10 Most Disappointing NBA Rookies This Season
One of the hardest parts of an NBA general manager's job is trying to predict which incoming rookies will end up being stars and which will be major busts. The 2012-13 NBA season has its fair share of young rookies who look like busts so far.
Granted, it is still very early in the careers of these players. It's probably not even fair to judge them at this point, but it is just something that comes with their chosen profession.
Please keep in mind that these players are being judged as disappointing based on their pre-draft expectations. Some who appear to be more disappointing on this list may be performing better than others who are higher because they are underperforming more based on what was expected of them.
All stats in this article are accurate as of January 25, 2012, and were extracted from ESPN.com.
10. Doron Lamb, Milwaukee Bucks
2012-13 Points: 3.4 points, 34.7 percent field goal shooting
Maybe this one is on me. Doron Lamb was not drafted until No. 42 overall, so maybe I should not have expected much from him. But, in my defense, I heard all kinds of great things about what a great shooter Lamb was and how he had a great shot at helping out a team immediately.
Lamb has not met those expectations, however unrealistic they may have been. He has not played very well and has played in only about half of Milwaukee’s games. So far, Lamb has been a far cry from the sharpshooter many thought he would be coming out of Kentucky.
9. John Jenkins, Atlanta Hawks
2012-13 Stats: 4.3 points, 1.2 rebounds, 43 percent field goal shooting
John Jenkins was not drafted very highly, so he is not too high on this disappointment list. However, Atlanta Hawks fans still have to be disappointed that Jenkins has been unable to make really any difference for their team.
Jenkins has only played in 26 games and is only averaging 11.6 minutes played in those games. He gets a bit of a pass because of the moves the Hawks made in the offseason that put other players ahead of him. However, one still would have hoped he could have fought for and won more time on the court.
8. Tyshawn Taylor, Brooklyn Nets
2012-13 Stats: 1.6 points, 35.9 percent field goal shooting
Tyshawn Taylor looked like he could have a really good career ahead of him last year when he was still at Kansas. In that season, he led an underrated Jayhawks team all the way to the NCAA championship game.
That player seems like a thing of the past. Right now, Taylor is buried behind Deron Williams and C.J. Watson on Brooklyn’s depth chart, and it looks unlikely that he will dig out any time soon. He has played in just 21 games this season for the Nets, and even in those games, he only averaged 4.3 minutes of playing time.
7. Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
2012-13 Stats: 13.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists
Bradley Beal has been inconsistent so far in his short NBA career, but that is to be somewhat expected of a young player learning to play at the professional level. His shooting has been particularly streaky, which is why he is on this list.
That was supposed to be his bread and butter, but right now he is only shooting 36 percent from three and 39 percent from the field.
While he has not been terrible, he hasn't been the player that teams loved before the draft. The fact that Oklahoma City may have considered trading James Harden for him is laughable right now.
6. Terrence Jones, Houston Rockets
2012-13 Stats: 3.1 points, 1.6 rebounds, 38.2 percent field goal shooting
Terrence Jones is the second Kentucky player on this list who's struggling to make an impact as a rookie in the NBA.
At 6’9” and with the ability to shoot from the perimeter, many believed that this former Wildcat would be able to play in the NBA immediately. But that is apparently not the case.
Jones has only played in 11 games for Houston this season and has never been able to consistently earn playing time. Right now, it appears that he will need some time in the D-League before he is ready to play in the NBA on a nightly basis.
5. Perry Jones III, Oklahoma City Thunder
2012-13 Stats: 1.8 points, 1.4 rebounds, 45.2 percent field goal shooting
Despite being lauded for years as a lottery-level talent, Perry Jones III fell in the 2012 draft to the Oklahoma City Thunder late in the first round. Most saw this as a coup for the Thunder in getting a high draft pick talent for such a low value.
That might still be true, but at least a few doubts are seeping into that thinking.
Jones has not played much for the Thunder, which is disappointing considering that many had hoped he could help fill James Harden’s shoes for the second unit. He has looked timid and uneasy on the court when he has played, and it will likely take awhile for him to adjust to the pro game.
4. Kendall Marshall, Phoenix Suns
2012-13 Stats: 0.6 points, 0.7 assists, 27.3 percent field goal shooting
Of all the players on this list, this might be the one that has disappointed me the most personally. Coming out of North Carolina, Kendall Marshall was high on my list. I thought he had the potential to be a very good NBA point guard.
While I have not given up hope in him yet, there has been very little to be excited about so far. He has spent most of his time on the bench or in the D-League and is now the fourth-string point guard on the Suns’ roster.
3. Austin Rivers, New Orleans Hornets
2012-13 Stats: 6.0 points, 2.3 assists, 2.0 rebounds
Austin Rivers has not been bad so far in his rookie season. However, he has not been the type of scoring guard that many thought he could be after watching him in high school and at Duke.
Doc Rivers’ son is shooting just 33 percent from the field and only 31.3 percent from three-point range. That is particularly upsetting considering that long-range shooting was supposed to be one of Rivers’ strengths heading into his first season.
His player efficiency rating of just 5.30 is just more icing on this disappointing cake.
2. Thomas Robinson, Sacramento Kings
2012-13 Stats: 4.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 43.8 percent shooting from the field
When a player is drafted in the top five, he is expected to come in and be a starter or at least be one of the more valuable players on the team right away. Of all of the top five of the 2012 draft, Thomas Robinson is the only one who has been unable to do that.
That is disappointing because of where Robinson went. The Kings are not a good team, and even though they have talented pieces, many expected Robinson to rise to the top thanks to his hard work and character. However, he has been unable to do thus far.
1. Royce White, Houston Rockets
2012-13 Stats: None
You saw that right. Royce White has not played a single bit this NBA season. The Houston Rockets and White have been unable to figure out a way to work through White’s anxiety issues.
The blame for that is not mine to place. However, no one can deny that the fact that White has not gotten on the court is extremely disappointing, especially considering how good he was in college.
White’s absence makes the 2012 draft almost a complete bust for the Rockets. Their three first-round picks were White, Terrence Jones and Jeremy Lamb—none of whom plays much for them. Lamb did go to Oklahoma City as part of the James Harden deal, so I guess that is something.
Needless to say, though, White is the most disappointing rookie this season, and he makes the Rockets’ 2012 draft the most disappointing as well.