Coming into the 2013 NBA Draft, the popular perception on the event was that there were no superstars; only role player. Though a month is entirely too short a timeframe to prove that statement true or false, a glimpse of what is to come in the near future is evident. We’ve seen a few encouraging things for the young players and some that makes you shake your head. I’ve decided to break it down in three categories of good, bad and ugly to break down the young guys first NBA month:
It's no shock that the number two overall pick in Victor Oladipo is having a promising season. Slowly and steadily he's putting on performances that make many wonder why he wasn't chosen first overall. After a loss to the Dallas Mavericks, Oladipo was inserted into the starting lineup where he's played wonderfully. In the last five games he is averaging 15.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists. Can't ask for more from this kid.
Two rookies whose play has NBA fans taken aback are Steven Adams (4.5 points, 4.9 rebounds) and Michael Carter-Williams (17.8 points, 7.0 assists, 5.6 rebounds). Neither was supposed to be this good this fast and yet they've flown out of the gates. Picked number 12, Steven Adams was supposed to be a project center, becoming their guy of the future in a year or two. That timeline has been sped up a notch. He's a big body in the paint that knows what he's doing and isn't a complete liability on offense. Basically everything that Kendrick Perkins isn't. He's making the James Harden trade salvageable.
And the player selected one pick ahead of Adams, Carter-Williams, is likely the front-runner for Rookie of the Year. It took all of two minutes for the NBA to realize that this kid is legit. There were questions on how his talents would translate to the NBA, being a non-shooter in college with average floor-vision, but those questions are gone now. Similar to the Adams and the Harden trade, many aren't questioning if Philadelphia made the right decision with the Jrue Holiday trade.
Top ten picks in Otto Porter (WAS) and CJ McCollum (POR) have yet start their NBA career during injury. Trey Burke (UTA) missed the first few games also while dealing with a hand injury. Add Shabazz Muhammad (MIN) and Alex Len (PHX) to this bunch also. Injuries have kept both lottery players from contributing to needs on their squads. Did I mention that Nerlens Noel (PHI) may sit out the entire season? Injuries are keeping some of the more polarizing players from this draft from helping better their respective teams. This early on you hate to see young players deal with situations such as this.
When you draw NBA Odds comparisons to Kwame Brown nothing you’re doing as a player is a positive. Is it too early to call Anthony Bennett a bust? Sure. He’s young and adjusting to the NBA style of play. But he’s gotten off to one of the worst starts you’ll see from a number one overall pick. In 11 games played, Bennett is averaging 2.0 points on 21 percent shooting and 2.7 rebounds. Want some perspective? Reggie Bullock, the 25th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, is averaging 2.2 points per game. The pick for Bennett was questioned during draft night. His offensive struggles, failure to get in NBA shape and declining minutes are only reaffirming what people thought a few months ago: picking Bennett was a mistake. Let's hope this is a misstep in what could be a lengthy career.
This article was written by a guest-poster for Bases and Baskets.