Southwest Rumors: Rookies, Mavs, Lopez, Duncan conducted a survey of 39 rookies, and to no one's surprise, Anthony Davis was the pick for Rookie of the Year, as's John Schuhmann writes. The No. 1 overall pick by the Hornets also topped the list of rookies who'll have the best career, but lost the best defensive honors to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist of the Bobcats. Perhaps most revelatory is the ranking of players who are most overlooked. Tony Wroten of the Grizzlies tied for first with Draymond Green of the WarriorsPerry Jones of the Thunder and Andrew Nicholson of the MagicEarl K. Sneed of takes a look at how Mavericks rookies fared in the survey, and we have plenty more from Dallas and the rest of the Southwest Division:

  • Jeff Caplan of wonders whether the Mavericks might shift their focus for next summer from pursuing marquee free agents to a plan that involves re-signing their own players and going after second-tier stars, a la Josh Smith.
  • Andy Kamenetzky of takes a stab at guessing the framework of the aborted MavsLakers deal from 2007 that would have brought Kobe Bryant to Dallas, which Mavs owner Mark Cuban made public earlier this weekJason TerryJosh Howard and Devin Harris seem the most likely players to have been headed to L.A. in that near-deal, Kamenetzky says.
  • We heard a little from Robin Lopez earlier, but the 7'0" center had more to say Thursday as he met with New Orleans media for the first time. He said he hopes to bring some intensity, fire and toughness to the Hornets, as Jim Eichenhofer of chronicles, and had high praise for Anthony Davis, saying, "From what I’ve seen, he looks like a great player, with great instincts, and he’s freakishly athletic. I’m especially looking forward to playing with him on the defensive end. I think we both can definitely make a strong impact there."
  • Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News notes that Tim Duncan's per-36-minute stats last season were remarkably similar to those from his rookie year, one possible reason the Spurs were willing to offer Duncan the three-year, $30MM deal he signed last month

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