Predicting the 2012-2013 NBA All-Rookie Team
The 2012 NBA draft was touted as being one of the deepest drafts in recent memory.
With players ranging from No. 1 pick Anthony Davis to No. 28 pick Perry Jones III who are all capable of making a lasting impact in the ranks of the NBA, the draft's depth will be evident during the 2012-13 season.
In such a deep draft class, the challenge of earning a spot on the 2012-13 NBA All-Rookie team will be that much more difficult, but it will also make that honor that much more valued as well.
Ahead is full prediction of the players who will find their names on either the first or second teams of the 2012-13 NBA All-Rookie team.
First Five to Miss the Cut
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All stats are from the 2011-12 season.
1. Thomas Robinson, PF, Sacramento Kings: 17.7 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 1.1 STLPG, 50.5 FG%
2. Austin Rivers, SG/PG, New Orleans Hornets: 15.5 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.1 APG, 43.4 FG%
3. Maurice Harkless, SF, Philadelphia 76ers: 15.3 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 1.6 BPG, 44.5 FG%
5. Kendall Marshall, PG, Phoenix Suns: 8.1 PPG, 9.8 APG, 1.2 STLPG, 46.7 FG%
Second Team: Jonas Valanciunas, C, Toronto Raptors
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2011-12 stats: 11.7 PPG, 7.35 RPG, 1.67 BPG, 62.3 FG%
After spending the past season overseas in Europe, Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto's first-round pick in 2011, will be making his NBA debut this season.
Of all the rookies who will be entering the NBA this coming season, Valanciunas might very well be the most NBA-ready. Last season, Valanciunas spent significant time playing against established professionals in Europe, and that gives the Lithuanian center an advantage over the rest of the 2012-'13 rookie class.
With his seven-foot frame, Valanciunas will fill the paint for the Raptors, allowing Andrea Bargnani to spread the court with his perimeter shooting. I still think Valanciunas needs to add more strength before he becomes a dominant center in the NBA, but his play next year should earn him a spot on the all-rookie team.
Second Team: Terrence Jones, PF, Houston Rockets
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2011-12 stats: 12.3 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 1.8 BPG, 50.0 FG%
Terrence Jones was one of the most productive members of the 2012 Kentucky Wildcats' NCAA championship team, and the skills that carried him this past year will certainly carry him in the NBA.
Jones, at 6'9'' and 252 pounds, is an NBA-ready power forward with an impressive level of versatility in his game that will easily translate into the Houston Rockets rotation.
The one thing that will hold Jones back from being on the first team is his tendency to shut down at times instead of consistently giving 100 percent. Jones though, will use his rare mix of size and agility to create mismatches on the perimeter, which will allow him to be one of the more productive rookies next season.
Second Team: Harrison Barnes, SF, Golden State Warriors
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2011-12 stats: 17.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 1.1 STLPG, 44.0 FG%
Harrison Barnes certainly has all the physical gifts and fundamental talents it takes to be an elite player in the NBA, and I think he can reach that potential. He just won't be a able to reach that potential as quickly as next season.
The most interesting part of Barnes' game is that he is an incredible athlete, but at times it doesn't translate into his play on court, which is an issue.
With that being said, Barnes is a mature player who will find a way to transition his talents on the wing for the Golden State Warriors. Barnes is a lock to be on the 2013 NBA All-Rookie team, it's just a question of whether he'll find himself on the first or second squad.
Second Team: Darius Johnson-Odom, SG, L.A. Lakers
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2011-12 stats: 18.3 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2.7 APG, 44.7 FG%
Darius Johnson-Odom is entering the NBA as one of the most prolific scorers coming out of the 2012 NBA draft class.
On a a Marquette team that lacked next-level talent, Johnson-Odom produced at a high level, and he did so with a dominant ability to slash into the paint, while also stepping back and hurting teams out on the perimeter.
Finding his way to the L.A. Lakers is a perfect fit for Johnson-Odom. He can step right in and become a productive piece of the Lakers' second unit if given the chance. If Johnson-Odom carries his aggressive offensive game to the NBA, he'll quickly become a productive wingman coming off the bench and a surprise postseason selection for all-rookie honors.
Second Team: Dion Waiters, SG, Cleveland Cavaliers
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2011-12 stats: 12.6 PPG, 2.5 APG, 1.8 STLPG, 47.6 FG%
Dion Waiters didn't start a single game last year for Syracuse, and that's going to be the first thing that changes as he finds his way into the starting lineup for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While a lot of experts think the Cavaliers made a stretch by going after Waiters with the No. 4 pick, I think the Cavs found the perfect player to come alongside Kyrie Irving to eventually form one of the most fearsome backcourt duos in the NBA.
Waiters could end up being one of the most prolific scorers coming out of the 2012 draft. He has a rare mix of long-range depth and a physical approach to getting into the paint. Waiters, with the right offseason development and coaching, can work his way onto the 2013 NBA All-Rookie team. If he does that, he'll also be at the foundation of a return to the playoffs for the Cavaliers.
First Team: Anthony Davis, PF, New Orleans Hornets
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2011-12 stats: 14.2 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 4.7 BPG, 62.3 FG%
Barring an injury similar to the one he sustained in one of his first workouts with the New Orleans Hornets, many experts think Anthony Davis is a lock to not only be a member of the 2013 All-Rookie first team, but also a Rookie of the Year candidate.
Davis will be able to carry his collegiate success into the NBA, purely on his athleticism alone. If Davis is able to add some polish to his post game and add some strength to his frame, he will certainly become a perennial All-Star after a year or two in the league.
What will also help Davis excel right out of the gate is his impressive range out on the perimeter, which will help him spread the floor and in turn make the Hornets a better and more competitive team.
First Team: Perry Jones III, PF, Oklahoma City Thunder
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2011-12 stats: 13.5 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.3 APG, 50.0 FG%
Perry Jones III took the deepest fall of the 2012 NBA draft, but luckily he fell all the way to the Oklahoma City Thunder, which happens to be a perfect fit for him and his talents.
While there are questions surrounding the health of his knees, Jones is one of the most physically gifted players coming out of the draft. Jones is long, athletic, agile and versatile, and when he's running at 100 percent, he's a difficult player to stop.
Jones could quickly become the seventh man off an underwhelming OKC bench, which means an increased number of minutes and an opportunity to be one of the more productive rookies next season. Jones has a perfect chance to excel, he just needs to put the time and hard work in.
First Team: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Charlotte Bobcats
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2011-12 stats: 11.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1.9 APG, 49.1 FG%
Some people aren't as high on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as I am, but there's no question that he'll be a productive rookie. The mature and fundamental way that Kidd-Gilchrist plays the game is the kind of transferable skills that the Charlotte Bobcats desperately need.
MKG is a solid player, but the main reason why he'll be a member of the 2013 NBA All-Rookie team is because the Bobcats are going to give him a chance to have an immediate impact in the league.
Kidd-Gilchrist needs to add some range to his jumper, but his slashing abilities and strong mid-range game will carry him until that time. While his college teammate, Anthony Davis, is expected to be the best player out of the 2012 class, Kidd-Gilchrist could very well end up stealing that honor.
First Team: Bradley Beal, SG, Washington Wizards
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2011-12 stats: 14.8 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 1.4 STLPG, 44.5 FG%
While Beal won't step right in and be the kind of player that Ray Allen was in his prime, there's no doubt that Beal will certainly be one of the more offensively-productive rookies.
Playing alongside a gifted point guard in John Wall will definitely help Beal's development, and with time Beal and Wall could certainly become one of the most dominant backcourt duos in the NBA.
Beal's greatest asset is the way he attacks the basket, and if that skill can translate to the next level, the Florida alum will certainly be one of the top three rookies to come out of the draft. He might even be so good that the Bobcats will regret passing on him for fellow All-Rookie first-team member, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
First Team: Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers
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2011-12 stats: 24.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.0 APG, 46.7 FG%
Damian Lillard is without a doubt the most prolific scorer coming out of the 2012 draft class, and that's saying something.
What makes the guard such a special talent isn't just his scoring ability though, it's his work ethic, which will drive him to success.
Lillard will certainly have this fair share of growing pains during his rookie year, but the fact that he can score at will, while facilitating the ball to his teammates on a consistent basis will be at the foundation of his rookie-year success.
If Lillard plays like he did at Weber State, there's no doubt that he could run away with the 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year award. That's how solid of a player he truly is.