Predicting Final Stats for Every Top-10 NBA Rookie
The 2012 NBA Draft featured a boatload of talent in the first ten picks, and those top 10 rookies are going to heavily-influence their teams' fate and help shape the 2013 playoff picture.
But exactly how productive will this collection of talent be?
Some players such as Dion Waiters and Damian Lillard are already seeing star-like minutes, while others such as Terrence Ross spend much of the game watching.
After facing the rigors of their first NBA campaign, what will each top-10 rookie's stat sheet look like at the end of the 2012-13 season?
10. Austin Rivers, New Orleans Hornets G
Considering that New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Austin Rivers is playing more than 29 minutes per game, and Eric Gordon isn't in the lineup, Rivers' offensive output has been unimpressive.
Won't he improve on his 22 percent shooting and 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio? Logic dictates that he's skilled enough to snap out of it.
Even though his minutes may drop slightly when (if) Eric Gordon returns, his shot selection and efficiency will sharpen dramatically.
FG%: 32 percent
3P%: 28 percent
FT%: 82 percent
9. Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons F/C
Once thought to be a No. 1 draft prospect, Andre Drummond slipped to No. 9, but that works for Lawrence Frank and the Detroit Pistons.
The club is suffering through a horrendous start, and it looks like the 2012-13 season will be one long struggle. For Drummond, that means an increase in playing time and an improvement in his offensive game.
He will be overshadowed by teammate Greg Monroe and fellow rookie Anthony Davis all year. But ask anyone who had to box him out, and they will tell you how good he is.
FG%: 55 percent
3P%: 0 percent
FT%: 60 percent
8. Terrence Ross, Toronto Raptors G
The 2012 No. 8 pick is getting sparing minutes to start the season, but that's partially because of Toronto's depth at the swingman positions.
Similar to Drummond and the Pistons, the Raptors will fade from the playoff picture, and that's when Terrence Ross's minutes will routinely be in the teens.
What he does with those minutes is up to him. If he's smart, he'll find a way to shoot better than his current 31 percent long-distance rate.
FG%: 40 percent
3P%: 33 percent
FT%: 75 percent
7. Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors F
The Golden State Warriors are being carried by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson thus far, but Mark Jackson would love to see Harrison Barnes carry a heavy portion too.
Golden State's two wins happen to be the only games in which Barnes scored in double figures.
With Brandon Rush out of the picture, Barnes should be shooting more and attacking more throughout the season. But will he actually average double-digits?
FG%: 46 percent
3P%: 38 percent
FT%: 74 percent
6. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers G
Through eight games, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has put himself on pace for a sensational rookie season.
He has an elite shooting touch and can get to the rim in a myriad of ways, but the statistic that will define Lillard's ability as a leader and winner is assist-to-turnover ratio. Right now, he's at about 2-to-1, but if he can improve to 3-to-1, Portland will be a much better team.
FG%: 43 percent
3P%: 40 percent
FT%: 85 percent
5. Thomas Robinson, Sacramento Kings F
In his first game back from his elbow-induced suspension, Sacramento Kings forward Thomas Robinson finally looked the part of a top-five draft choice.
He played 30 minutes, went 5-of-7 from the field, earned a couple trips to the free-throw line and was active on the offensive glass. DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson's presence will prevent Robinson from posting totals like that every game, but he will consistently make noise off the bench.
FG%: 48 percent
3P%: 0 percent
FT%: 70 percent
4. Dion Waiters, Cleveland Cavaliers G
In order for Cleveland to survive in the Central Division, it needs the No. 4 overall pick to live up to his draft status.
Dion Waiters was an exciting player in college, but not a Naismith-type player. So far, it looks like his game has translated well to the NBA and he is one of the best playmaking products of the 2012 draft.
Let's remember he's only a couple weeks into his collaboration with Kyrie Irving. As they grow together, Waiters effectiveness and production will become more consistent.
3. Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards G
Once Washington Wizards star John Wall returns, rookie guard Bradley Beal will see an uptick in shooting percentage and overall efficiency.
Right now, his shooting stats aren't quite where Randy Wittman would like them to be, but over the course of the season, both his field-goal and three-point percentages will eclipse 40 percent. Wall will open up the floor significantly and give Beal more spot-up looks and driving lanes.
On a side note, we'll see whether Beal can keep his free-throw percentage above 90.
FG%: 43 percent
3P%: 41 percent
FT%: 91 percent
2. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte Bobcats F
Much of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's work doesn't show up in the box score, but he's so active in all areas of the game that he can't help but stand out statistically.
Mike Dunlap and the Charlotte Bobcats don't mind if MKG doesn't light it up offensively every night. As long as he stays focused defensively and attacks when he gets the ball, the numbers will come.
Don't expect him to have offensive statistics comparable with most No. 2 picks, but keep an eye out for impressive steal and block averages.
FG%: 45 percent
3P%: 36 percent
FT%: 75 percent
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Hornets F/C
The New Orleans Hornets don't have an array of dynamic options in the post, so Anthony Davis will be counted on to score and rebound consistently.
Even though he's a rookie, Monty Williams needs Davis to play around 30 minutes and put up 10-12 field-goal attempts per game if the Hornets want to sneak into the playoffs.
Unquestionable is his ability to contest shots; he will not only lead all rookies in blocks, but he'll be in the top five in the league.
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