Commentary

Irving, Fredette favorites for ROY

Using historical comparisons, projecting rookie stat lines for the year's top draft picks

Updated: July 5, 2011, 10:46 AM ET
By Kevin Pelton | Basketball Prospectus
Kyrie Irving, Jimmer Fredette, Kemba WalkerGetty ImagesHow will these three guards fare during their rookie seasons?

Now that the NBA draft is complete and the best prospects from both the NCAA and abroad have found homes, it's not too early to begin thinking about what these players can contribute as rookies.

My projection system translates NCAA performance to the pros using the performance of past rookies and adjusting for strength of schedule. To that is added the pace at which each newcomer's NBA team played last season and a guess at minutes per game to create a projected stat line. Here's a look at the most impressive of next season's rookies (whenever they finally get to take the floor):

Kyrie Irving: 35.0 mpg, 14.9 ppg, 5.1 apg, 3.4 rpg
We've projected Irving to play 35 minutes a night for the Cleveland Cavaliers. That's a little lower than the averages for his predecessors as point guards taken No. 1 overall after one year in college, Derrick Rose and John Wall, but neither of those players went to a team with a veteran point guard like Baron Davis.


To read Kevin Pelton's full projection for Kyrie Irving, in addition to his take on how other top draft picks will fare during their rookie seasons, become an ESPN Insider today.