The 2014-15 NBA rookie class hasn’t been quite as good as advertised.
Some of this is due to injury (Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid, Julius Randle), but it’s mostly because many of the 2014 draft’s top picks were selected on potential more than their ability to produce immediately.
The Minnesota Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins has long wrapped up the Rookie of the Year race, but several of his fellow rookies could be headed toward long and successful careers.
But which ones have the opportunity to rise the highest? Let’s look at the five first-year players with the highest ceilings.
Honorable mention: Julius Randle (Los Angeles Lakers), Elfrid Payton (Orlando Magic), Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics), Dante Exum (Utah Jazz), Zach LaVine (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Note: To be considered a rookie, a player must have seen his first regular-season court time in the 2014-15 season. Therefore, Joel Embiid doesn’t qualify while Nerlens Noel does. All statistics are from Basketball-Reference.com and accurate as of March 3 unless otherwise indicated.