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2012-13 NBA Rookie Rankings

The 2012-13 NBA freshman class is loaded with talent and should produce more than a few future stars. TSN.ca NBA editor Mitch Ward is tracking the progress of this year's rookies and will be updating the rankings every week.

(LAST UPDATED: February 25)

The Top 10


Rank (+/-) Player

1(-)

PG Damian Lillard Portland Trail Blazers

At this point, Lillard is way out in front in the rookie of the year race, so rather than compare him to anyone else in this year's class let's take a look at how he stacks up against last year's winner Kyrie Irving. They're both dynamic young point guards that can get their teammates involved and then shift into scoring mode. Irving has the edge on Lillard in most areas though. Lillard has a slight edge as a passer but it's pretty close whereas Irving is a better shooter, and is among the best in the game at creating his own offence. Irving is also two years younger and likely has a bit more room to expand his game. If you had to choose one you'd almost certainly take Irving but Lillard is not that far behind. -- Feb. 6


GP GS MIN FG% REB AST STL PTS
56 56 38.5 .416 3.2 6.5 1.0 18.3

2(-)

PF Anthony Davis New Orleans Hornets

Davis has upped his scoring of late averaging 15.8 points on 57.8% shooting in his last four games. That's nice to see, but it's his overall game that continues to make him such an exciting prospect. He is a very good dribbler for a big man, runs the floor, has decent touch on his shot, rebounds and blocks shots. -- Feb. 6


GP GS MIN FG% REB BLK STL PTS
44 40 27.8 .508 7.5 1.8 1.2 12.6

3(-)

C Andre Drummond Detroit Pistons

Drummond had a monster 18 point, 18 rebound effort in the Pitsons loss to the Bucks last Tuesday becoming the first teenager since Dwight Howard to accomplish the feat. It's games like that have many people, myself included, thinking he can be the NBA's next dominant centre. He is just so big and strong already. Hopefully a recent back injury won't keep him down for long. -- Feb. 6


GP GS MIN FG% REB BLK STL PTS
50 0 19.7 .592 7.5 1.7 0.9 7.3

4(+1)

SG Dion Waiters Cleveland Cavaliers

33, 5, 23, 7, 16, 6, 18, 6, 12. Those aren't the winning lottery numbers, those are the peaks and valleys in Waiters' scoring of late. He has a good game, he has a bad game. It's almost like clockwork how up and down Waiters has been lately. If he can ever find his shooting touch on a consistent basis he has some serious potential as a scorer. Until then, the word streaky will be atached to every one of his scouting reports. -- Feb. 6


GP GS MIN FG% REB AST STL PTS
48 39 29.4 .404 2.5 3.2 1.0 14.4

5(+2)

PG Alexey Shved Minnesota Timberwolves

Shved has bounced back well from an ankle injury that kept him sidelined for five games. In the four games since returning to the lineup he is averaging 12.5 points and 5 assists. He is back to a bench role but is still giving the Timberwolves solid production. -- Feb 6


GP GS MIN FG% REB AST STL PTS
48 16 27.3 .378 2.5 4.3 0.8 10.4

6(-2)

SG Bradley Beal Washington Wizards

Beal has missed the Wizards last four games with a wright wrist injury but that didn't stop him from picking up his second straight Eastern Conference rookie of the month award for January. In 15 January games he averaged 15.1 points and hit 50.9% of his three point attempts. Not a bad month. If he can get back into the lineup soon and continue his hot shooting he'll climb back up the rankings quickly. -- Feb. 6


GP GS MIN FG% REB AST STL PTS
48 43 31.4 .402 3.5 2.5 0.9 13.9

7(+3)

SF Harrison Barnes Golden State Warriors

Barnes has been solid over the last while after a few very mediocre weeks in the middle of January. He had a very nice line of 21 points and 8 rebounds in the Warriors win over the Suns on Saturday before getting plenty of rest in a blowout loss to the Rockets on Tuesday. The Warriors need him to use his athleticism to get into the lane and open up shots for their perimiter threats.-- Feb. 6


GP GS MIN FG% REB AST STL PTS
55 55 25.7 .437 4.1 1.4 0.6 9.0

8(+1)

C Tyler Zeller Cleveland Cavaliers

Tyler Zeller is yet another rookie big man having himself a solid first year in the NBA. He is a strong reounder but needs to improve his field goal percentage if he is going to become a solid NBA starter. -- Feb. 6


GP GS MIN FG% REB BLK STL PTS
52 30 27.2 .431 6.0 0.9 0.5 8.2

9(NR)

F Moe Harkless Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic have been really bad lately. Fortunately for Harkless, that has meant an increase in his playing time as the coaching staff has decided to see what they have in their young forward. By the looks of things they might have themselves a pretty decent piece for the future. In the last three games he's averaged 12.3 points and 9 rebounds. That includes an impressive 19-point, 14 rebound effort in a loss to the Bucks on Saturday. -- Feb. 6


GP GS MIN FG% REB BLK STL PTS
50 33 20.8 .465 4.1 0.8 0.9 5.8

10(-2)

SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Charlotte Bobcats

MKG has taken his lumps lately. Literally. The Bobcats second overall pick in the NBA is day-to-day with a concussion after he collided with teammate Jeff Taylor in a loss to the Rockets on Sunday and had to be taken off the court on a stretcher. His stats had been down leading up to the injury but he is still one of the best all around contributors in this year's rookie class as well as one of it's best defenders. That's good enough to keep him on the rankings... for now. -- Feb. 6


GP GS MIN FG% REB AST STL BLK PTS
53 52 26.6 .453 5.7 1.6 0.7 1.0 9.1

New this week: Moe Harkless

Fell out of the rankings: Jared Sullinger


Raptors Rookies


C Jonas Valanciunas drafted 5th overall in 2011

The good news is that Valanciunas returned to the court last Friday after more than a month on the sidelines with a broken finger. The bad news, he has some serious rust. In the two games since he's returned he has just two points and four rebounds total. He also got punked by Caron Butler at the closing seconds against the Clippers in his first game back. -- Feb. 6

SG Terrence Ross drafted 8th overall in 2012

Ross has been quite quiet of late. Most of this has to do with a lack of time on the court since DeMar DeRozan is seeing alot more minutes at the two spot while Rudy Gay plays the three. Still, in the last three games Ross has averaged just 3.0 points and is shooting a dreadful 18.8% from the floor. It will take some time for Ross to acclimate to a new rotation with Gay on the roster. -- Feb. 6

SF Quincy Acy drafted 37th overall in 2012

Acy played two minutes against the Clippers and not at all against Miami in the two games since the Raptors acquired Rudy Gay. Minutes may be even more limited for Acy than they already were under the new rotation with Gay in town. -- Feb. 6


If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, Mitch Ward can be reached at Mitch.Ward@bellmedia.ca. You can also find him on Twitter

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