Rookie Rankings, Week 19: The Bottom of the Barrel

gordon

Whenever I’m asked if I have been watching the NCAA Tournament, I say, “No. I haven’t.”  That raises some eyebrows in my home state of Connecticut, where both genders of Huskies basketball have been winning national championships for nearly a generation and are followed religiously by the Nutmeg State’s hoops fans. But among the many reasons I don’t go mad in March is because over that same generation, the college game has become less and less of a barometer for NBA success.

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Rookie Rankings, Week 18: Elfrid Payton is Rondo With Training Wheels

Orlando Magic Amway hallway

Rajon Rondo is now in his ninth NBA season. He has led the league in steals once and in assists twice. He is second among active players in triple-doubles. He has made the All-Defensive Team twice and the All-Defensive Second Team twice more. He is a four-time All-Star. And he has a championship ring from 2008 with the Boston Celtics. And he still can’t shoot. That’s the biggest gripe with Rondo, other than the fact that he can be more than a

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Rookie Rankings, Week 17: The Lakers Finally Find a Good Pick

Lakers jersey sleeves

Following a recent game at Memphis, Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard Jordan Clarkson left quite an impression on Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph. Clarkson scored a season-high 25 points on 12-of-18 shooting and added six assists. He kept the Lakers in the game until the fourth quarter, when the Grizzlies put their defense and talent to work and pulled out a 97-90 win. Afterward, Randolph was blown away. “That young fellow, he’s going to be good,” he said. “I didn’t even know who

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Rookie Rankings, Week 16: Banged Up Bulls Get a Boost From Mirotic

Mirotic Feature

When Derrick Rose suffered a torn meniscus late last month, you could forgive Chicago Bulls fans if their reaction was, “Yeah, we’ve seen this movie before.” It was Rose’s third serious knee injury in less than three years, and in the grand scheme of things actually contained some good news: It wasn’t a season-ending injury. Four to six weeks? Hey, fantastic! Usually when Derrick gets hurt, it’s four to six months! We can deal with four to six weeks! And they can.

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Rookie Rankings, Week 15: For His Birthday, Wiggins Has a T Party

wiggins

Earlier this week, we ran a blog post that led with the fact that Andrew Wiggins is running away with the Rookie of the Year race. What the post did not fully explain is how far ahead Wiggins is when compared to the rest of his classmates. It’s more than the injuries to fellow 2014 draft picks such as Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid, Aaron Gordon and Julius Randle which propelled Wiggins to the head of the class almost by default. It’s more than Wiggins

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Rookie Rankings, Week 15: Sizing Up the Sophomores

Michael-Carter-Williams

Once a year, we take a break from evaluating rookies and examine how second-year players are doing. This seemed like a good week to do that. Because our Rookie Rankings run every Friday, this week’s cycle saw just two actual games played due to the extended All-Star break. And no rookies from our most recent rankings played in those games. Yes, we knew the trading deadline also was this week. But we didn’t think that would impact our rankings of sophomores. I mean,

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Rookie Rankings, Week 14: McGary Gives Thunder a Bolt of Energy

Thunder jersey sleeves

Mitch McGary was unexpectedly thrown into the spotlight this week. He’s going to be there a while. The burly rookie forward of the Oklahoma City Thunder had spent most of his first NBA season recovering from injuries while toiling in the D-League. Prior to Sunday, he had played just eight minutes over two games this season while averaging 14.7 points and 7.8 rebounds in eight games for the Blue, Oklahoma City’s affiliate. But on Sunday, the Thunder were hosting the Los Angeles

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Rookie Rankings, Week 13: Hey Ricky, Throw the Kid the Ball

Ricky Rubio Andrew Wiggins

Everything you need to know about Andrew Wiggins became evident about a week ago. The league-worst Minnesota Timberwolves were hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were riding a winning streak. LeBron James, the NBA’s best player, was making his lone visit to the frozen tundra. And the game marked the return to Minnesota of Kevin Love, who was unable to lift the Timberwolves out of mediocrity before forcing a trade last summer. Love was dealt to Cleveland, and Wiggins – the top overall

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