Which Rookies Will Play In 2005-06?

Which 2005 drat pick will have the biggest impact as a rookie?
Which 2005 drat pick will have the biggest impact as a rookie?
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The Celtics came away from the 2005 NBA Draft one of the happiest teams in the league, especially considering their first round pick was mid-to-late. The good news for the Celtics draft picks is that they'll be tutored under a head coach that has shown no reluctance to throwing young players right into the fire. The bad news for first round pick Gerald Green and second round picks Ryan Gomes and Orien Greene is that they join a deep team with returning players at nearly every position.

In 2004-05, first round pick Tony Allen started 34 games for the Celtics, averaged 6.4 points, and parlayed his performance into an appearance in the Rookie Game at All-Star Weekend where he scored 17 points. Al Jefferson played consistent minutes all season and showed that he is one of the bright young players in the NBA (also scored 17 points in the Rookie Game). Jefferson also recorded a double-double in the Game 6 playoff win at Indiana. Delonte West, who struggled with injuries early, started some games near the end of the season and in the playoffs, becoming one of Doc Rivers most trusted ball handlers.

So there's no hiding the fact that rookies can play under Coach Rivers. Let's take a look at what each rookie can bring to the table in 2005-06 and what hurdles they have to climb to get off the pine and become a productive first year player:

Gerald GreenGerald Green
Selected: First Round (18th overall)
Credentials: McDonalds High School All-American...Averaged 33.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists his senior year in high school.
Competition: One of the biggest hurdles for Gerald will be competition. The Celtics are one of the deepest teams in the league at the wing positions. Four-time All-Star Paul Pierce mans one spot, while the other will be a dogfight between Ricky Davis, Tony Allen, Justin Reed, Gomes, Green, as well as Delonte West who is slotted to play point guard, but could also see some time on the wing.
His Prospects: Green may have the most talent and be the most athletic rookie in the NBA, but his inexperience could be what holds him back. When Green gets to training camp he'll already be one of the most explosive scorers on the team, but can Green learn the intricacies of the NBA game and pick up the defensive schemes? Those are all questions that only he can answer. If the answer is yes, then look out, he could be up to great things. If the answer is no, then he could be doing most of his learning in practice his first season.

Ryan GomesRyan Gomes
Selected: Second Round (50th overall)
Credentials: Led the Big East Conference in scoring his senior season...Selected First Team All-American as a junior...Finished at Providence as the school's all-time leading scorer.
Competition: Gomes versatility allows him to play both power forward and small forward. At power forward he'll have to battle Al Jefferson and Brian Scalabrine for minutes, while at small forward the competition will be Ricky Davis, Tony Allen, Justin Reed and Gerald Green.
His Prospects: In a month Gomes will enter camp as the most NBA ready of the Celtics rookies. He has the size and post game to take nearly any NBA small forward inside, while possessing the perimeter skills to take any power forward onto the wing. The biggest problem for Gomes may be the people that he'll have to fight for playing time. At both power forward and small forward are solid veterans and young players that have already proven worthy of quality playing time. Gomes will have to prove that his versatility and basketball IQ are too valuable to be left on the bench. If he does that, then Gomes definitely has the ability to be a very productive rookie.

Orien Greene
Credentials: Named Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a senior...Led the conference in steals...Was named to the Sun Belt Conference Second-Team.
Competition: At this point Greene's competition is Delonte West, Marcus Banks and Will Bynum at the point guard position.
His Prospects: Greene falls into a different category than Green and Gomes. The Celtics will enter camp in October with a bon-a-fide point guard battle on their hands, which means Greene may have the best opportunity to earn minutes as a rookie. He's an outstanding defensive player, and at 6-4 his size sets him apart from his competition.

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