The NBA won't officially announce its All-Rookie teams until late April at the earliest, but at least one writer has already voted on which players he'd like to see earn those honors. David Thorpe of ESPN Insider writes Tuesday that the NBA should name Maurice Harkless and Andrew Nicholson, the Orlando Magic's young forwards, to its All-Rookie Second Team.
Thorpe points toward Harkless' growth throughout the season as one reason for his deserving All-Rookie honors, and concludes that the St. John's product "has done well enough to allow Orlando's front office to look at other areas to address this offseason."
Nicholson, meanwhile, earns praise for his low-post scoring. "So Orlando knows as it fills out its roster going forward that it has a post option who can score in a variety of ways," Thorpe says, "which is a very challenging hole to fill typically."
Orlando obtained Harkless from the Philadelphia 76ers as part of the August 10th trade which sent Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers. He's posting modest numbers--8.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game--overall, but is up to 13.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.7 steals since the All-Star Break.
Nicholson, for his part, is averaging 7.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in 16.7 minutes per game. His 52.3 percent shooting leads the team.
The NBA's 30 head coaches vote for All-Rookie team honors; the media do not have a say in determining these awards. Coaches may not select their own players.