2012 NBA Draft Picks: Projecting the 2013 All-Rookie First Team
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With the NBA Draft results now official, we can go a step beyond imagining how the league's top prospects will fair in a vacuum.
We know a few things about the kind of teams they'll be playing with and the kinds of roles they will come to occupy. That should accordingly tell us a thing or two about what kind of seasons these guys will have.
Here's a look at the most likely candidates to earn All-Rookie First Team honors when all is said and done in 2013.
Anthony Davis, F/C–New Orleans Hornets
Davis should be able to score 10 or more points a game on offensive rebounds and his quick first step alone. It'll take him time to perfect his mid-range jumper and develop an above-average post game, but that doesn't mean he'll be a non-factor on offense.
More importantly, his rebounding and defensive numbers should be excellent from Day 1.
Don't expect five blocks per game, but it wouldn't be at all surprising to see the spidery big man averaging more than two blocks a contest along with 10 rebounds. That should be more than enough to earn him a spot on the first team.
Thomas Robinson, PF–Sacramento Kings
Robinson is the best scorer among big men in the draft, and he may be the best rebounder as well. That's a formula for some impressive statistical output, perhaps even the kind that attracts Rookie of the Year considerations.
It doesn't hurt that the Kings push the tempo and rack up a load of possessions. That gives Robinson plenty of opportunities to score and rebound. It remains to be seen how so many scorers—including center DeMarcus Cousins—can share the ball, but Robinson should find a way to impact the game one way or another.
Terrence Ross, G/F–Toronto Raptors
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist may wind up being the best all-around player in this draft, but that doesn't mean he'll have the best rookie year.
Ross is already a much better scorer than MKG, and he'll manage to rebound and accrue some defensive numbers as well. His ability to shoot from the perimeter and take the ball to the rim makes him one of those rare rookies who will score on par with his veteran peers.
The Raptors desperately needed a shooter on the wing to pair with DeMar DeRozan. Ross will get plenty of play from the start. And, if Toronto finds some way to lure Steve Nash to town, the young scorer will also have one of the game's all-time greatest passers feeding him the ball.
Bradley Beal, SG–Washington Wizards
We all know Beal can score, so the only question is whether he'll have the opportunity to do so. Given the Washington Wizards' current composition, there's little doubt he'll have exactly that.
At worst, Beal will play a sixth-man role behind John Wall and Jordan Crawford. At best, he'll step right in and take Crawford's starting job from the outset. The acquisition of Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza shouldn't cut into Beal's shot attempts at all.
The two defense-oriented players combined for less than 18 field goal attempts a game last season despite having to carry the load for a team missing leading scorer Eric Gordon for the vast majority of the season.
Expect Beal and Wall to quickly become the focal point of the offense, and the numbers should be there.
Damian Lillard, PG–Portland Trail Blazers
Even if Portland acquires another point guard on the free-agent market, Lillard should still get plenty of opportunities to prove what he can do. The club didn't take him with the sixth overall pick to watch him ride the bench.
More importantly, Lillard is just too good of a scorer to keep under wraps. His quickness and ability to score from virtually anywhere make him a perfect candidate to either start right away or come off the bench for significant stretches.
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