With the NBA still buzzing from Tuesday’s draft lottery and the anticipation of next month’s loaded draft, it is only fitting that we offer good riddance to one of the worst draft classes in recent memory. Among the 14 lottery picks of the 2013 draft, a staggering eight did not make the NBA All-Rookie Teams announced Thursday. They were top pick Anthony Bennett, No. 3 Otto Porter, No. 5 Alex Len, No. 6 Nerlens Noel, No. 7 Ben McLemore, No. 8
We have reached the point of the season where teams that are out of the playoff race start giving more playing time to their younger players to see what they may have. One of those teams is the Minnesota Timberwolves, who may have something in rookie big man Gorgui Dieng. New Timberwolves GM Flip Saunders spent the offseason loading his roster with veterans such as Kevin Martin, Corey Brewer and Ronny Turiaf in hope of making the playoffs for the first time
First, the good news. Among rookies, the top four scorers behind Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams all got a recent chance to pad their stats against the sickening 76ers. Now, the bad news. Only one gets another chance this season. In case you haven’t noticed, the Sixers have lost 18 straight games. The last time they won, Time Warner and Comcast hadn’t announced their merger, the Super Bowl hadn’t been played and the greatest single-take shot in television history hadn’t yet aired.
The best thing about top overall pick Anthony Bennett’s tremendously disappointing rookie season is that it has provided cover for some tremendously disappointing seasons by other rookies. Namely, Otto Porter. Porter was taken third in the 2013 draft by the Washington Wizards and has been worse than Bennett. Much worse. Bennett is averaging 4.2 points and 3.0 rebounds while shooting just 35 percent from the floor. Pedestrian numbers, for sure, and unacceptable for a top pick who is expected to contribute right away. But
We asked this question in our last edition of the Rookie Rankings: Can a player from a 65-loss team win Rookie of the Year? The answer: One already has. In the 1999-2000 season, the Chicago Bulls were continuing their rebuilding following the second retirement of Michael Jordan and went 17-65. One of their few bright spots was a young power forward named Elton Brand, who averaged 20.1 points and 10.1 rebounds and shared Rookie of the Year honors with Houston’s Steve Francis. But
Many people were surprised by Anthony Bennett’s first career double-double on Tuesday. Bennett’s struggles as the top overall pick in the draft have been well-documented. So when he broke out for 19 points and 10 rebounds in Cleveland’s home win over Sacramento, there was somewhat of a collective gasp across the NBA. Yes, Bennett established season highs in both points and rebounds in the same game. And yes, it appeared to come out of nowhere. But the truth is that Bennett has
Another lottery pick has lost his starting spot. First it was Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo, who began the season as a starter and has shifted back and forth from the bench to the starting lineup as teammates have become healthy or injured. To Oladipo’s credit, it has not had a serious impact on his performance. Then it was Sacramento Kings guard Ben McLemore, who began the season as a reserve, was elevated to starter as coach Mike Malone became disenchanted with
It has taken a generation, but the NBA has finally figured out the format for the All-Star Rookie Game. Now known as the Rising Stars Challenge, the league’s midseason showcase for young players didn’t always look this way. And it wasn’t always a good game, either. When the game debuted in 1994, it featured only rookies playing against each other. The teams were called the Phenoms and the Sensations. The following year, the teams were simply called White and Green. Now there’s