2) G AUSTIN RIVERS (New Orleans Hornets) *Drafted #10 overall
2012-13 statistics: 6.1 points, 35% from the field, 1.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.2 blocks
Before the regular season began, I predicted that Austin Rivers would have a bigger impact on the New Orleans Hornets in year one than the number one overall pick and teammate, Anthony Davis of Kentucky.
Well, we all can’t be perfect.
Rivers was absolutely dreadful to start the year. Shooting the basketball was one of his major strengths playing for the Duke Blue Devils, but he has yet to find any consistency with his shot thus far, shooting less than 35% from the field. His player efficiency rating of 4.4 ranks 29th amongst all rookies, and is one of the worst in the NBA this season.
He’s shown some slight improvement in recent weeks, but considering how awful he was to begin the season, he really could only go up from there.
1) ROYCE WHITE (Houston Rockets) *Drafted 16th overall
2012-13 statistics: None
This one was easy. He hasn’t even played a single game yet. Case closed.
Well, there is more to this story than meets the eye. His battles with an anxiety disorder are now infamous around the league, as his fear of flying has prevented him from traveling with the team.
Rockets management knew of this prior to drafting him, but decided to select White anyways with hopes of coming to some sort of understanding. Needless to say, that hasn’t happened as of yet.
Royce was a terrific player at Iowa State, and probably would have gone a lot higher in the draft had it not been for the red flags surrounding his mental health. Still, it’s rather disheartening to know that Houston could have very well wasted a top-20 pick on a guy who will never amount to anything in the NBA.