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Question of the day: Which NBA rookie has been the biggest surprise of the season?

November 12, 2010 |  8:24 am


Writers from around Tribune Co. weigh in on the topic. Check back throughout the day for more responses and feel free to leave a comment of your own.

Ira Winderman, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

How much of an afterthought was Eric Bledsoe on draft night? The draft slot utilized to select the point guard out of Kentucky initially was dealt by the Heat to the Thunder. The Thunder, in turn, dealt Bledsoe's rights to the Clippers.

That positioned Bledsoe to be little more than a postscript to the selection process, locked into a future behind Baron Davis, effectively the Clippers' "other" rookie behind Blake Griffin.

Now? With Baron Davis pulling his all-too-familiar indifference act, Bledsoe sets up as Vinny Del Negro's wing man, if you will, a player who may have as much to do with the direction of the franchise as anyone on the roster this side of Griffin, the rare No. 18 pick who matters, and matters a lot.

[Updated at 11:43 a.m.

Baxter Holmes, Los Angeles Times

The Great Wall is greater than we thought.

A triple-double six games into his career? Leading the league in steals (3.2)? Ranked fourth in assists (10.4)? Sure, being drafted No. 1 overall necessitates heavy expectations.

But John Wall's transition into the basketball's most complex position seems as simple as his self-titled dance, which requires only a biceps flex and a rotation of the adjoining wrist.

Combine court vision and instincts with next-level athleticism, and you'll get a star, eventually.

Yet what Wall has done through just a few games -– make the Wizards(!) a threat on any night, throw himself into All-Star discussions, make Gilbert Arenas seem expendable -– is unheard of. 

And he's still learning, as his 5.4 turnovers per night suggests. Will he hit the so-called Rookie Wall? Probably. But right now he's setting the standard.]

Photo: The Clippers' Eric Bledsoe, right, guards New Orleans' Chris Paul. Credit: Patrick Semansky / Associated Press