They say you only get one chance to make a first impression. The NBA class of 2013 now has their chance. For these young men, the future is now the present. All their childhood dreams have now come true.
Before they can get their chance to shine on the biggest stage of them all, they first have to go through the NBA preseason. Out of the 30+ players taking the court for the first time this year, five stand out above the rest. Submitted for your approval is the first ever Sonics Rising rookie power rankings.
- Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic - Oladipo is at or near the top of the list in almost every statistical category. He leads all rookies in points (14.4 per game) and assists (5.0 per game), is second in steals (1.6 per game) and fourth in rebounds (6.0 per game). He's been filling up the stat sheet, but he's had trouble putting it all together at once. He has shown flashes of brilliance, but also flashes of disaster. He scored 22 in one game, had 11 rebounds in another. He also had five turnovers in one game. He needs to improve his three point shooting, which is only 28% as of this writing. Oladipo clearly has all the skills, he just needs to put them all together.
- Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia 76ers - With the 76ers in complete
tankrebuild mode, MCW is likely to play a very big role this season. So far in the preseason, he leads all rookies with 1.7 steals per game, and also averages 8.0 points, 4.7 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game. He's a very long player, which helps get into passing lanes and reach out for rebounds. He plays very consistent, even if it's particularly spectacular. He has a very NBA-ready game and if he can continue to improve, he could be a key piece in the 76ers future.
- Anthony Bennett, Cleveland Cavaliers - The number one overall pick in the draft had a horrendous debut, shooting a dreadful 2-for-12. He seems to have shaken off the jitters somewhat now, averaging 10.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game. He's shooting 35% from three point range, but only 37% from the rest of the field and 68% from the free throw line. He also averages three turnovers a game. Bennett needs to settle into his role, as he is not the primary scoring option like he was in college. Once he does that, hopefully his numbers will even out.
- Kelly Olynyk, Boston Celtics - The big man from Gonzaga is arguably the most efficient player on this list. While his numbers aren't particularly eye-popping in any regard, he does have a steady game. He is averaging 9.0 points per game, but only 4.3 rebounds. For a seven footer, that's shocking. Olynyk does only have a 6'9" wingspan though. He will need to bring that number up, along with his blocks (0.6 per game), and could stand to add some muscle to do so. Right now he's playing an Andrea Bargnani-type game; low rebound numbers, low number of blocks, mostly jump shots, yet he's only shooting 29% from the three point line. Okay, so he's playing exactly like Andrea Bargnani.
- Ben McLemore, Sacramento Kings - The big knock on McLemore in college was that he didn't show up for the big games. Despite showcasing his obvious talent, we have yet to see the kind of star power that helped lead the Kansas Jayhawks to the Final Four. He is scoring well, averating 12.6 points per game on a blistering 49% shooting. He's also shooting 41% from downtown, but only 67% from the free throw line. He also averages 3.6 rebounds and 0.8 steals a game, not staggering numbers but decent enough for a guard. He only averages 0.8 assists, though, and you'd like to see him find his teammates a little more.