Head of the class
Nobody should pretend that this year's rookie class isn't underwhelming. It is, but that's no reason to go the other way and pretend that it isn't boasting a strong series of contributors and a few potential All-Stars. Even the much-maligned Renaldo Balkman, drafted by New York in the first round after being pegged as a possible second-rounder at best, is changing the entire timbre of every game he plays with his all-out hustle and smart offensive cuts.
So, it would seem as good a time as any (with the league's general managers sitting on their hands over the trade deadline) to take a look at this year's rookie class. To make things easier, and make up for the disparate roles each of these rookies play, we've taken to normalizing most statistics to a per-40-minute mark, though only when noted.
(All statistics and records through Feb. 22 -- the Day the Trade Deadline Died.)