NBA Predictions: Five Sophomores To Watch in The 2010-2011 Season
The NBA Summer League is underway, and it is time for teams to start filling up roster spots. Critics say the Summer League is meaningless, but to the rookies it means everything.
The Summer League is where all the rookies get their first piece of game action, and every player wants to come out and make a name for himself.
I thought it would be interesting analyze five rookies from last year that may bloom into stars in the league soon.
This is a look at five players who had solid rookie years and will have even better sophomore years.
Some of these players will see an increased amount of minutes, others will see an increased amount of production (points, rebounds, assists, etc).
Whatever the case may be, the guys on this list have shown their coaches and GMs that they're ready, and these guys will not disappoint in the upcoming season.
Tyreke Evans: Sacramento Kings
Ht/Wt: 6’6”/220 lbs.
Rookie Stats: 37.2 MPG, 20.1 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 5.8 APG
Tyreke Evans is an easy pick for sophomores to look out for in the 2010-2011 season.
He earned Rookie of the Year last season, and he is the best all-around player in his class. He’s big, tough, fast, and smooth.
He can beat defenders in numerous ways. He can drop 30 points on an opponent, or dish out 15 assists in a game if he needs to.
However, he averaged three turnovers a game last year, so if he can keep his turnovers down he will be even more potent as the Kings' playmaker next season.
Brandon Jennings: Milwaukee Bucks
Ht/Wt: 6’1”/169 lbs.
Rookie Stats: 32.6 MPG, 15.5 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 5.7 APG
People knew Jennings could be good when he began his rookie campaign, but on Nov. 14, 2009, he showed that he could be great.
He dropped 55 points that night against the Golden State Warriors, and became the youngest player in NBA history to score 50 or more points in a game.
Jennings instantly became one of the most dangerous guards in the league. He is a point guard who can score with a willingness to pass.
He led the Bucks to the playoffs as a rookie, and the NBA hasn’t seen a player like him in years, if ever.
Jennings is often compared to Allen Iverson, but I think he’s a better passer at this stage in his career and he is a bit faster than A.I. was.
He became the face of an NBA franchise in his first season, so imagine what he can do in year two.
Stephen Curry: Golden State Warriors
Ht/Wt: 6’3”/185 lbs.
Rookie Stats: 36.2 MPG, 17.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 5.9 APG
Don't let the kid from Davidson fool you. This kid can go!
He finished second in Rookie of the Year voting (behind Evans) and he was a unanimous selection for the 2009-2010 All-Rookie Team.
He drained 166 three-pointers as a rookie (NBA record) and he shot 43 percent from downtown.
The three-ball is not the only weapon in Curry's arsenal. Look at his stats. He can rebound, pass, and play defense.
Curry was teamed up with Monta Ellis last season, giving the Warriors one of the quickest backcourts in the league.
Curry scores the ball like a two-guard, but he has the decision making and instincts of a point guard. His versatility at the guard position is what sets him apart from his peers, and he is going to be special.
Wesley Matthews: Utah Jazz
Ht/Wt: 6’5”/220 lbs.
Rookie Stats: 24.7 MPG, 9.4 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.7 APG
The Jazz were eliminated by the Lakers in the conference semifinals, but Matthews gained invaluable experience in the postseason as a rookie.
He averaged 37.1 minutes, 13.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game in the playoffs last season.
Matthews fits Jerry Sloan's system perfectly. He is athletic, he runs the floor, and he defends well.
His numbers are only going to increase with the more playing time he gets. He has the potential to break out next season, and don't be surprised if he is the most improved player in his class.
He's in a great system, and as a wing player he will provide stability on the perimeter for point guard Deron Williams.
Terrence Williams: New Jersey Nets
Ht/Wt: 6’6”/220 lbs.
Rookie Stats: 22.6 MPG, 8.4 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.9 APG
Williams is my sleeper out of this group. He's not great at anything, but he is good at everything. That's not an insult to his game either.
He can fill a stat sheet with his eyes closed, and there is nothing on the floor he can't do. All he needs is time, literally.
He averaged just a shade over 20 minutes a game as a rookie. Next season, if he gets 35-40 minutes a night he could average close to 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists per game.
Williams probably has the most upside out of anyone in his class. He just needs more minutes, and the Nets need to win more games.