20. Jose Calderon, Dallas Mavericks: Calderon proved he could be a great complimentary lead guard in his only season with the Mavericks. He doesn’t look for his own offense very often, but is a knockdown three-point shooter when he gets the rock out of the double-team.
On the season, he averaged 11.4 points on 44.9 percent shooting from beyond the arc, 2.4 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 81 games.
19. Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves: Rubio still can’t shoot it (38.1 percent from the floor, including 33.1 percent from deep) very well, but he is an excellent facilitator who has ultra quick hands on the defensive end. In fact, he led the NBA in total steals in ’13-14, according to Basketball-reference.com.
On the season, he averaged 9.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 8.6 assists and 2.3 steals in 82 appearances.
18. Brandon Knight, Milwaukee Bucks: in his first season with the Bucks, Knight proved he can be a dynamic scorer when he gets into the paint. Along with his improved scoring clip, he also improved his passing and rebounding totals, while running the show for the under-achieving Milwaukee squad.
On the season, he averaged 17.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.9 assists and one steal in 66 appearances.
17. Brandon Jennings, Detroit Pistons: after four seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks, Jennings moved to the Pistons in ’13-14 and came away with his biggest assist total of his career (609 total). He still settles for bad shots on a regular basis and that reflects in his shooting percentages (37.3 percent from the field), but can put points on the board when he gets hot.
On the season, he averaged 15.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, 7.6 assists and 1.3 steals in 80 games.
16. Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia 76ers: it’s very difficult to step in as a rookie and run the show in the NBA, but when you have a roster as thin as any other team in the league, it makes it even tougher. Those were the obstacles that Carter-Williams faced as a rookie with the 76ers, but he still proved he could produce in a significant way.
On the season, he averaged 16.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.9 steals in 70 games to earn Rookie of the Year honors.