Nets Preview: Fratello on Rookies to Watch

10/23/2012 10:58 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Mike Fratello says Anthony Davis' experience with Team USA will help him immensely.(AP)
The Nets’ announce team agrees on many things – and at least in the case of Coach Mike Fratello and play-by-play man Ian Eagle, rookie development is one of them.

“A lot of it comes down to rosters and the opportunity they’re given,” Fratello said about rookies and their impact, echoing Eagle’s thoughts from his own reveal of first-year players to watch. “A good player drafted high to a bad team normally has a better chance of showing what he can do than a guy who is drafted to a veteran team; sure, it may be great to be drafted to Oklahoma City or Miami, but how much of a chance will those guys have to show their stuff? They may be a role guy if they’re really good and slide in to replace somebody in a few years, but so much of the opportunity comes from being thrown into it immediately.”

That said, in another moment of synchronicity, Coach Fratello gave us his three rookies to watch – all of which were also spotlighted by Ian Eagle among his fab five freshmen.

No. 1: Anthony Davis, New Orleans
“Everybody’s anxious to see Davis and how he performs at the NBA level. He was just at a different level than the other collegiate players, and his experience with USA Basketball has had to help him, in terms of understanding what it takes for greatness. He seems to be a different cat; he operates to his own beat, and he just seems to have a maturity that separates him from a lot of young players.”

No. 2: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte
“Kidd-Gilchrist has a chance to come into a franchise that has had a terrible run here over the last couple years, and because of his competitive spirit, he can really help the coaching staff and the team understand how hard they have to work. The impact he has may not be measured in terms of points and rebounds, that type of thing, but it may be measured differently in the locker room and on the practice court. That’s why in my mind it was such a good draft pick, and a very valuable one.”

No. 3: Dion Waiters, Cleveland
“I just got a chance to see Waiters play against a visiting Italian pro team…he’s got a chance to be a great scorer.”

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