Only a handful of rookies manage to make a significant impact every season during their first year,
mainly due to the pressure that they face from the media and the hype around them. The expectations
build up as people try to project their role in their teams as future prospects.
The 2015 draft has brought us some interesting names. One of them is Frank Kaminsky, the 10th overall
pick drafted by the Hornets. Luckily for him the pressure that everybody puts on him to succeed is
moderate mainly because he is expected to be the best sixth man in the team, which would be a nice
jump start to become one of the more useful players in the NBA.
Its strange why the Hornets would pass on the opportunity to get higher long-term ceilings, considering
Kaminsky is 22 and without much athleticism or strength, but nevertheless he is able to make an
immediate difference as he can stretch the floor and knock down threes (the best 3P% in the team:
66.7%), so all in all Kaminsky is very likely to succeed to the best of his capacity.
The 4th overall pick, Kristaps Porzingis, one of the more interesting draft picks of Latvian nationality, was
drafted by the Knicks. The pressure on Porzingis is high because much will be expected of him
considering Phil Jackson passed on the opportunity to get a more proven option, for example, Willie
However, Porzingis already has plenty of chances to make use of the minutes given to him because the
Knicks dont have much standout options for PF. At the moment he has 11.8 PPG and 8.3 REB, but a very
low FG% of just 35.7. Predicting whether this player is going to succeed is a tough call indeed, but
everything looks promising.
His fellow rookie colleague Jerian Grant has a more clear likelihood of succeeding in the Knicks team
considering the little pressure that he gets as the 19th pick. He can assume a significant rookie role
considering the Knicks desperate need of a playmaker, and Grant could be one of the keys in the teams
return to the playoffs. Even if he doesnt succeed, he will not be judged of anything that Porzingis would
The biggest pressure is probably put over DAngelo Russell, the second overall pick selected by the
Lakers, which surprised everybody considering they could have picked Okafor. One of the biggest
pressure generators for Russell are the expectations for him to step up and assume a leading role in a
team where Bryant is at the end of his pro career and very prone to injuries. Most of all, everybody
expects of Russell to help the Lakers return into the playoffs.
The biggest danger for his psyche is probably being outplayed by Jordan Clarkson, a 2014 second round
pick, which is already happening considering Clarkson is the PPG leader in the team, while Russell is just
sixth with 8.5 PPG. If Russell continues so in the next season, the predictions for him will be very grim.