2012 NBA Draft: Predicting the 2013 All-Rookie First Team
In the NBA, there's no such thing as looking too far ahead.
Though the draft is about a month away and we're months from even seeing the in-bound rookies in meaningful, professional action, we know enough about them to consider prospects for the 2013 All-Rookie First Team.
In a class headlined by phenomenon Anthony Davis, which other athletes are guaranteed to shine brighter than anyone else?
That's what we're here to determine.
Kendall Marshall, PG North Carolina
Kendall Marshall is one of the riskiest prospects heading into this year's NBA draft.
That said, he has enormous upside.
Marshall is perhaps the best playmaker in the entire draft. Setting up his teammates is second nature to him, and he has court vision comparable to that of Steve Nash.
One of the biggest queries surrounding the sophomore, though, is his ability to take games over with his own offense. Much like Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo, Marshall has a tendency to be too unselfish.
Despite the clear risk involved, especially with regards to injury, Marshall has all the tools necessary to succeed at the professional level immediately.
Expect his awareness to outshine the uncertainty, more so than any of us could have expected.
Jeremy Lamb, SG Connecticut
Jeremy Lamb has the most deadly pull-up jumper in all the draft, an attribute that will immediately command attention at the NBA level.
Lamb is more athletic than people tend to give him credit for and has a wide-range of weaponry in his offensive arsenal. He can attack the rim, score off fade-aways, knock down shots while absorbing contact and can even be effective with his back to the basket.
And that's all in addition to that nasty pull-up of his.
Lamb's devotion has come under fire at different times over the past year, but when he finally reaches the pros, expect that criticism to fuel his much stronger than anticipated rookie season.
Jared Sullinger, PF Ohio State
There's almost a Zach Randolph like feel to Jared Sullinger.
Though Sullinger isn't overwhelmingly athletic, he makes up for it with his aggressiveness on the glass and willingness to throw that 265-pound frame of his around at will.
And while he isn't overly athletic, there's something about the mechanics of his game that are captivating, to say the least. He plays efficient basketball down on the block and has a great touch around the basket, yet he's also one of the most physical players in the draft.
He has a powerful finesse about him, if you will.
Concerns regarding his ability to match up against the NBA's quicker, more explosive power forwards are unlikely to disappear overnight, but fully expect Sullinger to adjust and excel.
Just like he did at Ohio State.
Anthony Davis, PF Kentucky
No surprise here as Anthony Davis is easily the draft's most prolific and polished player.
Davis makes a clear impact at both ends of the floor. He blocks shots, grabs boards—on both ends—scores points, runs the floor, soars through the air and uses his length better than anyone else.
Perhaps most impressively, though, is the forward's ability to put the ball on the floor, maintain control and exploit his defender off the dribble. That's a rare quality in someone his size.
Davis' lanky frame and evolving jump shot are two areas of concern moving forward, but based on what he showed during his brief stint at Kentucky, he's going to figure it out.
He's the future Rookie of the Year and a lock to join the All-Rookie First Team ranks.
Thomas Robinson, PF Kansas
Thomas Robinson was the runner-up for National Player of the Year last season while at Kansas and rightfully so.
Robinson is an athletic freak, capable of changing the outcome of a game with his play on both ends of the floor. He's explosive and never passes up the opportunity to attack the basket, and he also has great anticipation, followed up by terrific execution on the defensive end.
While Robinson's mid-range jumper is a key improvement he must make moving forward, he thrived as the focal point of the Jayhawks' offense last season. He is not only effective with his back to the basket, but can face-up and take his opponent off the dribble.