Possible NBA Rookie of the Year Candidates
With the NBA season a little over two months away, it is never too early to talk about who will possibly be the rookie of the year. The NBA Draft took place back in June and the NBA Summer League took place back in July. This 2018 NBA Draft class could be one of the best ever, but only one player will walk away with the Rookie of the Year Award in 2019. Which of those players could it be?
The first player that comes to mind is center DeAndre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns. He is a dominant force and he could change the culture of this Phoenix Suns team moving forward. DeAndre Ayton was the number one overall pick in the NBA Draft for a reason. He is going to be a headache down and Ayton is a monster on the glass. He is a very good rim protector, but DeAndre Ayton has a tendency of being lazy at times and he will need to break that habit in the NBA. Ayton averaged 20.1 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 1.6 APG, 1.9 BPG, and 0.6 in his freshman season at the University of Arizona.
The second player that comes to mind is forward Marvin Bagley of the Sacramento Kings. Bagley needs to work on his defense, but he will be an offensive machine and Marvin Bagley is also a monster on the glass. Sacramento has been bad for the past decade and they hope Bagley can get them heading in the right direction. He averaged 21 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 1.5 APG, 0.9 BPG, and 0.8 SPG in his freshman season at Duke University.
The third player that comes to guard Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks. He was in consideration for the number one pick, but Phoenix and Sacramento passed up on him. The Dallas Mavericks traded up from the number five to the number three pick to select him. Dirk Nowitzki was one of the reasons why Dallas made this move. Doncic is going to be a star in this league for the next decade. He has great vision and Luka Doncic can also score the basketball. He will be paired up in the backcourt nicely with Dennis Smith Jr. Luka Doncic averaged 14.5 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.6 APG, 0.4 BPG, and 1.1 SPG last season in the EuroLeague with Liga ACB.
The fourth player that comes to mind is center Mohamed Bamba of the Orlando Magic. Bamba has a monster wing span and he could win a couple of defensive of player of the year awards to come in the near future. His defense alone will help his cause to win the Rookie of the Year Award. If Bamba finishes at the rim at a high level, he will have a very good chance to win it. Mohamed Bamba would have been a top five pick any other year, but he was taken sixth overall by the Orland Magic. Bamba averaged 12.9 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 0.5 APG, 3.7 BPG, and 0.8 SPG during his freshman season at the University of Texas.
The fifth player that comes to mind is guard Collin Sexton of the Cleveland Cavaliers. With Lebron James now gone, it is possible that Sexton could be the man in Cleveland, despite signing Kevin Love to a four-year contract extension. Collin Sexton could be the energizer bunny that attracts other free agents in the near future. He has a killer instinct in him and he is a very good defender. Sexton was one of the reasons why the Alabama Crimson Tide won a game in the NCAA Tournament last season and they almost won a game late when they played 5-on-3. Collin Sexton averaged 19.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.6 APG, 0.1 BPG, and 0.8 SPG last season during his freshman season at the University of Alabama.
The sixth player that comes to mind is forward Kevin Knox of the New York Knicks. Knox might be the Knicks go two player if Kristaps Porzingis is out for a lengthy period of time this upcoming season. Kevin Knox is a knock down shooter and he is good defensively. Knox was a safe pick for New York at number nine. He could be a star one day for them and Kevin Knox might be able to surprise some people right away in the NBA. He averaged 15.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.4 APG, 0.2 BPG, and 0.8 SPG during his freshman season at the University of Kentucky.
The seventh player that comes to mind is Lonnie Walker IV of the San Antonio Spurs. Walker IV was very athletic in college and he and Dejounte Murray is the backcourt of the future for this franchise. Lonnie Walker IV will need to make a mark in this league right away anyways because the Spurs traded away Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors for Jakob Poeltl and DeMar DeRozan. Lonnie Walker IV will most likely be coming off the bench to the start the season and it wouldn't surprise me to see him be a starter at some point during his rookie season. He averaged 11.5 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.9 APG, 0.5 BPG, and 0.9 SPG during his freshman season at the University of Miami (FL).
The eighth player that comes to mind is Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks. A lot of people like Young because is flashy and exciting, but he is going to take a beating in the NBA during his rookie season. Young has a chance to be Rookie of the Year because he will be getting a lot of minutes and a lot of opportunities to make a name for himself. I don't like his game. Trae Young doesn't make his teammates better and he forces shots. That is a recipe for disaster in the NBA. The Atlanta Hawks swapped picks with the Dallas Mavericks and selected Trae Young because of it. He averaged 27.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 8.7 APG, 0.3 BPG, and 1.7 SPG in his freshman season at the University of Oklahoma.
If I were a betting man, I would pick either DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley, Luka Doncic, or Collin Sexton.
This article was originally published on @gk18