SB Nation's Rookie Of The Year: Tyreke Evans

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You come upon two bags of gold. One is about twice as large as the other. There's a note on a chair in between the bags which, in Gilbert Arenas's handwriting, reads "Pick 1." Do you take the smaller bag of gold or the larger bag of gold? If you take the smaller bag, you are not as smart as you think, and you are probably a weakling hipster who couldn't lift the larger bag anyways. If you take the larger bag, congratulations, you used common sense. Such is the choice between Tyreke Evans and Stephen Curry. Sure, Curry has been fantastic since, oh, January. But Evans has been every bit as good over that stretch. And also, Evans didn't suck in November and December. Of late, Evans and Curry have produced similar numbers. Evans has been doing it all year. Curry has been doing it since the midway point. Ergo, Evans is the larger bag of gold. Don't outsmart yourself.

— SB Nation's Kings blog, Sactown Royalty

2. Stephen Curry (7 Votes)

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If you need more than that photoshop to convince you (and who would?), SB Nation's Golden State of Mind goes all out in making the case for Stephen Curry as Rookie of the Year.

3. Brandon Jennings (0 Votes)

What a ride.

Jennings wasn’t simply one of the best rookies in his first full month in the NBA, he was legitimately one of the top players in the league during November. With the speed, style, and grace of a Ferrari straight from Italy (or Lottomatica Roma), the slight point guard memorably dropped 55 points on the Warriors – all after the first quarter. But what many don’t remember is that he preceded that game with 32 points and nine dimes in a win over the Nuggets and followed it with 25 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists night in a buzzer-beating loss to the Mavericks the game after.  This was no fluke. It really couldn’t have gotten any better.

And it didn’t. As Brandon began to misfire from long range, the shortcomings became more apparent – his struggle to finish in the lane foremost among them. But even as his personal numbers fell, the team wins kept piling up. And this wasn’t simply a case of tagging along on a good team. Throughout incomplete seasons from Andrew Bogut, Michael Redd, and John Salmons, it was Jennings playing and winning through it all. Young Buck started all 82 games and played hundreds more minutes than any other Buck. That certainly reflects well on his defense, considering he was on the floor much more than anyone else on one of the top-ranked defensive teams in the NBA. Whereas some tabbed him early as falling in the mold of stat-stuffing, me-first, team-second point guards, it turns out that Jennings not only wins, his numbers do anything but flatter him.

In all, maybe he's not yet a Ferrari, but certainly better than a Ford Edge.  

— SB Nation's Bucks blog, Brew Hoop

Star-divide

WORST? Hasheem Thabeet (22 Votes)

Watching Hasheem Thabeet all season has been many, many things, but enjoyable is not one of them. Come to think of it, here are a few other words I would never use to describe the #2 overall draft pick’s rookie season: dominant, fundamentally sound, well-rounded, motivated, respectable, aesthetically pleasing, or even merely as-expected (and my expectations were low). Thabeet’s first half was so bad the Grizzlies tried to trade the rookie as a toxic contract to the Golden State Warriors. Even the W’s – while using two D-Leaguers as their frontcourt – knew better than to bankroll Thabeet’s ongoing development.

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If there’s any silver-lining, the 7’3" rookie has shown some promise lately, kinda-sorta imitating Samuel Dalembert while filling in with Marc Gasol injured. And Thabeet does block a lot of shots per minute, though he fouls practically twice as often. He’s still very much intriguing as a project.

But you just don’t take a project with the #2 pick. So sorry Hasheem, it’s tough, but until you make an impact you’ll be remembered for what you don’t do.

— SB Nation's Grizzlies blog, Straight Outta Vancouver

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