Rookies are the ultimate unknowns in fantasy basketball. They are the definition of boom or bust for your team. A lot of times, the top picks from the actual NBA Draft become overrated after being gossiped about all summer long while a rookie on the bottom of the roster takes advantage of an injury or two and works his way into fantasy relevance. Either way, an adjustment period is expected for all.
The 10 guys on this list aren’t the only rookies that will have a fantasy impact next season. Cody Zeller should get all the run he can handle in Charlotte and Alex Len has nightly double-double potential with two-plus blocks as soon as he heals up. My sleeper is Tony Snell, who I tried to get on here badly. Chicago has been in dire need for a two-guard for quite some time and his silky smooth stroke and length defensively should bode well in Tom Thibodeau‘s system. For more on all the rookies drafted Thursday night, read this.
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10. SHABAZZ MUHAMMAD, Minnesota Timberwolves
With the expected departure of Andrei Kirilenko, Muhammad may have the opportunity to start at small forward from day one. It was nearly impossible to live up to the expectations placed on him heading into college, but his ability to put the ball in the hole should bring him success in the NBA. Being set up by Ricky Rubio should be a beautiful thing for Muhammad, who plays just as well off the ball as he does on it. If he starts, he could realistically average anywhere from 12-16 points per game while rebounding above the average for his position, especially if he gets shooting guard eligibility.
9. NERLENS NOEL, Philadelphia 76ers
Noel is going to be out until at least the holidays, but he may lead all rookies in blocks regardless. Even upon his return, it’s possible that the Sixers will bring him along slowly, not wanting a repeat of the Andrew Bynum disaster from last year. The injury may plague his fantasy value, but once he’s fully healthy, Noel should be a force blocking shots and cleaning the glass, and will make for a waiver wire target if you’re in need of those categories.