NBA stars don't just waltz into the league, despite what the over-analyzing experts might say when the draft rolls around each summer.
Some classes produce multiple All-Stars or even multiple Hall of Famers. Some simply mark the arrival of another crop of productive, but limited, reserves and fringe starters.
Evaluating young talent in the league is often as difficult as projecting the career trajectory of teens and early 20-somethings gracing basketball's biggest stage.
There's a far greater sample size to digest, of course, but those samples generally offer little more than a glimpse of what these players could become.
These players all have superstar talent, but haven't yet built resumes to match those skills.
So fans and experts alike are left waiting for the sustained successes that they can achieve. Whether or not they'll ever attain that level remains to be seen.
It's a trying, frustrating exercise that may test the resolve of anxious front offices and glass-overflowing fanbases.
But it's fascinating drama. And just another reason why the NBA remains near the apex of the professional sports world.
*All statistics used in this article accurate as of 12/19/2012.