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ESPN Insider David Thorpe has been keeping an eye on the entire rookie class all season. As a learning exercise, he suggests the rooks study some of the top veterans in the NBA. With that in mind, we asked some of the top rookies who they watch in the NBA. Here are their answers:
Trey Burke, Jazz
"Pretty much all of the top point guards. This is my first year in the NBA, so before I got here I studied Chris Paul, Tony Parker, some of the older guards that's been in the league that have experience. I studied them because they've been through what I'm going through right now: they've been through adversity, they've been able to overcome that. You see where their career is right now, and that's where I want to be someday. ...
"The Chris Pauls and Tony Parkers, those are smaller guards; they plan, they roam, they're not super athletic or explosive but they know how to play. They're crafty enough to get in the paint and make plays for their team."
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks
"I study a lot of players. I study players that I can play like them, I can be like them. For sure [Nic] Batum, Scottie Pippen, a lot of tall guards that can handle the ball and do a lot of things on the court. I just try to study them a little bit so that maybe one day I can be like them. ...
"Sometimes I look at film. I ask a lot of coaches about them, especially my coaches. When I play against them, I look at what they're doing -- if they're serious in warm-ups, all the little things like that."
Tim Hardaway Jr., Knicks
I watch a little bit of Reggie Miller here and there, a lot of guys that know how to control the break, and that's just what I try to focus in on."
C.J. McCollum, Blazers
"I watched a lot of guys who came in playing in a similar situation at the combo-guard position. They were guys who were just as good on and off the ball. Steph Curry, Dame Lillard, Eric Gordon, Jeremy Lin, those kind of guys."
Michael Carter-Williams, 76ers
"To be honest, I don't really watch too many other people. I'm watching a lot of clips of myself and my mistakes and how I can improve.
"Probably during the offseason I may watch some of the older guys and just try to pick what I can, pick from them. Just some old Jason Kidd clips, some Gary Payton clips, just try to emulate and take some stuff from there."
Victor Oladipo, Magic
"I study everybody because, No. 1, I play against them, so I pretty much study all the guards. I watch basketball because, one, I love to watch it but second of all it's my job. I just try my best to learn the little things and take some things and add it to my game as well."
Shane Larkin, Mavericks
"[The Mavs] have shown me a lot of J.J. Barea, actually, because of what he did here in 2011. He was one of the key pieces to the championship team. I've watched some Ty Lawson and Tony Parker, too. "
"I would say those are pretty good guys to play like. If I could get to the level of those players it would be good.
"There's no point watching Russell Westbrook playing unless I'm about to play against him. I'm not 6-4, extremely athletic and dunking on people whenever I want to. The guys who [the Mavs] picked are the ones who use their speed and quickness in the pick-and-roll to affect the game."
Steven Adams, Thunder
"It's been [Kendrick Perkins and Nick Collison]. I'm just watching the vets on my team. It's good for me because they're the ones who know what my role is on the team. They can help me fulfill my role as best as I can so I can make an impact on the team."
"I try to pick up little things that [my opponents] do to see if I can use them, but I always try to lean on my teammates. We're trying to make sure we all have good chemistry and stay in sync with each other."
Ben McLemore, Kings
"Pretty much the players that play my position, mainly those guys. My position's the hardest position in the league to guard. I try and study what I can do better defensively to guard them and what they do on the offensive end and just learn their game and try to perfect it.
"As the season's gone on, my game is getting better and I don't try and compare myself to anybody right now, because I'm still learning. I'm trying to build on that and I'm trying to learn the game."
Alex Len, Suns
"You learn a lot when you don't play. When I don't get minutes I'm trying to sit on the bench and watch other players, what they do, the little things. Sometimes in the field you can't see some stuff that you see from the bench.
"Tim Duncan has always been one of my favorite players. Playing against him was a great experience. When you watch film and then actually play against this guy, it's a different feeling."
Kelly Olynyk, Celtics
"I love watching Dirk and what he can do. He's a guy I've watched since I was really little. ... He's really skilled in a lot of facets of the game. He's a big-time player."
Quotes were gathered by ESPN.com writers Israel Gutierrez and Michael Wallace, ESPN Dallas contributor Bryan Gutierrez, and TrueHoop Network bloggers Jovan Buha, James Ham, Andy Larsen, Andrew McNeill, Brian Robb and Kyle Weidie.