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Top 10 NBA Rookies for 2012-13

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Top 10 NBA Rookies for 2012-13

NBA Rookies
Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

The Draft Class of 2012 will step on the court for the first time in a regular season NBA game in just a few weeks. Obviously the #1 rookie in the league this year will be Anthony Davis. At least that's what we think. How about the other rookies in the NBA? How much will they impact their teams?

Not every top 10 picks in the NBA Draft ever go on to succeed in the NBA. Look at Yi Jianlian who went #6 in the 2007 NBA Draft. Where is he now? Since being drafted he has played for the Milwaukee Bucks, New Jersey Nets, Washington Wizards and the Dallas Mavericks. This year he is not even playing in the NBA. He will be playing for the Guangdong Southern Tigers in China.

How about Darko Milicic who went #2 in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. Boy, I bet they feel stupid by not drafting Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh or Dwyane Wade who all went #3, 4 and 5. Milicic has played for 6 teams since coming into the NBA. He has played for the Pistons, Orlando Magic, Memphis Grizzlies, New York Knicks, Minnesota Timberwolves and this year he will be playing for the Boston Celtics.

How about the #1 pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, Greg Oden? He has only played 82 games in a span of two seasons from 2008-2010. Of course it is due to him being injured that has kept him away from playing in the NBA, but the Portland Trail Blazers knew what they were getting from Oden due to his injury history throughout his basketball career.

With that said the top ten 2012 draft picks will not all be successful players this season. There might be a surprise rookie who will have success this season and for seasons to come.

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Terrence Ross

Ross-Raptors
Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE
#10--Terrence Ross (Toronto Raptors): Overall Pick #8

With the Raptors would could become a sleeper team out in the Eastern Conference they are going to need players to step it up to get them there. Terrence Ross is one of them. With the talent that the Raptors already have Ross could be the one guy that could be a franchise player other than Andrea Bargnani.

He comes from the University of Washington where he averaged 16.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals during his last year there. He could put up numbers for the Raptors and could become the Raptors leading scorer if giving the chance and maybe finally they can have a star that they have been missing since Chris Bosh.

He may not produce a lot of points right away, but as the season goes on he could slowly settle down and find his game where he will be able to produce the way he can. If the Raptors make the post-season there is no question that Terrence Ross will be part of that reason.

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Kendall Marshall

Marshall
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
#9-- Kendall Marshall (Phoenix Suns) Overall Pick #13

He may not be a starter just yet, but he will be a back up to Goran Dragic this season. However it may not last for long. If he can produce quality numbers during the minutes he is given then he could make his way into the starting line up in important games.

When he was with North Carolina he averaged 7.2 points, 2.3 rebounds and 8.0 assists during the two years he was there. He also led the team in assists in the Summer League with 6.5 a game. He may not score a lot of points, but this is the Phoenix Suns known for their run and gun game. Somebody has to fill the role of what Steve Nash produce in Phoenix. Somebody needs to be the leader on the court and make the right calls and I believe Kendall Marshall could be that person. It may not happen right when the season begins, but given the minutes and the right opportunities he could become a great passing player.

That does not mean you have to sit out Dragic from the starting line-up. Maybe the Suns could go small ball and put both of them in at the same time which could benefit the Suns by using that quickness that everyone has been a custom to since Steve Nash returned back in 2004.

If Marshall can become that type of player and he shows it by January maybe the Suns will have games where they put Marshall in the starting line up to see how great of a player he can be. If not then he will just drift away as many middle picks from the draft do.

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Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Kidd-Gilchrist
Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
#8-- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Charlotte Bobcats) Overall Pick #2

I was hesitant in putting Kidd-Gilchrist in the top 10 rookies of 2012-13, but he was drafted #2 and I am given him the benefit of the doubt. Reason being is that he is the #2 draft pick and the #2 draft pick usually does not end well for that person in their NBA career. Plus he will be playing on a team that does not have much expectation coming into the season after having the worst season in NBA History.

Kidd-Gilchrist is coming from the University of Kentucky where he averaged 11.9 points a game and 7.4 rebounds a game. It may not be much, but I expect his stats to go way up in the NBA. Especially since the Bobcats will be his team to run.

However, even if he is the number one in all the stats it will still not be enough to carry the Bobcats to the next step in the NBA. There are still work that needs to be done, but drafting Kidd-Gilchrist is a start. They are going to need to hurry unless they want this draft pick to go away as well.

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Jae Crowder

Crowder
Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE
#7-- Jae Crowder (Dallas Mavericks) Overall Pick #34

Jae Crowder is possibly the sleeper of the the 2012 NBA Draft who sneaks into the Rookie Of The Year conversations. Although, he may not win the Rookie Of The Year or even be a top three candidate there is no doubt in my mind that Crowder will be a great asset to the Dallas Mavericks.

He was selected in the second round of the draft from Marquette University where he averaged 17.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game in his last year in college. He won't be a starter or the sixth or seventh man, but when given the minutes I believe he will provide as he did when he was in college and like he did in the 2012 NBA Summer League where he averaged a team high 16.6 points a game and 2 steals a game. However, he will make his way up to a seventh or sixth man role as the season progresses. When he does get to that level expect him to average between 6-9 points a game as well as a few rebounds per game. It's not much, but there will be games where he could score 18-20 points or more as well as 10 plus rebounds. It's just a matter of time.

If Crowder does perform like he has the potential to then he will be the biggest steal from the 2012 NBA Draft and a possibly future star in Dallas. Since Dirk Nowitzki is possibly looking at his last years in the NBA the Mavs will be looking for a future star and they possibly have one right under their noses.

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Perry Jones III

Jones III
Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE
#6--Perry Jones III (Oklahoma City Thunder) Overall Pick #28

Selected by the Defending Western Conference Champions, Oklahoma City Thunder, Perry Jones III should be an instant role player for them. He may not be a starter or the sixth man, but he could be the seventh man for the team.

Coming from Baylor he averaged 13.7 points and 7.4 rebounds a game during the two years he played there. If the Thunder uses him right he will be an instant asset for them and if he is then the Thunder could have that missing piece that they needed last season when they lost the NBA Finals. There's no doubt that the Thunder have put more depth on their roster by drafting Jones. During the Summer League he averaged 12 points a game as well as 6 rebounds a game.

Jones will not be a rookie of the year candidate, but he will be a rookie who provides more to his team than the lottery picks will with their team. Also being drafted by a championship contender helps too. If Jones can produce to his potential then the Thunder could have all the pieces they need to get back in the NBA Finals and get their revenge on the Miami Heat.

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Damian Lillard

Lillard
Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE
#5--Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers) Overall Pick #6

I believe that Lillard will be a great asset to the Portland Trail Blazers this year and years to come. Although I do not see the Blazers having a successful season it does not mean that Lillard will have a bad season.

Coming from Weber State University he averaged 18.6 points, 3.5 assists and 4.3 rebounds a game during his four years there. Lillard could possibly be the next all-star for the Blazers in the near future. However, the focus needs to be on him and not the current franchise face, LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge has been playing his six years (coming into his seventh year) with the Portland Trail Blazers, but within the past six years the Blazers have only been able to make it to the first round of the post-season where they get eliminated.

If the Blazers are truly in a rebuilding process then they will need to use Lillard as their main guy who will run the floor as point guard. They are going to have to eventually let Lillard be the one who is the #1 guy for the scoring end other than Aldridge. If the two start clicking then the Blazers will not be in a rebuilding stage for long and possibly get over that hump in the Western Conference.

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Jared Sullinger

Sullinger
Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE
#4--Jared Sullinger (Boston Celtics): Overall Pick #21

He is not going to be an all star for the Celtics or for any team in the NBA, but he will make a great impact for the Boston Celtics. There is not much expectations for Sullinger since he was not a top 10 or a top 15 draft pick. If he fails there will be no talk about it, but if he succeeds then there's no question that he will be the talk of the media especially the local media in Boston.

Playing two years at Ohio State he averaged 17.3 points a game to go along with 9.7 rebounds a game. With his size and power he should automatically be an impact for the Celtics. He reminds me of what Glen Davis was when he played his rookie year with the Celtics. However, Davis started with the Celtics as a backup center, but when given the chance to play he took advantage. There were games he would score 20-25 points and nobody outside of Boston expected it. That's how I see Sullinger, but I think that the Celtics will give him a earlier start than Davis had.

He may not score 17 points a game for the Celtics, but if he is given 15-20 minutes a night he should be able to average 8-10 points a game as well as 4-6 rebounds a game due to his size and power. He did average 13.8 points and 8.3 rebounds a game during the NBA's Summer League this off-season. One thing about not being drafted by the lottery teams is that Sullinger is automatically on a Championship Contender and with his contribution he could help the Celtics get past the Heat in the post-season if the two end up meeting.

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Dion Waiters

Waiters
Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE
#3--Dion Waiters (Cleveland Cavaliers): Overall Pick #4

Dion Waiters will be coming onto a team where he could quickly take the “star” role away from Kyrie Irving. Waiters is coming to a team that is still recouping from damage that was done by LeBron James when he left for Miami.

Waiters coming from Syracuse where he averaged nearly 13 points a game as well as 2.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game during his sophomore year . It may not mean much, but soon this kid will take over the scoring duties for the Cleveland Cavaliers. During the Summer League this off-season he lead their team in scoring with 12.3 points a game as well lead the team with 3 assists a game. There's no question that the 20 year old from Philadelphia is ready to play and lead the Cavaliers.

He should become the “star” that every Cavs fans are hoping that he could be and with Kyrie Irving by his side it could mean that the Cavs are on the right track. It may not show it this year, but keep an eye out for Waiters and watch how he plays. He could be a difference maker in this franchise's future.

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Austin Rivers

Rivers
Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
#2-- Austin Rivers (New Orleans Hornets): Overall Pick #10

One reason why Austin Rivers is at #2 is because of who is at #1. If you have not clicked onto the next page by now it's obvious who #1 is, but a lot of the reason why that #1 rookie for 2012-2013 will be because of Rivers.

Coming out of Duke University he averaged 15.5 points a game, 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. I have no doubt that he will be a better in the NBA than he was in college. One reason is because of his father, Doc Rivers, who is the coach of the Boston Celtics. There's no question that Austin's father has been training him since he picked up a basketball. With basketball flowing through the family's blood Austin Rivers could become a better basketball player than his father ever was. With the Hornets #1 draft pick, Anthony Davis, Rivers' game should evolve pretty quickly.

If he becomes a better player than his father then there's no doubt that the Hornets will be looking at a championship contender in the next few years just as long both him and Davis stay together for years and years to come. If not then Rivers will face like any other player who has tried to follow their father's footsteps and that's just drift away from the NBA spotlight.

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Anthony Davis

Davis
Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
#1-- Anthony Davis (New Orleans Hornets): Overall Pick #1

There's no doubt that every NBA fan especially the Hornets fans are ready for the regular season debut of Anthony Davis. The “Fear The Brow” posters will be all over New Orleans Arena and the fans of the Hornets will have something to look forward to in their franchise's future. Anthony is coming into the league after being selected #1 in the 2012 NBA Draft and there is already high expectation from Davis.

He has already played with the top elite players in the NBA during the 2012 Summer Olympics. He played along side with LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love, Kobe Bryant and former Hornet, Chris Paul. There is no doubt that there is high expectation for him. The fans of the Hornets are hoping to get back to what they were when they drafted Chris Paul in 2005.

Playing in the Summer Olympics with all the NBA Veterans it could help him going into the NBA season. Expect the Hornets to use Davis right away on the offensive end. They are going to test to see how well he can perform at the NBA level. It is most likely that either Eric Gordon or fellow rookie, Austin Rivers, will give the ball in the paint to Davis for him to score. Also the Hornets will use him early on the defensive end as well to get him used to the NBA big men around the league because there is not doubt that other power forwards and centers will take advantage of the young rookie to force Davis to make some mistakes in the paint.

If he like anything he was in college he should be just fine. As a freshman at the University of Kentucky he averaged 14.2 points a game as well as 10.4 rebounds and 4.7 blocks. His field goal percentage was little over 62%. Depending how he comes out during his rookie year he should average more than what he did in college and if he does so then the Hornets will be looking at a playoff berth if not this year absolutely the next season.