NBA Rookie Rankings 2009-2010

November 8, 2009

With Clippers' top draft pick Blake Griffin expected to miss the first six weeks of the season, the rest of this year's rookie class now has the spotlight all to themselves. Surprisingly, a large number of rookies are seeing regular rotation minutes at this early juncture, indicating perhaps that the 2009-2010 class might be stronger than initially projected.

Here are our first rookie rankings for 2009-2010 season:

1. Brandon Jennings - Milwaukee

Jennings was a bit of a mystery for NBA scouts because he played limited minutes during his one season in Europe. For Jennings, however, there never was any debate, as he told the world prior to the draft that he was a better point guard than top prospect Ricky Rubio.

He wasn't lying.

Jennings already has entrenched himself in the starting role, and has averaged 18.8 points per game in only his first 2 weeks on the job. Although his shot selection and turnovers are question marks, thus far, this young and athletic playmaker is the "find" of the draft.

2. Jonny Flynn - Minnesota

Another point guard who has stepped into a starting role and made an immediate impact is Flynn. Flynn has proven to be a keeper so far, thanks to his solid leadership skills and ability to put up points when needed. If Ricky Rubio ever plans on becoming the future starter for this team, he better not stay overseas too long.

3. Tyreke Evans - Sacramento

This electrifying combo guard has been a starter since Day One, initially at point guard opposite Kevin Martin, and now switching to the 2 after Martin's recent injury. Although Evans has been somewhat up and down, when he's on, he is something special, as seen by his 32-point, 7-assist effort last night against Utah.

4. Ty Lawson - Denver

Unlike the other three rooks mentioned above, Lawson plays on an elite team with a veteran All-Star at his position who gobbles up most of the minutes. Nevertheless, Lawson has excelled in his backup point guard role, effectively spelling incumbent Chauncey Billups with his energy, scoring, and quality playmaking skills. Lawson currently is shooting .545 from three-point land.

5. Stephen Curry - Golden State

What impresses with Curry is his humility and willingness to sacrifice for the good of the team. We all know he can score and shoot the lights out, but he has approached his starting backcourt role by looking to share the rock and get others involved. Curry has not had an explosive, breakout game yet, but has been solid overall.

6. Chase Budinger - Houston

Sometimes good athletes just seem to mesh with the pro-style game, and that seems to be the case with Budinger. After an inconsistent college career, Budinger has provided some real scoring punch and three-point shooting off the bench for the Rockets, putting up several double figure scoring games.

7. Terrence Williams - New Jersey

A rotation regular who sees big minutes, Williams has displayed a good all-around floor game and athleticism. While his J might not be there yet, he hits the boards hard, competes, and brings energy to the floor.

8. DeJuan Blair - San Antonio

One skill that translates from college to the NBA is rebounding, and Blair already has proven that he can board at the pro level. A great find in the second round, Blair should provide Coach Pop with grit and double-doubles throughout the season if given the minutes. He is also shooting at a .655 clip, third-best in the league.

9. Jodie Meeks - Milwaukee

Meeks has not played too much, but when given time, his outside stroke has been deadly. He's coming off a 19-point game in which he shot 5-7 from downtown. At a minimum, Meeks could be an effective reserve spot-up shooter on the wing this year.

10. Omri Casspi - Sacramento

A regular in the Kings rotation, Casspi has been productive from the jump thanks in part to his nice stroke from the perimeter.

Honorable Mentions:

Tyler Hansbrough - Indiana
DeMar DeRozan - Toronto
Jeff Teague - Atlanta
DeMarre Carroll - Memphis
Sam Young - Memphis
Jonas Jerebko - Detroit
Austin Daye - Detroit
Toney Douglas - New York
James Harden - Oklahoma City
Jon Brockman - Sacramento

By Mike Elliott
Staff Editor for

1 comment:

  1. this year's class is weaker than last year, but evans, jennings, and griffin are the bomb


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