They will not have a chance to prove themselves with their new teams in training camp because training camp will likely not occur. And there is also the possibility that there will not be a season next year or, if there is one, it could be shortened.
While many rookies will go overseas or fall behind without the opportunity to practice with their new team, Boston Celtics first-round draft pick JaJuan Johnson has sought a proactive solution to preparing for his potential rookie campaign with his new team.
He will be trained by legendary trainer Tim Grover, the owner of Attack Athletics. If you have heard of him, it is most likely because he trained Michael Jordan, and no doubt helped make Michael the greatest.
He has also trained MJ's fellow Hall of Famers Scottie Pippen, Charles Barkley and Hakeem Olajuwon. Currently, he trains the first- and second-team All-NBA shooting guards, Kobe Bryantand Dwyane Wade.
It is no coincidence that all of these great players have sought out Grover; he is widely considered the best in the business and has helped each of these players' careers.
Can he help Johnson have a career close to all of these names? Obviously, we can't say for sure because Grover's track record, like anyone's, isn't perfect, but it is as good as anyone's. And most of the credit goes to these players for their legendary careers.
Nonetheless, Grover can help Johnson significantly in areas that he needs the most help in.
Above all, Johnson needs to put on weight, specifically muscle. His paper-thin 6'10", 220-pound frame isn't ideal for the NBA. That is where Grover comes in. Ever since he first sought out Michael Jordan 20 years ago promising to help Jordan put on muscle and weight to lessen the wear and tear on his body during the season and playoffs, he has specialized in this area.
It's no coincidence that soon after working with Grover, a stronger, bigger Jordan was able to defeat his physical Detroit Pistons "Bad Boy" foes for the first time in the playoffs and win his first NBA championship.
If Grover can do with Johnson what he did with Jordan, which I'm confident he can, the Celtics will be getting a huge upgrade on their draft pick because, at the moment, the biggest knock on Johnson is his skinny frame and lack of muscle.
With more weight and muscle, Johnson will be more equipped to bang bodies with other NBA big men, grab more rebounds and play better defense down low.
He has the talent, the athleticism, the height and the instincts to be a great NBA player. And he may have found the solution to his biggest weakness, which is his lack of weight and muscle, in Tim Grover.
While many rookies are lost during this lockout, Johnson is preparing for the NBA in the best way possible and working to fix his weaknesses. If his training goes as it should with Grover, then the Celtics will be getting a much better player than they bargained for on draft day.