5. Gilbert Arenas and Jason Richardson — 2001-2002 Golden State Warriors
Combined rookie stats: 25.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, 6.7 assists
Gilbert Arenas is perhaps best known for his tenure with the Washington Wizards and Jason Richardson may be best remembered as one of the most popular Golden State Warriors ever before Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant. Although the two parted ways fairly soon, the duo was one of the best we have seen from rookies this millennium.
Richardson was the high draft pick that was expected to lead the Warriors to greatness. Golden State selected Richardson with the fifth overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft. Arenas, on the other hand, was the first man picked in the second round of the same draft; although he was talented enough to go in the first round.
Arenas signed with the Washington Wizards following just two seasons with the Golden State Warriors but the time he did spend with Richardson was great. The two arguably were on pace to be the best backcourt in the NBA and showed that their rookie campaigns.
Richardson averaged 14.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists to be named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. Although Arenas was snubbed of any honors, he averaged 10.9 points 2.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists.
If Arenas did not struggle with injury and got more playing time the duo could have led the Warriors far past their worst record in the Western Conference. The following season Arenas won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award as he started all 82 games.