SECAUCUS, NJ, Dec. 12, 2007 -- It's never too early to start thinking about the 2008 All-Star Game in New Orleans.

The ballot is out, so you can add voting daily to your morning routine, right in between brushing your teeth and combing your hair.

First timers have been considered, so you can read what I wrote and tell me why I'm an idiot for leaving so-and-so off the list (even though I based that article purely on stats as of the day it was published).

Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk participants have been discussed, so you can start thinking about who will receive more 10s than a cashier at the $9.99 Store.

A Rookie Rankings reader, DocMan in Los Angeles, already had All-Star on the mind when he e-mailed me last week:

Why not rank the top rookie dunkers and try to get the best one into the All-Star Slam Dunk Contest? Same with 3-point shooters, etc...

You know what, DocMan? Why not?

Line of the Week
Kevin Durant (SEA)
12.7 vs. MIL
35 points, 8 reb, 5 blk
9-20 FG, 15-16 FT Video
We'll save the, "Who will make the team for the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge?" column for a date closer to February and focus on All-Star Saturday Night. Let's look at the top three rookie candidates for the Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk, Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout and the Playstation Skills Challenge.

(Mike Hopkins, one of the assistant coaches at Syracuse University, used to always say "for the sake of the drill" to explain certain rules he wanted the players to adhere to during a drill in practice, i.e. "No shooting until there's been three passes ... for the sake of the drill." In the same spirit, no rookie will be eligible to be in the top three for more than one competition ... for the sake of the column.)

Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk
1. Jamario Moon - According to CBSSportsline.com's Dunk-O-Meter, Moon is fourth amongst all rookies with 15 dunks. Kevin Durant leads with 19, Al Horford is second with 18 and Sean Williams is third with 17. Trust me, Moon's were more impressive.
2. Sean Williams - Apparently Williams can jump from out of bounds and throw one down. That's enough to get him in by my book.
3. Nick Young - When there's a campaign out there for you to enter, there's a good chance there's a reason.

Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout
1. Juan Carlos Navarro - "La Bomba" leads all rookies with a .411 clip from three. He's a no-brainer.
2. Al Thornton - Thornton might be perceived as a slashing athlete, but he's shooting 8-for-20 (.400) from deep this year.
3. Marco Belinelli - He's just 5-for-18 for the season, but remember how hot his stroke was in the Las Vegas Summer League?

Playstation Skills Challenge
1. Kevin Durant - He does a little bit of everything, and does it well. How could I leave the top rookie out?
2. Daequan Cook - Cook could make it back-to-back champions for the Heat after Dwyane Wade won it last year.
3. Javaris Crittenton - He's quick, he's shifty and he's skilled. I could see him do well in this.

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  • Overall Rankings - Week 6

    1. Kevin Durant, G-F, Seattle
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    22
    33.8
    20.1
    4.4 1.9 0.9 1.3 .396 .319 .847
    Last Week: 1 | Drafted: 2
    The Sonics are 5-17, but 1-11 against the West. If an Eastern Conference team ended up with the No. 2 pick, how much better of a year would Durant be having?

    2. Al Horford, F-C, Atlanta
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    21 31.8 8.8
    10.3
    1.1 0.9 1.1 .490 .000 .655
    Last Week: 3 | Drafted: 3
    Toronto fans won't be happy with Horford overtaking Jamario Moon for No. 2, especially after his flagrant foul on T.J. Ford on Tuesday. Seeing Horford play at Florida and now the pros, I sincerely doubt the foul was intentional. It was just a really big guy miscalculating a block on a really small guy in mid air. Big Al notched double-digit rebounds in three of his four games last week.

    3. Jamario Moon, F, Toronto
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    18 31.5 8.2 7.2 1.2
    0.9
    1.7 .430 .250 .650
    Last Week: 2 | Drafted: Undrafted
    Moon drops for the first time since breaking into the Rookie Rankings in Week 2, albeit only slightly. He has at least one block in 14 straight games.

    4. Yi Jianlian, F, Milwaukee
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    20 25.6 9.4 5.4 0.8 0.5 1.0 .425 .308 .759
    Last Week: 5 | Drafted: 6
    Yi set the bar high for himself with early-season lines of 16 points and eight rebounds against the Bulls and 19 and nine against the Rockets. Unfortunately, we haven't seen that player in a few weeks. The 7-footer is settling into the nightly nine and five range.

    5. Luis Scola, F-C, Houston
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    22
    19.5 6.8 5.0 1.0 0.6 0.2 .541 .000 .607
    Last Week: 6 | Drafted: 56 by San Antonio in 2002
    Scola has played five games in the month of December. In one game against Memphis, he had 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting in 17 minutes. In his four other games, he totaled 10 points on 4-for-11 shooting in 70 minutes. The Rockets next play the Grizzlies on December 28. You know Scola is looking forward to it.

    6. Juan Carlos Navarro, G, Memphis
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    21 22.0 10.0 1.8 2.0 0.7 0.0 .444
    .411
    0.870
    Last Week: 4 | Drafted: 40 by Washington in 2002
    Navarro had a tough week. His double-digit scoring streak was snapped as he went for just 12 points over three games. He also had more turnovers (six) than he had rebounds, assists, steals and blocks combined (three).

    7. Jeff Green, F, Seattle
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    22
    22.6 9.0 5.4 0.9 0.4 0.3 .438 .091 .706
    Last Week: 8 | Drafted: 5 by Boston
    Green and Durant combine to make the best rookie duo in how many years? Oh, wait, Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge were pretty damn good last season. Regardless, top rookie duos might have to be a column down the line.

    8. Daequan Cook, G, Miami
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    13 20.1 9.8 2.4 0.7 0.5 0.1 .459 .366
    .958
    Last Week: 9 | Drafted: 21 by Philadelphia
    Instant Offense pumped in 20 points on 9-for-11 shooting against the Trail Blazers and followed that up by scoring five points on 1-for-11 shooting over his next two games. Oh, rookies.

    9. Sean Williams, C, New Jersey
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    17 18.6 6.7 4.7 0.3 0.5
    1.7
    .557
    .000 .679
    Last Week: 7 | Drafted: 17
    Williams' playing time has been dwindling like Chris Kaman's hair. After only playing 18 minutes combined against the Knicks and Rockets, Williams got back-to-back DNPs against the Wizards and Clippers. One completely random, enjoyable fact about Williams as a side note: When he warms up a couple hours before tip-off, he wears his full uniform - game jersey, game shorts, game socks pulled up to his knees, game headband and game sneakers. No warm up pants, no t-shirt, no jacket, no dri-fit, he wears the real thing.

    10. Corey Brewer, F-G, Minnesota
    G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
    18 21.4 4.9 4.6 1.5 0.7 0.4 .324 .261 .652
    Last Week: The Next 10 | Drafted: 7
    Brewer burst back into the top 10 for the first time since Week 2 by grabbing 38 boards over three games last week, including 18 against the Hawks and the rookie rebound machine, Al Horford.
    RED = Rookie Leader (Must Qualify)

    The Next 10 (alphabetical order): Arron Afflalo (DET), Javaris Crittenton (LAL), Glen Davis (BOS), Jared Dudley (CHA), Spencer Hawes (SAC), Acie Law (ATL), Joakim Noah (CHI), Jason Smith (PHI), Al Thornton (LAC), Nick Young (WAS)


    Noteworthy

    Nichols

    Demetris Nichols (CHI) has only been in the NBA for about six months, but he's already on his third team. After starting with the Knicks and being waived, then being picked up by the Cavaliers and being waived, this time the Bulls waived rookie Thomas Gardner to make room for Nichols.
    Darryl Watkins (SAC) was waived to make room for the signing of Dahntay Jones.
    Against the Knicks, Thaddeus Young (PHI) got the most amount of playing time (19 minutes) he's had since scoring 14 points in 21 minutes on November 20 and matched his career high with 14 points.
    Glen Davis (BOS), coming off eight points and 12 rebounds against the Bulls, might see his role increase after starting center Kendrick Perkins had his toe attacked by his bed.
    Darius Washington (SAS) is tearing up the D-League, averaging 28.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists in four games for the Austin Toros.
    The HNPAMY (Have Not Played A Minute Yet) Club: Herbert Hill** (PHI), Brandon Wallace* (BOS), Greg Oden** (POR), Oleksiy Pecherov** (WAS), Rodney Stuckey** (DET), Ramon Sessions* (MIL), Marcin Gortat* (ORL), JamesOn Curry* (CHI), Adam Haluska** (NOH) and Kosta Perovic* (GSW)
    * = assigned to the D-League
    ** = injured

    Got beef with the rankings or have a comment or question for the Rookie Report? Send the Report an e-mail.