Gordon Hayward didn't disappoint with this firm handshake.
Hope springs eternal with each NBA Draft. Now that we've had the summer to evaluate and look at contract situations, a picture is beginning to emerge regarding each rookie. Some have looked great, some haven't played up to expectation, some have already gotten hurt, and some haven't even signed contracts.
This slideshow features one rookie at each position that may be an early disappointment.
For full coverage of all things related to this year's NBA rookies visit TheRookieWall.com!
This is no knock on the number one overall pick, but really more about expectation. People are expecting Wall to be a better version of Derrick Rose from Day 1. Add to that the pressure of living up to the team expectations the Wizards are facing and he’s in a basic no win situation. If we could give the fine folks of DC some advice it would be to lower expectations. Everyone thought Steven Strasburg was going to be Cy Young. One injury later, we see how fragile an athlete is. Again, Wall is the front runner for Rookie of the Year, or at worst second, but one turned ankle and that could all end.
Henry isn’t under contract yet, which is the first red flag. Also, the time away from his teammates means he might be slower finding his role. Henry is an incredible athlete, scorer, and unselfish nearly to a fault. There’s no doubt that he could be a great value for the Grizzlies, but every day he misses camp or workouts is a day slower he can get into flow with his team. We don’t fault Henry for holding out, in fact, quite the opposite, it’s great to see a player taking a stand against the owners, but there’s no doubt the time he’s missing could cost him down the road.
Basically, Utah missed the boat on this pick. They could have added an athletic big to partner with Milsap, but instead opted for the safest pick in the lottery. While there is nothing wrong with Hayward’s game, there isn’t a whole lot to get excited about. He plays in position, knocks down open shots, and is a good rebounder for his position. However, is he really that much better than Kyle Korver, who the Jazz let walk this summer? Our bar for him is higher than that, and in our minds there is a good chance he won’t make it.
Brackins is a solid talent, but to be honest this pick confused us. If the Hornets idea was to keep Chris Paul and build a contender, they should have kept their original first round pick, Cole Aldrich. He isn’t particularly athletic and lacks any real difference from current face-up power forward David West. That doesn’t seem like the formula to keep a superstar like Paul, but obviously the Hornets saw something we didn’t.
Udoh is going to play a lot of power forward for the Warriors, but with David Lee now on the roster, he’ll be seeing minutes at center as well. The injury is the main reason for this prediction. It’s unfair to hold something like an injury sustained while dunking against him, but the fact is the other big man prospects in the draft are healthy enough that they’ll be ready to go on opening day. Also, Udoh has the misfortune of being considered a reach by many fans. That means he’s going to have to out preform Greg Monroe and Cole Aldrich to justify his draft position.
For comprehensive coverage of every NBA rookie visit TheRookieWall.com!