5 Rookies To Watch For In The 2010-2011 Season
Here are five rookies I feel can make an unexpected impact in this upcoming season.
These aren't the obvious rookies who were lottery picks. These are late first round and second round picks who can surely do something this upcoming season.
Also I want to mention a couple of guys that just missed the cut:
Devin Ebanks was the 43rd pick to the Los Angeles Lakers in this year's draft.
He played two years at West Virginia and was the second man on the team behind Da'Sean Butler (picked 42nd).
Their West Virginia team made a splash in the NCAA tournament, only to be dethroned by the Duke Blue Devils.
Devin Ebanks never put up the best stats in college, but he has been known for having a high amount of potential. He was highly regarded by scouts due to his great athleticism and speed.
At the start of the 2009-10 NCAA season, Ebanks was projected as a mid-first round pick and very likely in the lottery. He let a lot of people down throughout the course of the season and his stock slowly diminished.
By the time the season was over, he was projected more so into the early second round, and he did drop even more.
The Lakers decided to pick the kid up due to his potential, since they really don't need anyone and a second-round pick of the defending champs probably wont get on the roster, but Devin Ebanks quickly turned heads in the summer league.
In the first game of the summer league, Ebanks dropped 21 while shooting 9-of-16.
After that game, I could just tell that this kid could really be something special. Getting minutes on the Lakers is going to be a true challenge, though.
Be aware when he is in the game. He is an excellent athlete who can make a game fun to watch when he has the ball in his hands.
Quincy Pondexter is a 6-foot-6 Small Forward out of the University of Washington.
He was selected at the 26th spot by the Oklahoma City Thunder and his rights were traded to the New Orleans Hornets on draft day.
Pondexter came out as a senior unlike a majority of the draftees. Pondexter is flexible and can play at either Small Forward or Shooting Guard.
He is a very good all-around player that is on a team that fits him nearly perfectly.
With the Hornets recent acquisition of Trevor Ariza, Pondexter will see less time at SF and more at SG. Later on in the season he will probably steal minutes from Peja Stojakovic.
He won't receive a lot of minutes immediately, but as long as he works hard to improve his jump shot he will definitely earn more minutes as the season continues.
I can possibly see him finding a starting role in New Orleans in a season or if Bellinelli and Marcus Thornton don't work out too well.
Dominique Jones, the 6'4" shooting guard drafted 25th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies was traded on draft day for cash considerations.
Jones was one of the most impressive players in this years summer league. He averaged 16.6 PPG in the summer league, which is one of the highest averages of all participants.
Lucky for Jones is that he is on a fairly good team that he could very possibly make an impact on.
To start the season, he surely wont get too many minutes, but as long as he can put that ball in the basket consistently like we know he can, his minutes will definitely increase.
He's always been able to score. He came into this draft as a Junior and through the duration of those three seasons playing collegiate ball, he learned a lot and he showed his scoring ability.
In college, he averaged over 16 PPG all three seasons.
He was part of a weaker team that wasn't a mid-major school, so despite having a fairly weak supporting cast, he faced some fairly good talent in the Big East, so he definitely can play.
I'm probably most excited to see him play in the NBA.
I could really see him emerging such as Rodney Stuckey did when he was given the opportunity.
Keep an eye on this kid for not just this season, but for his whole career. If he doesn't make much noise this season, he will undoubtedly emerge eventually.
Landry Fields surely reminds me of a J.J Redick type player that seems more suited for college, but he has something different about him.
He is a 6 foot 7 SF/SG out of Stanford who was drafted by the Knicks at the 39th overall pick.
Stanford is the same school that has actually produced a couple of good NBA players lately (Lopez Twins).
If you watched Landry play in his first three years, you would have never imagined him getting drafted into the NBA, but he really showed up to play in his Senior year.
He showed some potential in his Junior year but never truly came into form into his 22 PPG Senior season.
He can be an electric scorer in the NBA and what I liked is that in college he shot nearly 50 percent, which is pretty damn good for a shooter like him.
The thing about Landry Fields coming into the draft was teams thought he could only shoot and that he wasn't athletic and physical enough for the NBA level.
On draft day, there were questions of whether he'd even be selected. The Knicks must have saw something they really liked about him making them stretch to pick him with the 39th pick.
I believe the Knicks made a pretty damn good pick. They had just picked Andy Rautins the pick before, but Landry Fields should blow away in the NBA in the fight for minutes.
To be honest I didn't think Landry Fields would be much of anything in the NBA but seeing him play in the summer league really made me open my eyes.
He is such an electric scorer who has a shot, and he proved in the summer league that he could get to the rim and finish. He did that multiple times and that was a key for me really getting interested in him.
The Knicks have a pretty good amount of depth but he should be able to get some minutes at Small Forward and Shooting Guard.
If he could go out there and shoot consistently and play some good defense, more minutes will come as they will for many young guys.
Keep your eyes on this guy towards the end of this season. By then he should be getting a nice amount of minutes where people will really learn about him.
Unlike the other four, Larry Sanders was a much earlier pick. Not quite a lottery pick but he was selected 15th by the Milwaukee Bucks.
This was one of the best picks of the draft. I've always liked some of the guys VCU has produced, such as Eric Maynor and the late great Gerald Henderson Sr.
He is a 6-11 Power Forward who is going to see plenty of minutes. He is in a great situation.
I doubt he'll start at PF but he will get plenty of minutes at Center and Power Forward and if he grabs as many boards and puts up as many points as I think he will, he will definitely work himself into that starting PF spot.
He also went to Port St. Lucie High and I got some family down there. I saw him play there. I've always liked him and hoped he'd get this chance. It's nice to see a guy I know a little bit personally get the kind of chance in the NBA, since my uncle is a neighbor of his parents down there, but enough of my personal life.
He was never a huge scorer but he is seeming to have become a much better scorer than he was a few years back. His size and length will absolutely be intimidating down low.
Compared to the other four, he should make the biggest impact. He will have the best opportunity and he is probably the best skill wise anyway.
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