I participated in today’s ESPN 5-on-5 roundtable, which predicted which rookies will have the best seasons once the season finally gets underway. Pistons draftee Brandon Knight didn’t make anyone’s top five list. For me, he was a narrow miss. I just don’t believe, if Rodney Stuckey is back, Knight will play as big a role as some other rookies who will get big minutes right away and the chance to put up flashier statistics. If Stuckey is not back, I think Knight would struggle some but have a shot to be a top five guy by season’s end. But I picked two guys in my top five who were not lottery picks:
Patrick Hayes, PistonPowered: Kawhi Leonard. He won’t have numbers that stand out, but as an athlete who rebounds, can finish and has huge hands, the San Antonio Spurs will get him plenty of shots around the basket and he’ll make an impact with energy and hustle plays.
Patrick Hayes, PistonPowered: Kenneth Faried. Outstanding on the boards and athletic enough to make up for his lack of size, Faried landed in a perfect spot, on a fun Denver team that will run, with point guards who will find him on the break in Ty Lawson and Andre Miller. Faried will be a handful on the offensive glass.
I’m actually really excited to see the element that both of those unique players bring to their new teams. Who are your predictions for the top five rookies?
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