The rookie cream, surprises and disappointments
- Editor's note: This article was originally published on February 6. OK, so perhaps the NBA Rookie of the Year voting won't provide much suspense this year. Unless aliens invade in the night and secretly inject Chris Paul with Rafael Araujo's DNA, the Hornets' point guard will win going away.
But what of the rest of the rookie class? If Paul is blowing the doors off, it follows that the rest of this year's crew isn't exactly making us forget the LeBron-Melo-Bosh-Wade class of 2003. Besides this one breakout star, the other rookies have all had their ups and downs this season.
Perhaps we should have expected this. Unlike a year ago, when a great high school class saved what otherwise would have been a dud of a rookie crop, this year's prepsters didn't bring much to the table. In a draft already devoid of superstar talent, that meant we weren't likely to see many impact players.
Nonetheless, some have turned out better than others. With their first campaign half over, it's time to assess where each of this year's rookies stands and what their future holds. The class of 2005 is easily broken down into three groups -- the cream, the surprises, and the disappointments. Of course, Paul should be in a class by himself, but he'll have to settle for being captain of the first team:
THE CREAMChris Paul, New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets: In addition to all the other things he's bringing to the table, check out this stat: Paul has the second-best Rebound Rate of any point guard, trailing only Jason Kidd. The 6-foot, 20-year-old Paul is outrebounding Mark Blount, Rashard Lewis, Andre Iguodala, Shane Battier, Carmelo Anthony, Tayshaun Prince, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade, among others.
To continue reading this article you must be an Insider
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
MORE NBA HEADLINES
- Source: Phil considers Knicks front-office job
- Anthony's 26 pace Knicks in win over Cavs
- Sources: Lakers not ready to fire D'Antoni
- Parker, Ginobili combine for 54 in Spurs' win
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- NBA Home
- Boston Celtics
- Brooklyn Nets
- New York Knicks
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Toronto Raptors
- Chicago Bulls
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Detroit Pistons
- Indiana Pacers
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Atlanta Hawks
- Charlotte Bobcats
- Miami Heat
- Orlando Magic
- Washington Wizards
- Heat Index