2012 NBA Rookie of The Year
If the 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year ballots were submitted right now it would come down to two point guards; Kyrie Irving and Ricky Rubio:
Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers, 17.4 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 4.9 APG, 42.5 3p%, 80 FT%)
Kyrie Irving may not pass the ball like Rubio but he still gets the assists while scoring with the best of them. Irving leads all rookies with 17.4 points per clip in under 30 minutes per game. Irving has scored more than 20 points seven times and has scored in double digits in every game except one. He continues to fill the net as well as the stat sheet. Irving is well on his way to a Rookie of the Year season if he continues to put up the numbers that he is.
Ricky Rubio (Minnesota Timberwolves, 11 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 8.3 APG, 40.6 3p%, 2.4 SPG)
The import from Spain has proved to be well worth the wait as he has a way with the ball that reminds many of the late Pete Maravich. Almost a magician with the ball, Rubio has shown us why there was so much hype already becoming a fan favorite in Minnesota. His turnovers are a concern for some but when you pass the ball like Rubio does it’s easy to forget about some of them. Although he may not play like a rookie, he is one. And that fact is a scary one for any team that doesn’t have him on their roster.
In such a guard heavy draft class it’s no surprise that the top two players so far this season bring the ball up the court. But luckily for everyone else there is no fast-forward button, so those not named Ricky Rubio and Kyrie Irving have time to gain the attention of the league and their fans before ballots are due. Here are the best in class for those in a deep, orkeeper league:
Jimmer Fredette (Sacramento Kings, 7.6 PPG 2.1 APG 33.6 FG% 30.6 3p% 90.5 FT%)
Even before he was drafted into the NBA he had his own theme song. Fredette had unlimited range at BYU but has been introduced to those limits so far this season. He has shown signs of what may be to come with 20 points and 6 assists in 32 minutes of play Sunday against Memphis. Superman may still sleep in a Jimmer jersey but it may take some time for Superman to trade in his BYU no. 32 for a Sacramento Kings no. 7.
Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs, 7.8 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 0.9 APG, 1.2 SPG)
Although he may not be Bruce Bowen, Leonard has shown San Antonio that he is the athletic forward they wanted to fill that void Bowen left with his departure. Leonard opened some eyes early on in the season hitting a crucial three pointer opening night against Memphis. Leonard has continued to give San Antonio hope for their future as their best players get older.
Chandler Parsons (Houston Rockets, 6.9 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.1 SPG)
Chandler Parsons may not win rookie of the year this season but he has been the best pick from where he was drafted. The 6-foot-9 200 pound forward was overlooked by most NBA scouts but Houston didn’t let him go by when they drafted with their 38th pick. Houston is one of the hotter teams out west currently riding a seven-game win streak and Parsons’ hustle off the bench is a big part of that.
Iman Shumpert (New York Knicks, 12.3 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.6 APG, 38.4 FG%, 31.1 3p%)
While New York continues to struggle Iman Shumpert has continued to show New York he was worth their selection. Shumpert has played in 12 games this season and scored in double figures 10 of 12 games. He has been surprisingly well on defense averaging over 2.5 steals per game.
Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns, 7.7 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 1.1 APG, 47.1 3p%)
So far this season Markieff has fit right in with the run and gun style of the Phoenix Suns. Considered to be the lesser twin coming out of Kansas, Markieff has been the more impressive Morris twin remaining a force down low while spreading out the defense with his 3-pt range.
Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats, 11.4 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 3.2 APG, 38.1 FG%, 33.3 3p%)
Ever since the Bobcats introduced into the league in 2004, Charlotte has been in search of a player to build their team around. The Gerald Wallace train has come to a stop and the Kemba Walker train will soon be boarded. Walker had an impressive college run and will continue to play at the highest level once he gets used to the faster pace of the NBA and gets the pieces around him that he needs to win.
Brandon Knight (Detroit Pistons, 12.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.3 APG, 38.8 3p%, 88.5 FT%)
Brandon Knight was stuck behind Rodney Stuckey early on but we all knew that wouldn’t last long. Knight has started the last 11 games and scored in double figures 9 of 11 games. Detroit has struggled so far this season but Knight can only do so much. With his size, athleticism and scoring ability Detroit has a very good piece moving forward.
Marshon Brooks (New Jersey Nets, 15.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.6 APG, 46.7 FG%, 36.5 3p%)
Marshon Brooks is by far the biggest surprise in the most recent draft. The 6-foot-5 guard out of Providence has had just one game this month in which he didn’t reach double digits in points. He is also second among rookies with five 20-point games this season. Brooks has been a pleasant surprise for New Jersey this season and I expect him to give Rubio and Irving a run for their money as the season gets closer to its end.