Hey, rook! You ready for the NBA?

Ranking rookies by current abilities and long-term potential

Updated: November 15, 2013, 1:04 PM ET
By Amin Elhassan | ESPN Insider

"Real" basketball has commenced, and every rookie hopes to be a part of the rotation, or for a lucky few, they get to be more: starters, or even budding stars, like Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers last season. Others get short stints here and there, but for some, playing time this season is just not in the cards.

"Readiness" to contribute is a nuanced concept, as some rookies have the fortune of playing on teams with low expectations and abundant playing time available. Some rookies have mastered a singular skill set that is ready to perform right away in an NBA game, whether it's being an elite shooter or bringing high energy with every appearance.

But readiness should not be confused with long-term potential; if it were, players such as Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash would be obscure trivia question answers instead of future Hall of Famers.

In that spirit, I have created the Readiness Scale, which measures a rookie's "readiness to contribute," as well as their projected ceiling and long-term potential role. The scale runs from 0-100. (See the scale to the right.)

The closer to a threshold the rating is, the more they trend toward the adjacent category. The scale is based on number grades given in each of five categories:

• Physical attributes
• Offense
• Defense
• IQ
• Intangibles

Here's a look at every first-round pick from the 2013 draft, ranked in order of their current readiness to contribute.


To read more of which rookies Amin Elhassan says have shown their the most ready for the NBA, become an Insider today.