In the first installment of a new series I’m starting, I will be analyzing the career and current status or players who received all-rookie 1st team positions in their first years. I will start it off with the 2010-11 all-rookie first team, featuring Demarcus Cousins, Landry Fields, Blake Griffin (ROTY), Gary Neal and John Wall.
Boogie’s career has been a disappointment overall, given his talent and ability to dominate games. He averaged 14 ppg and 8.5 rpg as a rookie for the Kings, and steadily improved from there. By the time he was traded in 2016, he was averaging 27 and 11, and was a 4-time all star. However, he had never made a playoff appearance, and did not end up playing a playoff game until 2019 with Golden State. His achilles injury with the Pelicans started to derail his career, as he has not stayed healthy or played nearly as well since that injury. Cousins may find it difficult to find spots on rosters for the rest of his career, as it may not be worth his risk when he is no longer a star player.
This is an interesting one to say the least. Fields averaged 9.4 ppg and 6.4 rpg as a rookie for a young Knicks team in the 2010-11 season, and started every game. Of course, this does seem like a promising start, but this wound up being by far his best season. He was traded to Toronto after 2 seasons with the Knicks, and never had a season of 5 ppg or more with the Raptors. After only 5 seasons, Fields was out of the league, and was forced to play in Europe. He has not been able to make it back to the NBA since, proving to be essentially a one-season wonder as a rookie.
Griffin was electric when he came into the NBA. In his rookie year, he averaged 22.5 ppg and 12 rpg, and was a deserving rookie of the year. His dunks made highlight reels for years and years, and he was a huge part of the success of the Lob City Clippers of the early to mid 2010s. He has been dominant whenever healthy throughout his career, but knee injuries, beginning in college, have limited him. He was traded to the Pistons in 2018, and actually made an all star game the following season, averaging 24.5 and 7.5 for Detroit. Amid more injuries this past season, Blake’s career is certainly in question. It is sad to see, as he was always entertaining to watch when healthy.
This has got to be the most surprising and interesting choice of the bunch. Gary Neal was a 26 year old rookie, who had been playing internationally. He was a consistent scorer and shooter, averaging 20 ppg in Spain in his last season in Europe. For the Spurs, he averaged 10 ppg as a rookie, and shot the ball well for them for a few seasons. After 3 solid seasons, he began to bounce around the league a ton, as a role player and shooter. He played for the Bucks, Hornets, Timberwolves, Wizards and Hawks after the Spurs, and never averaged more than 12 ppg. However, with his unique journey to the NBA, Neal has to be considered a pretty decent pickup for the Spurs, and was certainly serviceable until he left the league in 2017.
Wall came onto the scene as a star in his rookie season, putting up 16 and 8 as clearly the most talented player on the Wizards. He took off in the next few seasons, eventually making his first all star game in 2013. He made 5 consecutive all star games from 2013-2018, and along with Bradley Beal, kept the Wizards very relevant during that span. He has had a few great playoff moments, including a game winner to force a game 7 against Boston. Like a few players in this list, injuries have been an issue recently, with Wall not playing at all this past season. However, with career highs of 23 ppg and 11 apg, it is likely that when healthy, Wall will be dominant once again.