1. Tyreke Evans, Sacramento KingsLast Week: 1 | Drafted: 4
If Evans can keep up his current pace, he'll become just the fourth rookie in NBA history to average at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. (Through 22 games, Evans is averaging exactly 20.0, 5.0 and 5.0.) The other three? Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan and LeBron James. All three took home Rookie of the Year honors. "It feels pretty good to be mentioned with those guys in the rookie category," Evans told Andrew Nicholson of Full Court Press blog. "I have a long season and have to stay focused and just keep trying to play good basketball."5. Omri Casspi, Sacramento KingsLast Week: 6 | Drafted: 23
It's been a busy week for Casspi. On Thursday, the Israeli-born forward signed autographs and joined about 200 people at a Hanukkah party put on by the Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region. Then, on Friday, Casspi was on hand as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger lit the menorah at the state capitol. Oh yeah, Casspi averaged 14.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in three games to increase his season averages.Source: NBA.comDropped out: DeMar DeRozan
First of all this edition of the rookie rankings is forcing me to lay down some props to the Sacramento Kings organization. They've done a stellar job over the past few years in the draft. This will no doubt help restore them to their not so distance place of prominence as one of the very best organizations in the west. Two years ago they made a strong pick in selecting Spencer Hawes, last year it was Jason Thompson and this year its Tyreke Evans and Omri Casspi. Its strong drafting like this that gets you back in the game long term. They've been following the Blazers model so far, drafting and clearing dead weigh cap crushers. Its working. Its not showing in the standings but it will in the next few seasons.
Secondly its sad to see DeMar slide out of the top ten but this draft is turning out to be deep and there is no shame in DeMar not being among the top in the class at this point. Last year it took him almost an entire NCAA season before he understood the game and then he went off. In a few seasons time he will be known as one of the best to come out of the 2009 draft. Book it.
Finally, am I the only one who wishes Colangelo moved into the late first round and snatched Ty Lawson?