Rookie Predictions is the foundation of the NBA Rookie Project. All basketball enthusiasts are opinionated but we like to support our predictions and explain our reasoning. There are times when intuition may play a role, but we strive to base our analysis on scouting, statistics, and also emphasize a player's situation.
We believe that the immediate and future success of players is heavily impacted by the style of play they are in, the coach's confidence in them, the amount of opportunities they will receive, their environment, and many other factors that are often overlooked during the evaluations of a rookie's future.
The purpose is to predict how these players will perform in their rookie seasons and throughout the rest of their careers; therefore, we will not edit our original predictions. Obviously situations change from the time of our analysis due to free agency, trades, coaching changes, etc. so we do note any events that may significantly affect the players' career.
We'll be right and we'll be wrong. Projections are a lot of fun because everyone has different opinions on each player and it creates a lot of interesting discussions.
Explanation of Career Levels
Each rookie's prediction includes the Career Level Title that the NBA Rookie Project believes will define each player's basketball career once their playing days are over. The title isn't based off of immediate success, but rather the complete summary when their career is over so it will be hard to get an accurate read on the prediction until 3-5 years (at the earliest) into their professional career.
D-League All-Star: a term some of us here at NBA Rookie Project have coined for collegiate players not suited for the NBA but tend to fill the stat sheet and dominate in the NBDL.
Overseas: we believe these players will be out of the NBA once their initial rookie contracts expire and then they will play professional basketball overseas.
Bench Warmer: these players possess a valuable trait that will keep them on NBA rosters, but they won't play every game or get more than about 8 minutes per game.
Role Player: this is the most general category. Role players consistently get playing time and contribute on a nightly basis with around 10-20 mpg.
6th Man: a player that could probably start on a number of teams around the league, but instead is a key player coming off of the bench receiving 25+ mpg.
Starter: it's self explanatory. The player will be a starter for most of their careers before being relegated to a lesser role as they grow old.
All-Star: a player that excels as a starter and earns recognition as one of the best players at their position during a season.
Superstar: the rarest category. NBA Rookie Project defines a Superstar as being a player able to sustain a top 5 ranking at their position and earning all-star appearances for years at a time.