- David Thorpe, NBA
In our continuing look inside ESPN.com's player rankings, we're examining six rookies with potential for solid pro careers: Brandon Knight, Markieff Morris, Jonas Valanciunas, Jan Vesely, Klay Thompson and Kemba Walker.
These six players have a lot in common: All were mid-to-late lottery picks who were either good-to-great college players or guys who showed huge promise in Europe. On ESPN.com's player rankings, Knight and Walker are tied at No. 267. Morris and Thompson are tied at No. 349 and Valanciunas and Vesely are tied at No. 313. As things stand, it seems that all six players are also in a fairly similar category -- guys who should be at least solid NBA contributors with substantial upside.
At the moment, I like both Knight and Valanciunas to emerge as the best of this group after a few NBA seasons are under their belts. Knight has all the tools I look for in an NBA point guard; he has size, agility, skills with the ball and a great-looking shot. He also has lots of poise, a huge basketball IQ and quite possibly one of the highest general IQs in the league.
ESPN Insider David Thorpe writes that Brandon Knight and Jonas Valanciunas are two rookies to keep an eye on this season.