Rookie Report 1.0 and 2013 Re-Draft

We’re heading straight toward the middle of the NBA season, and it’s time to look back and review how the rookies have been performing and making a push towards Rookie of the Year (ROY). We’ll also re-draft for the lottery and determine a better fit for each team in the next article.

First, let’s look at the top ten rookies so far in the race for ROY.

The top 4 players on the list are actually becoming closer since Carter-Williams fiery start. Oladipo has been starting to play like most people pinned he would, though he is still coming off the bench for the high scoring Arron Afflalo. In January this what Oladipo averaged (Via ESPN):

As you can see Oladipo has benefited off the huge amount of time off the bench, almost all of his stats have increased last month.

Trey Burke and Carter-Williams showed exactly what teams look for in drafting a rookie point guard, good floor vision, leader, and someone that when looked at to make a basket doesn’t hesitate to do so. While Carter-Williams doesn’t have the same skill set Burke’s style of play requires, he makes it up with his huge positional height and driving ability. Burke tends to lean on his shooting ability, which hasn’t quite gotten to that NBA level, but will certainly come as his experience continues to come as he plays more. If Burke had a more consistent shot now, he might be closer to number one, but he has the natural ability to pass and help his team become a better offense as his assist numbers have continued to increase as the year goes on. Before Burke made his NBA debut, the Jazz were 1-10 record wise, but since joining the team has ¬†15-23 record, which would almost put them in playoff contention in the East. They will most likely tank the season away, but the stat alone shows the promise Burke has in this league.

Tim Hardaway Jr. is the wild card. He wasn’t seen as someone who could make a huge impact in the league more than just a role player off the bench, which is why he wasn’t drafted till the 24th pick in last years draft. Though he has only started one game this season, his minutes are starting to increase, and who doesn’t like a young shooting guard who shoots 46% field goal and 40% 3p field goal percentage respectively. The other darkhorse in this list in Pero Antic, who, with Al Horford’s injury, has been looked to step in his role as starting Center, and boy has he! He isn’t the next Dwight Howard or even Al Horford, his offense isn’t developed, and most likely won’t seeing as he is 31, but he is easily growing to be an elite defender. He understands how Atlanta wants to strategize on defense, and with his 6’11″ 260 lbs. body frame, he can muscle most offensive attempts null. That rounds up the first rookie report , be sure to tune in for 2.0 and so on throughout the second part of the NBA season.

NBA Trade Rumors and Where Stars Should End Up

The trade deadline is only a couple a weeks away and that can only mean one thing, the underachieving and the fringe contenders to make a move. Teams like the New York Knicks, who have dropped all the way from 2nd in the East to 10th in only a year with minimal moves, Detroit Pistons, who risked a boom or bust free agent signing by going for the second biggest player in free agency and failing, or Charlotte, who realizes that 8th place in the East would be a poor place to be for team stuck in the rebuilding process. Still other teams such as the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, and Cleveland Cavaliers have assets that they would love to trade for 1st round draft picks to boost their rebuilding phase. Lets start with the players that have been included in most of the trade discussion, starting with the highest trade value.

Carmelo Anthony, the star New York Knickerbocker, has recently had rumors of testing free agency and maybe finding a new home with the Bulls. According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, after talking to a couple GMs, has found that Chicago will be a big contender at the all star forward(http://espn.go.com/blog/new york/knicks/post/_/id/53242/trade-rumors-melo-to-chicago?ex_cid=espnapi_public). Though this a rumor, I don’t think Chicago will try to make a trade offer when they can go for him during the off season, which doesn’t leave much for trade offers, especially when New York is looking for a huge haul in return.

What about the Pistons? Well, this season has been a huge disappointment, as Tom Gores was looking for a playoff spot or he may think of flipping the organization and cleaning house. Josh Smith, signed for 4 years $56 million in the offvseason, is having one of the worst shooting season of all-time, and yet shoots on average 15.1 shots per game (via Basketball-reference.com), and it does not look like he will stop as his only shooting a couple shots over his career average. What does that mean for the trade deadline for the ho-hum Pistons? They can try to trade Smith, but would most likely include trading a pick just to ship him out, or getting a very marginal return. There is Greg Monroe, who at 23 years old, could become a all star caliber player, and averages 14 points per game and 9 rebounds, one of the premier young big men. This is a very foolish move in my opinion, trading a young piece on a rebuilding team is basically admitting defeat, and then they must keep a low efficiency player for 3 more years, slowing their process down much more. The key to the Pistons success is patience. Wait for a trade offer where you can get a expiring contract or a true small forward for Smith and jump on it. There is no need to be desperate.

Charlotte has been such a menial team since their birth it is hard to find a good place to start. They have reached the playoffs once in their 9 years since they changed their name to the Bobcats, and unless something happens, it doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon. Management has been a weak point, which has caused 6 coaching changes. Charlotte must look to the future and not make the same mistakes as they have in the past. I like the current coach in Steve Clifford as he has made a team that should be bottom 3 and has given the fans hope for the playoffs this year, though New York is looking to push them out. The biggest assets the Bobcats have as trade bait is Ben Gordon’s expiring contract as well as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Now Ben Gordon is a pretty straight forward trade piece in which they may be able to receive a young piece from a fringe contender looking for some added range, and extra cash in the off season. The next piece is a little more complicated, Kidd-Gilchrist is only 20 years old and on a team that is looking towards the future, this is what you want, but he’s been somewhat disappointing as a Bobcat so far, and a team with a lack of depth and needed talent to contend such as Chicago, might see that as an opportunity to acquire a young player they can develop as an upgrade.

Bunching the last 3 teams together Boston, Philadelphia, and Cleveland are all looking to capitalize on some young talent and picks this trade deadline. Philadelphia has tons of assets that they could use to get some 1st round picks out of, such as Evan Turner, Thadeus Young, and Spencer Hawes. A team I see likely going for one of these players is the Suns, who may have as many as 4 1st round picks in the upcoming draft. Boston who will most likely hold onto Rondo, unless a trade they can’t decline comes along, also have young players they can ship out to try to dump the cap from Gerald Wallace, and Kris Humphries. Jeff Green has also had some trade talk ranging from trades for Greg Monroe or one of the 76ers 3 main targets. I see the Celtics holding on to Green atleast until the offseason before making a move unless tagged with Wallace/Humphries contract. Cleveland has a tough task of handling an unhappy Luol Deng, who may or may not get dealt, but signs point to the Cavs trying to make a move that might land them a 1st round pick.

While this trade deadline should be very exciting and a lot of moves should happen, don’t be surprised if some teams look to trade only their small pieces and keep pat with what they have until the off season, I see the Pistons and Knicks taking this route. Updates will come as they are found, but until then there is still plenty of Basketball to be played.