In an era in which most top prospects enter the NBA after spending just one year in college, there's only a limited relationship between playing well as a rookie and long-term success. After all, the 2010-11 All-Rookie First Team included Landry Fields and Gary Neal, but not Eric Bledsoe, Derrick Favors, Greg Monroe or Paul George.
As a result, most projections for draft picks wisely focus on production over several years rather than immediate results. But my WARP projections are built on translations that convert NCAA and international performance to its NBA equivalents, adjusted for a year of player development. Therefore, we can use them to project the players who will be most effective as rookies.
I've ranked players here based on the rookie version of the consensus projections that incorporate where a player was drafted along with their past performance, factoring in the opinions of NBA scouts. Players are ranked on their winning percentage, the per-minute version of my wins-above-replacement player stat akin to PER. Let's take a look at the top 10.
Towns ranks just sixth going purely on statistical translations, but his status as the No. 1 overall pick lifts him to the top of the list. That's reasonable, because even if he takes his lumps offensively while learning to play in the post, per Flip Saunders' plan for his development, Towns will be a useful rebounder and defender from day one.