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Rookie Notes: Knight, Walker, Leonard

With Kyrie Irving's name all but officially engraved on the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy, let's take a look at some of the other rookies around the league who are making headlines as their first season winds down.

  • Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News says Pistons point guard Brandon Knight is ready to put in the necessary work this summer to make big strides as he enters his second season in the NBA. Knight has struggled against some of the more athletic teams in the league but has put up respectable numbers during what would have been his sophomore year at Kentucky. Through 63 games with the Pistons, Knight is averaging 12.8 PPG, 3.8 APG and 3.2 RPG.
  • While Bobcats point guard Kemba Walker has enjoyed some degree of success as a rookie, the franchise can't help but wonder how much further along the former UConn star would have been if the lockout hadn't impeded his development, writes Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. The three areas where the Bobcats would like to see Walker improve include pick-and-rolls, a higher shooting percentage and defense. With starting point guard D.J. Augustin set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season, the Bobcats would promote Walker to floor general if Augustin does not return.
  • USA Today's J. Michael Falgoust reports the Spurs are pleased with their draft-day decision to trade for Kawhi Leonard, who was selected 15th by the Pacers in the 2011 NBA draft. Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich went as far as to say that Leonard is a more talented version of former defensive stopper Bruce Bowen"Kawhi guards the toughest perimeter player on the other team. He's got great length. A great body. Has an inclination to do it. He enjoys the role. He's more gifted than Bruce, skillwise."

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