There are a handful of players whose talents suggest they’re starting-five material, but questions surrounding their readiness and the team's positional needs will make a spot in the lineup more of a challenge.
Thomas Robinson: Thomas Robinson enters the NBA with a physical game that should make the starting lineup in most situations. The talent is there, and he may be the most NBA-ready of all incoming prospects, but following a contract extension this summer, Jason Thompson will likely be given the nod at the power forward position.
Bradley Beal: Bradley Beal has an extremely high ceiling, and while his game is that of a smooth NBA two-guard, he’s yet to win the job over Jordan Crawford. As a No. 3 pick, Beal should challenge Crawford right away, so don’t be surprised if he is in the lineup by the end of the season.
Andre Drummond: Andre Drummond is one of the biggest questions marks from the 2012 draft, and playing behind Greg Monroe his rookie season should do him a ton of good as he continues to develop. He has starting-caliber talent, but his game is raw and his drive is questionable, making him a project for the Detroit Pistons.
Terrence Ross: Terrence Ross was considered a reach in some circles as the No. 8 pick, but the talent is there to compete for a starting spot with the Toronto Raptors. The team is young and improving, but Landry Fields and DeMar DeRozan will make it difficult for Ross to crack the lineup in his rookie season.
Dion Waiters: Dion Waiters is a perfect example of a player who should challenge for a starting spot all season long, but might just miss the cut when the season tips off. He’s not the shooter the team wanted to obtain this summer, but his ability to attack the rim and finish strong will earn him minutes if he can stay aggressive.