's rookie Ricky Rubio takes the cake.
Jeremy Lin didn't receive any athletic scholarships following high school, but he attended Harvard on academic merit. The fact that an athlete from an Ivy League school progressed to the NBA is rare in itself. Lin averaged 16 points and four assists his senior year, but he was undrafted after graduation.
Although he signed a partially guaranteed contract with his hometown Golden State Warriors, Lin failed to make any name for himself as a professional, averaging only 2.8 points and nine minutes per contest.
This is literally the first time Lin has shown any outstanding talent on an NBA court...or any court, for that matter.
Rubio made his NBA debut only two months ago, but the 21-year-old is no stranger to the pressures of professional sports.
At age 14, Rubio became the youngest player to ever play in the Spanish ACB League, and he found himself on the radar of NBA scouts from that point on.
He won the EuroChallenge championship with Joventut in 2005, and in 2006 he led the ACB League in steals. He also won the Spanish ACB League's Rising Star Award that season. Rubio was also named the 2007, 2008 and 2009 FIBA Europe Young Player of the Year.
Rubio averaged 2.8 assists per game in his first season of Euroleague play, and he won the Eurocup championship with Joventut in 2008. He was also voted the Spanish ACB League's best point guard in 2008 and 2010. He won the Euroleague 2009-2010 with FC Barcelona.
Rubio was selected for the 2008 Olympics' Spanish national team, and he also won the 2008 Mr. Europa Award, given out by the Italian Superbasket Magazine.
He was named the Defensive Player of the Year for the Spanish ACB League 2008-09 season, and he also led the league in steals that season. Rubio declared himself eligible for the 2009 NBA Draft on April 20, 2009.
On June 5, 2009, Rubio became the first player born in the 1990s to be drafted into the NBA.