Top NBA Rookies to Watch This Season

Louis SklenarikContributor IIINovember 16, 2008

Another NBA season is upon us, and it brings talented rookies with big play ability and more competition then ever.

The draft created a lot of buzz this year, and featured a lot of talented players. Here are my top five rookies that will make the biggest impact on their team for the upcoming season and in the future:


1. Greg Oden, C, Portland Trailblazers

Oden was forced to miss all of last season after microfracture knee surgery. This is why the 2008-2009 season will be considered his rookie campaign.

Oden will play a significant role in the teams performance this year. He is also out to prove he was worthy of his No. 1 overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft. He will be a crucial factor as to whether or not the Trail Blazers make the playoffs this season.

2. Michael Beasley, PF, Miami Heat

The Heat are expected to be much better than last season, with Dwayne Wade returning healthy and fresh off a gold medal from the Olympics. Shawn Marion also brings some talent. However, most of Miami’s success will depend on the performance of their No. 2 overall selection in the 2008 NBA Draft, Michael Beasley.

The 6'9" monster out of Kansas State was only a freshman, but decided to enter the Draft knowing he would most likely go in the top five.  Beasley will be a big factor in the Heat's season this year.


3. Derrick Rose, PG, Chicago Bulls

The Bulls were known as the biggest disappointment in the 2008 season, but their luck suddenly changed when they were awarded the top pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. They decided to draft Derrick Rose, a potential star out of Memphis.


Rose was proclaimed to be the most “NBA ready” player in the draft, which was what the Bulls needed if they wanted to be ready to win the following season. He will play a big role in how far the Bulls go in the weak Eastern Conference this year.




4. O.J. Mayo, SG, Memphis Grizzlies:

The world was shocked when the Grizzlies traded their original first-round pick (Kevin Love) to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for the young phenom O.J. Mayo.

Mayo surprised analysts when he decided to enter the Draft after his rookie season at USC. His scoring ability was believed to be too good to pass on, and he was selected third overall by the Timberwolves, then traded to the Grizzlies for Kevin Love.

The Grizzlies may not be ready to win this season, but time will tell if their risky move payed off.


5. Danilo Gallinari, SF, New York Knicks:

Knicks fans were not afraid to show their displeasure when the Knicks selected Danilo Gallinari with the sixth-overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. The twenty-year-old Italian star was considered to be a top-notch scorer, but questions of his transition to the NBA and his defense gave fans a feeling of uncertainty.

With Indiana’s Eric Gordon still on the board, the new president of the Knicks chose Gallinari. Time will tell if he made the right choice.