Rookie Watch: Best of 19

Look out below: Pistons rookie Andre Drummond is just scratching the surface of his huge potential. Rick Osentoski/US Presswire

When evaluating players, there are dozens of variables to consider. But the one that tends to be forgotten the most by fans -- yet treasured strongly by NBA executives -- is the player's age.

Teams consider age for two main reasons: (1) It helps explain the player's success in college, and (2) it shows how long the player has to make big jumps in production. The top targets are always young players who are big producers. After that, teams value young players who are solid but have the physical/skill trajectory of a much better player -- their youth provides them with more time to develop.