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ESPN.com has a new feature they're touting today in which David Thorpe from Scouts Inc. rates the rookies in the NBA and gives a glimpse into his thoughts on their futures and development so far.

The Sixers' rooks, Jason Smith and Thad Young ranked numbers 13 and 17 respectively (they were drafted #20 and #12 respectively, so they're ranked higher than their cumulative draft places).

Here's what he had to say about each Sixers rook:

Jason Smith - PER 11.56
Too much is made of where a player went to college, as if only the high majors play a tough brand of basketball. Smith went to Colorado State, a team that never had much national success, but when he first caught the ball the other night against Houston at the high post, he went right at Yao Ming and finished a strong layup over him. No ACC player could have done any better.

Thaddeus Young - PER 16.57
] Young reminds me of a younger Josh Smith -- a wildly athletic and rangy forward with no real sense of how to play the game. Yet. His upside is considerable, but so is his downside. Being a student of the game should be priority No. 1 for Young.

Thorpe also highlights a few memorable plays made by rookies in the past week, here's one about Smith:

The best play I saw was when Jason Smith contested a 3-point shot in the corner opposite the Knicks' bench and then beat everyone down the floor to convert the fast-break pass into a sweet two-handed dunk. Yes, he made three plays -- contest, race and finish. That's how you earn rotation time.

All told, I can't say I disagree with his assessment, I'm a little higher on Thad than he is, but it's hard for me to tell if my Sixers' bias is tinting my view of him.
by Brian on Dec 12 2007
Tags: Basketball | Jason Smith | Sixers | Thaddeus Young |