Brandon Roy, G, Trail Blazers
Since the draft, I\'ve pegged Roy as having the best shot at the Rookie of the Year award, and his strong play in the summer league and preseason indicate that he\'s still the leading candidate to bring home the trophy.
He\'s poised to have a big year for the Blazers. It appears that he\'s won the starting two guard position and even will play some point guard for the Blazers.
Rudy Gay, F, Grizzlies
Pau Gasol\'s injury in the World Championship was devastating to the Grizzlies but good for getting Gay\'s career going. Without Gasol, the Grizzlies will look for Gay to give them scoring punch.
After a lackluster sophomore season at UConn, Gay\'s performance in the summer league and preseason seem to indicate that he might live up to his limitless potential.
Rajon Rondo, PG, Celtics
I had Rondo ranked at the top point guard in the draft almost all year and thought he should be a top 10 pick. He became the steal of the draft when he fell into the Celtics\' lap at No. 21 (via trade from Phoenix).
So far in the preseason, Rondo has played as well as, if not better than, Boston starting point guard Sebastian Telfair. Only time will tell whether Rondo will be able to beat out Telfair for the starting job, but the facts are in his favor: Rondo is a much better defender and rebounder, and he has played virtually mistake-free basketball so far.
If he can learn to consistently knock down the mid-range jumper, he\'s got a chance to be a star.
Tyrus Thomas, PF, Bulls
Thomas had the most upside of anyone in the draft, but I thought he was a year or two away from being an NBA contributor. However, his energy, shot-blocking and athleticism in the preseason indicate that he\'ll be a solid rotation player this season.
Marcus Williams, PG, New Jersey Nets
Williams took a shocking draft night nosedive but found the perfect home in New Jersey.
The Nets will try to limit Jason Kidd\'s minutes this season, and Williams has shown in the preseason and the summer league that he\'s ready to handle the team 15-to-20 minutes a night. He really should rack up the assists in Jersey.
Adam Morrison, F, Bobcats
Morrison looked good in the summer league, but he\'s struggled mightily with his shot in the preseason, shooting just 32 percent from the field. Considering he doesn\'t play much defense, grab rebounds or do much in the assist department, he\'d better start making his shots.
The early word out of Bobcats camp is that the team likes him, but he\'s going to have make big adjustments to his college game to thrive in the pros.
Shelden Williams, F, Hawks
He is stating the obvious about Ammo, it will take him time to become the player we are hoping he will be. I\'m looking at Rudy Gay\'s direction right now MJ is going to be pissed I\'ve said it since draft Gay will > Adam Morrison in the NBA.