Five Most Disappointing NBA Rookies This Season

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Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Things were getting so bad, that ESPN even wrote an article, after using a special type of statistical metric, on how Austin could very well be having the worst year in NBA history.

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.

Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Chris Walder is the Editor of Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter at @WalderSports

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Tags: Austin Rivers Houston Rockets Kendall Marshall New Orleans Hornets Oklahoma City Thunder Perry Jones III Phoenix Suns Portland Trail Blazers Portland TrailBlazers Royce White Sacramento Kings Thomas Robinson

  • andy

    Anyone who though Rivers would have a better season than Davis shouldn’t be writing about basketball!!!

    • Christopher Walder

      The reason I thought Rivers would have a better season is because of his ability to score the basketball. Anthony Davis is having a terrific year, but he’s not exactly blowing the basketball world away (12.5 points, 7.4 rebounds), as of yet. If Austin was able to consistently hit shots, he could be easily averaging 15-17 points per game.

      Davis makes his presence known on the defensive end, while Rivers is a threat shooting the ball. While that prediction looks a little depressing now, I certainly wasn’t wrong in believing it. Davis is producing solid numbers, but for a number one pick, they’re pretty standard.

      Only five rookies are scoring more than 10 points a game, so I took a gamble and put faith in Austin. Ultimately, it didn’t pay off.