NBA: 10 Bold Predictions for the 2008-09 Rookies Revisited

Gary LloydSenior Analyst IDecember 18, 2008

Back on June 29, I made 10 bold predictions for this year's rookie class.

Given this NBA season is just over a quarter of the way finished, the projections don't look so good now. Still a good bit of time to turn them around, but it doesn't look promising. Here are the 10 predictions from June, revisited.

10. Kevin Love will have a rookie campaign similar to that of Al Horford's in 2007-08.

In his rookie season, Horford averaged just over 10 points and just under 10 rebounds in 81 games. Horford was the Hawks' main post presence, while Love has the aid of soon-to-be All-Star Al Jefferson. Love is averaging eight and eight right now, so his rookie campaign seems fairly comparable to Horford's.

So far: Solid prediction

9. While Darrell Arthur will have a solid impact as a rookie for Memphis, Marc Gasol will be the team's best big man.

Arthur's impact has been solid for the Grizzlies, averaging nearly six points and five rebounds in almost 20 minutes per game. Gasol, on the other hand, has been the big man Memphis needed, compiling about 11 points and seven rebounds per contest this season.

So far: Right on prediction

8. Roy Hibbert will average more rebounds as a Pacer rookie than he did as a Georgetown senior.

Hibbert has made just two starts as a rookie and is only playing 11 minutes per game. At Georgetown last year, Hibbert played 26 minutes per contest and grabbed 6.4 boards. As a Pacer, 2.6 has been his rebounding average.

So far: Not-so-good prediction

7. Sean Singletary will make the Kings' roster, and will make at least one start as a rookie.

Well, Singletary wasn't in Sacramento long enough to get that starting chance. He did, however, move on to Phoenix and get to start Nov. 29 against the Miami Heat. Steve Nash was out with a right thigh contusion, giving Singletary the nod. He played just 11 minutes but started nonetheless. It's been Singletary's lone professional start.

So far: Made roster for Phoenix and Charlotte, but only started as a Sun

6. The Charlotte Bobcats had two top-20 picks in the draft, but Kyle Weaver, the 38th pick, will be the most productive rookie.

Um, whoops. DJ Augustin has been one of the most impressive rookies to date, and Weaver never suited up for the Bobcats. He's in a much worse situation, playing just over seven minutes per game for the 2-24 Oklahoma City Thunder. Alexis Ajinca, still a Bobcat, is having a similar season to Weaver.

So far: Total whiff of a prediction

5. Sonics guard Russell Westbrook will be more productive as a rookie than much more publicized Grizzlies guard OJ Mayo.

I said in June that Westbrook's stats would be superior to Mayo's, and in certain categories, they are. Mayo is playing nearly 10 minutes per game more than Westbrook, averaging almost 21 points per game. Westbrook, however, is scoring just 13 per contest, but dishing four assists and grabbing four rebounds. Westbrook is averaging the same amount of rebounds, more assists and more steals than Mayo.

So far: Mayo scores in bunches, Westbrook takes the other major statistical categories

4. Derrick Rose was the first overall pick of the draft, but he will not finish in the top three in Rookie of the Year voting.

Another whiff. Rose, in my opinion, has been the top overall rookie thus far this season. He scores, he rebounds and gets his team involved. Michael Beasley, Greg Oden and OJ Mayo have all been great early in their careers, but Rose is the best right now.

So far: Terrible prediction

3. Eric Gordon will start as a combo guard, and the Clippers will make a very strong push for the playoffs.

Gordon has now started 12 games in a row, averaging almost 14 points per game as a starter. This prediction was made before Elton Brand left for Philadelphia and before Baron Davis agreed to be a Clipper. Los Angeles is 11 games under .500, but at least Gordon is starting.

So far: Good on Gordon, bad on Clippers

2. Michael Beasley will win Rookie of the Year honors by more votes than Kevin Durant did last season.

Probably not going to happen. Derrick Rose is doing too much as a Bull and Greg Oden is staying healthy for the first time in long time. Beasley will definitely finish in the top five for Rookie of the Year, but he doesn't appear to be the clear winner.

So far: No chance

1. Three Portland Trail Blazers rookies will finish in the top 10 for Rookie of the Year, but only one will have been drafted in 2008.

Greg Oden looks to be a top 10 lock for Rookie of the Year, while Rudy Fernandez is making a strong push for it, dropping 11 points per game off the bench. Jerryd Bayless, however, has only played in 10 of the team's 26 games, totaling 2.3 points and one rebound per game.

So far: Probably for Oden and Fernandez, no chance for Bayless.