We’ve been able to get a good glimpse at all of the rookies this year and we’re starting to see some potential career arch comparison for these young studs. Now, these aren’t perfect comparisons, but I do think it captures what kind of player these rooks can turn into.
Jalen Williams – Oklahoma City Thunder
What can I really say that hasn’t been said already? Jalen Williams is transforming into a strong contributor for the Thunder in the middle of his rookie season – an unexpected but welcomed addition for OKC. Whether it be scoring, defense, playmaking, rebounding, etc., Williams is a do-it-all wing that still has so much room for growth at 21 years old. His fit next to SGA is perfect, and his progression as a scorer could mimic the career arc of Mikal Bridges.
Career Comp: Mikal Bridges
Mark Williams – Charlotte Hornets
Absurd length on defense and a perfect lob threat on the other end? Yes, please. Mark Williams is the exact type of center teams are looking for to anchor the paint. His length and mobility for a 7 footer is perfect on defense where he can cover ground in a hurry. His surprising touch on the offensive end and pick & roll potential is eye opening. A lock to average a double-double in the near future. Look for the Hornets to develop Williams in hopes of having their own Jarrett Allen.
Career Comp: Jarrett Allen
Tari Eason – Houston Rockets
Eason’s bread and butter during his rookie year has been his unique defensive abilities. But at LSU, Eason was actually known more for his scoring, something Rockets fans are beginning to see as he gets more minutes. With this two-way ability, I believe the sky is the limit for Eason, and he could potentially turn into a HUGE HUGE piece to the Rockets team. Even with his great potential, I have trouble making a comparison for Eason. With that said, I think a couple of years of development could lead Eason to being a player of Pascal Siakam’s caliber. It’s not a perfect comp, but I am VERY high on what Tari Eason can become.
Career Comp: Pascal Siakam
Dyson Daniels – New Orleans Pelicans
Daniels grades out as an ELITE defender already, paving the way for a ton of All-Defensive teams in his future. I am a big believer in role players providing plus defense, and that is what Daniels brings and more. His offense isn’t great right now, but if he can add to his off-the-dribble creating abilities and spot up shooting, then Daniels is a PERFECT starter next to Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson. Right now, I see Daniels on a similar path to Matisse Thybulle as a defensive dynamo, but Daniels has a much higher ceiling than Thybulle in regard to his offensive potential.
Career Comp: Better offensive output Matisse Thybulle
Andrew Nembhard – Indiana Pacers
The future is bright for Nembhard as a backup point guard in Indiana. He has everything you’re looking for in a bench floor general – shooting, playmaking, solid defense, etc. And when you have Tyrese Haliburton running the show, your backup point doesn’t need to do much. That’s why I see a lot of Tyus Jones in Nembhard. Not the sexiest player, but a guy that can be a fixture for the Pacers bench unit for years to come.
Career Comp: Tyus Jones