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2008-09 NBA Draft Kit: Rookie Report, Part I

October 9, 2008 | By RotoRob | comment on this post

The 2008-09 RotoRob NBA Draft Kit continues with the first part of our look at this year’s rookie class.

Derrick Rose, PG, Chicago Bulls: Rose has the physical skills to drive to the hole, but he was more of a penetrate and kick-out player in college. Rose will be a solid three-category guard, but if he wants to be a fantasy stud he will need to be more aggressive. — JM

Michael Beasley, PF, Miami Heat: Beasley is going to be a great producer of points and boards, all the while being solid enough with his FG and FT percentages to not be a typical rookie. Remember, he plays alongside Dwyane Wade and Shawn Marion, so don’t expect God-like numbers from him. — JM

O.J. Mayo, SG, Memphis Grizzlies: Mayo is one of the most NBA ready players coming out of the draft. He can score in bunches and defend with the best of the rookies. Expect points and assists, but those will come at the expense of turnovers and FG percentage. — JM

Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder: Westbrook is going to play the point, but he has the body of a shooting guard. He won’t be worth much to your fantasy team in season one, but the assists he will get from dishing the rock to Kevin Durant could be worth a late pick. — JM

Kevin Love, PF, Minnesota Timberwolves: I happen to know that Love will see minutes early and often, but his defense will cause problems. He will get you solid rebound totals, but remember that monster next to him named Al Jefferson? Don’t expect high scoring totals because Love didn’t handle bigger players last year in college. –JM

Danilo Gallinari, SF, New York Knicks: Isn’t it sad when a rookie comes in and is already the best all-around player on the team? Gallinari has a more NBA type of game than most Europeans, but most season one transfers hit a lot of bumps in the NBA road. He is more of a second half watch list player. –JM

Eric Gordon, SG, Los Angeles Clippers: Gordon has the potential to be a total package player, but his late-season shooting problems left a bad taste in many people’s mouths. Points, 3-pointers and a hearty FT percentage will be his contributions, but he will kill you in FG percentage. — JM

Joe Alexander, PF, Milwaukee Bucks: The problem Alexander faces is the fact that he is still learning the game. While it is true that he is improving his mid-range game, already has crazy athletic skills and is as tough as nails, the NBA isn’t a place where learning bodes well for fantasy players. He isn’t going to steal minutes from Richard Jefferson and he will get crushed as a PF, so bench minutes are in his immediate future. — JM

D.J. Augustin, PG, Charlotte Bobcats: Augustin could very well start the season playing behind Raymond Felton. Add that to the fact that rookie point guards often struggle and you have someone to avoid until the final rounds of a draft. Redraft leagues can take him as a handcuff to Felton and keeper leagues owners will want him as a future star. — JM

Brook Lopez, C, New Jersey Nets: Lopez is a Tim Duncan wanna-be. The best thing going for him is that he is an offensive minded player and the Nets offense is…well…offensive. Lopez will be good enough to get you solid points, rebounds and blocks for a rookie. — JM

Jerryd Bayless, PG, Portland Trailblazer: Bayless is about as perfect a fit with Brandon Roy as you are going to find. Even with Portland having such a stacked young team, I still expect Bayless to break camp in the starting lineup. As a member of the Pacers organization, I was mad when I saw they traded him. — JM

Jason Thompson, C, Sacramento Kings: Now this pick just made my head hurt. With no real upside, there too is no real fantasy value in Thompson. I’ve just wasted two whole sentences on a guy that will never be much in the NBA, let alone fantasy leagues. — JM

Brandon Rush, SG, Indiana Pacers: Danny Granger told me Brandon is better than his brother, Kareem Rush. I will put him at the top of the list when it comes to most NBA ready as a rookie, but he will have to come off the bench with Mike Dunleavy and Granger cemented in the starting lineup. Points and threes are his claim to fame as a rookie, but I sure would have rather been talking with Bayless in camp! — JM

Anthony Randolph, PF, Golden State Warriors: Randolph is in the same boat as Gallinari, future more than present. The Warriors are already deep at the four spot and Randolph looks more like a shaved bird than a power forward. He showed some skills this summer that makes me think he could be a major factor for fantasy teams in a few years, but not right now. — JM

Robin Lopez, C, Phoenix Suns: Where Brook is the offense, Robin is the defense. I don’t see the Suns sitting Shaquille O’Neal in favour of the rookie, even if they should. But, if Lopez can harness that offensive game he has and does his thing with the rebounds and blocks, Shaq may see more breathers than he really needs. — JM

Marreese Speights, PF/C, Philadelphia 76ers: A great post player with the Gators, the 6’10” 21-year-old finds himself in the dangerous position of being a tweener as a pro, perhaps lacking the diversity and patience in his low post game to be a centre, but lacking the ability to put the ball on the floor necessary to be a decent power forward. He has the tools and frame to succeed as an NBA player – some compare his skill set to Al Jefferson’s – but he’ll be playing behind a healthy Elton Brand in Philly, so I’m not expecting him to see much PT in his debut season. If Brand suffers another serious injury, Speights could be forced into a baptism by fire. Should that happen, he could contribute a bit offensively (he scored 14.5 PPG last year with the Gators), but I expect Speights’ contributions to come more on defense in the form of boards and blocks. — RR

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