Top 2013-14 NBA Rookies Heading Into the All-Star Break
Just like the 2013 NFL rookie class, the 2013-14 NBA rookie class suffers from an apparent lack of big-name talent. This is magnified as the anticipation builds for a strong group of rookies on the horizon. Already being hailed as the top NBA draft since 2003, the 2014 NBA Draft is shaping up to include a powerhouse group of players, including Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Marcus Smart, Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid, Dante Exum, Aaron Gordon, and many others. While the upcoming rookie class might get more attention, the current group of rookies presents quite a few appealing players for collectors to pursue in the meantime.
Now at the midway point in the NBA season, the top performing players, and those with noticeable NBA potential, are beginning to separate themselves from the pack. The following list includes the top players from the 2013-14 NBA rookie crop. Are there any other rookies from the 2013 NBA Draft that you are collecting? Mention them in the comments below.
Top 2013-14 NBA Rookies
Shop for individual players on eBay by following the links.
2013 Draft: 11th Overall
The top rookie card favorite at this point, Michael Carter-Williams came into the league on day one, ready to play. The lanky point guard dropped 26 points, 10 assists and nine steals in a win against the Miami Heat and has looked strong most of the year. He currently leads all rookies in points, rebounds, assists and steals per game. The only thing to keep an eye on is his recurring battle with injuries.
2013 Draft: 2nd Overall
Arguably the most-hyped rookie heading into the season, Victor Oladipo has not disappointed and his cards are among the most popular in the league. He even went head-to-head with MCW in a game on December 3rd, and both players recorded a triple-double in the double overtime game, the first time this has happened in NBA history. While Carter-Williams is the favorite for Rookie of the Year, if he regresses or sustains a serious injury, Oladipo will waiting in the wings to pounce.
2013 Draft: 9th Overall
A big name from his NCAA Tournament play, Trey Burke struggled in the NBA summer league and suffered a finger injury just before the season started. This delay kept his card values in check. He finally made his debut about a month into the season and has shown considerable progress. Burke could easily leapfrog Oladipo in the eyes of collectors, by the end of the year.
2013 Draft: 15th Overall
With a name like Giannis Antetokounmpo, it is no surprise that fans quickly embraced his nickname, "The Greek Freak." If you want to know how to properly say his name, let Antetokounmpo be your guide. In reality, Giannis Antetokounmpo was supposed to be a guy to watch in the future. He is incredibly raw and was not expected to get many minutes. Well, the Milwaukee Bucks are bad. Really bad. And although his play has not been inconsistent, Antetokounmpo has shown enough that he could be the top player in this draft class in a few years.
2013 Draft: 6th Overall
Widely considered the first overall pick for much of the 2012-13 college year, Nerlens Noel slipped to New Orleans because of an ACL tear, and was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jrue Holiday. Video has surfaced of him practicing and he is working back to his former self, but it is still unknown when he will start playing or if he will see the court this year.
2013 Draft: 24th Overall
When you share a name and genetic material with a five-time NBA All-Star, people are going to take notice. Much bigger than his father, Tim Hardaway Jr. has multiple qualities that contribute to his cardboard success. The family name recognition, big-market team, and college success with Michigan, combine to boost his rookie card stock. Although he is coming off the bench for the Knicks, he his making the most of his minutes and looks to be a steal based on his draft spot. While most of the top players are on bad teams, Hardaway is one of the only rookies that appears to have a good shot at a meaningful role in the playoffs. A big playoff performance is a very easy way to see a considerable Hobby bump.
2013 Draft: 7th Overall
Arguably the best overall athlete from the class, Ben McLemore has not had the immediate success that many expected. Part of this is due to McLemore not adapting as quickly to the league and part of that is more limited minutes than other top names on the list. Collectors will be forced to remain patient with McLemore and hope he continues to build his game and add to his minutes.
2013 Draft: 10th Overall
Another player with an injury to start the year, C.J. McCollum broke a bone in his foot before the season began. McCollum was expected to offer early production and looked strong in the summer league before the injury. Now healthy and back with the team, he has struggled to find consistent minutes and it might be some time before collectors can get a good idea of what he can offer longterm.
2013 Draft: 1st Overall
Although he is not a true number one talent, Anthony Bennett is finally showing some ability and confidence. His career started off very poorly, making only one field goal in his first six games, and playing in 31 games before recording a double-digit point total. He followed that by recording four double-digit point totals in eight games. As the number one overall pick, Bennett will receive increased criticism, but will still remain a well-known name to collectors.
2013 Draft: 12th Overall
Most teams that are as good as the OKC Thunder don't get a lottery draft pick. But due to the trade that sent James Harden to Houston, Oklahoma City ended up with the Toronto Raptor's draft pick. They made good use of this fortunate circumstance, and grabbed Steven Adams, a big man from New Zealand. He is still trying to work his way into the rotation, but collectors have shown interest in the seven-footer.
Other Notable 2013-14 NBA Rookies
While they may not fall in the top ten, the following players are still notable for being high draft picks, collecting sleepers, or fan favorites.
2013 Draft: 3rd Overall
2013 Draft: 4th Overall
2013 Draft: 5th Overall
2013 Draft: 8th Overall
2013 Draft: 13th Overall
2013 Draft: 17th Overall
Former Team: Phantoms Braunscheig (Germany)
2013 Draft: 18th Overall
2013 Draft - 20th Overall
College: New Mexico
2013 Draft: 22nd Overall
2013 Draft: 29th Overall
2013 Draft: 38th Overall (2nd Round)
College: South Dakota State
2013 Draft: 48th Overall (2nd Round)
2013-14 Panini Prizm Gorgeui Dieng RC
SOLOMON HILL 2013-14 PANINI CERTIFIED RC #228
JAMAAL FRANKLIN 2013-14 PANINI CERTIFIED RC #214
KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL POPE 2013-14 PANINI CERTIFIED RC #243