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All-Rookie teams reveal the historical ineptitude of 2013 NBA draft class’ top 10

May 23, 2014, 4:55 PM EDT

2013 NBA Draft 2013 NBA Draft

“With the first pick in the 2013 NBA draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select,” David Stern said, “Anthony Bennett –”

“Whoa!” Bill Simmons shouted on the ESPN telecast.

“– from Toronto Canada and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.”

Whoa, indeed.

Since that shocking moment at the Barclays Center last June, the top of the 2013 draft class has hardly made a peep.

Even the All-Rookie teams, typically an occasion to highlight high draft picks, included little inclusion from the class’ top 10 picks. Victor Oladipo (No. 2) and Trey Burke (No. 9) made the first team, and Cody Zeller (No. 4) made the second team. Otherwise, the draft’s top 10 missed the cut.

No top 10 of a draft class since the NBA added an All-Rookie second team in 1988-89 has had such a paltry All-Rookie showing.

The 2007 top 10 also sent just three players to an All-Rookie team. But all three – Kevin Durant,Al Horford andJeff Green – made the first team. The 1997 top 10 featured just four players – Tim Duncan (first),Keith Van Horn (first),Ron Mercer (first) andTim Thomas (second) – on an All-Rookie team.

Every other draft class has produced at least five All-Rookie selections from its top 10.

Here is a year-by-year, pick-by-pick history since the NBA added an All-Rookie second team both with names and visualized versions (first team in blue, second team in orange). Click to enlarge.



Even with just five first-team and no second-team spots available, most draft classes between when the NBA began naming All-Rookie teams in 1963 and 1988 featured more top 10 picks making an All-Rookie team than 2013.

This is a pretty bad sign for the top of the class of 2013. Top-10 picks, due to their increased exposure, tend to get the benefit of the doubt in these award votes.

But hope is not lost for Bennett, Otto Porter, Alex Len, Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and C.J. McCollum.

Joakim Noah, Mike Conley and DeMar DeRozan each recently missed an All-Rookie team after being selected in the top 10, and they’re having fine careers. There are plenty of other examples, too.

Plus, Noel is still eligible to make an All-Rookie team next season and revise these dreadful numbers.

Of course, he’ll be competing with the top of a draft class that will probably fare much better.


  1. jcmeyer10 - May 23, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    In all fairness, Kelly Olynyk came on strong. Went to 15 games this year and by the end (literally went to the last game) he looked like he knew what he was doing. Not saying he’s an All-Star but I am starting to see what Ainge saw in him.

    • fanofthegame79 - May 23, 2014 at 7:36 PM

      I agree. I thought he looked really good last summer during the summer leagues, too. If he can stay healthy, and continue to grow his game (and body), he’ll be a really good center in the NBA.

  2. mcmystery76 - May 23, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    Oladipo was the two pick… You were literally just talking about Bennett being the #1 pick in the previous paragraph (I use the term loosely).

  3. dinofrank60 - May 23, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    There’s talent, there’s playing basketball and there’s playing in the NBA. They haven’t learned that last part. Yet. Stuff they should know, they don’t because they haven’t been exposed to a lot. They just have been playing ball in HS and some college.

    One of the biggest things they might learn is that they’ll never use all that talent on a winning team. Winning teams don’t want you to do that, wasting time and energy. The players on winning teams are role players, every one of them. You have to strike a balance between efficiency, which I think is slightly overrated and talent which, if properly used, becomes an advantage.

  4. rajbais - May 24, 2014 at 1:46 AM

    Draft picks (aka prospects) are overrated.

    Ready made players are what you really need.

    Get rid of the 2nd round and if the players go undrafted without signing with an agent (NCAA you’re full of crap) they can go back to school and refine their games and then sign $800,000+/year contracts that last 3 years like Randolph Morris.

    Morris admitted to having adjustment issues and likely couldn’t handle New York well directly after leaving Kentucky, but he’s doing well in China.

    Here’s a quote about what happened when he arrived in Beijing.
    “‘After the initial shock of six hours of practice, six days a week for two months, it actually became like second nature. I gradually noticed improvement in my skills and conditioning.'”

    “In the end, Morris’ open-minded attitude, his work ethic and willingness to be coached.”

    Darryl Dawkins was the first high schooler to come into the NBA, but it did not mean that over 20 years later KG couldn’t average 10.6 PPG in over 20 MPG as a high school rookie.

    There will be more improved players if they can go back to school, but come back at a good price and young enough of an age.

    Plus, NBPA scrubs like Roger Mason do not have to worry with a 2nd Rd. pick already clogging up a roster spot while he’s looking for a new team.

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