Rookie Win Contribution Watch: Michael Beasley disappointing, Brook Lopez surprising
Last season I took all kinds of guff about my praise for Kevin Love of UCLA, and my hope that he would one day be a Milwaukee Buck. Now even Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has come around to the idea that Timberwolves C/PF Kevin Love will be a very productive NBA player. And, amongst this year's lottery class, that's saying a lot. Thus far he is amongst the very few 2008 lottery picks (and Greg Oden) who has made a positive impact on his team.
Remember, +0.000 represents the Win Contribution of the average NBA player. Anything above that represents a player's positive impact on his team's chances for victory, anything below represents a player's negative impact on his team's chances for victory.
By that standard, thus far Brook Lopez, center for the New Jersey Nets, is having the best start of all the lottery rookies, providing the Nets with an exceptional +0.632 Win Contribution. Kevin Love, whom I predicted would be a productive player rather than "Big Country" Reeves, is currently right on his heels at +0.545.
Jason Thompson and the injured Greg Oden have each made slightly positive Win Contributions, and the rest of the lottery ranges from average (OJ Mayo and Russell Westbrook), to well below average.
Michael Beasley, the pot smoker, has been a huge disappointment so far. He hasn't produced like his college numbers suggested, and he plays absolutely zero defense. If he doesn't get his act together, I will have to adjust some of my projection methods. I have an idea how to do it. I will return to the topic in the future and will explain.
In the next couple of days, I will cherry pick some other interesting rookies to see how they are fairing.