NBA Rookie Of The Year Candidates
It always seems like the top overall selection ends up becoming the early favorite for the Rookie of the year award. That pattern continues this year, but there are a few other notable young names to keep an eye on throughout the season. Here we are going to take a look at four of the most realistic players to win the award by the time this season is all wrapped up. Let’s kick this off with the top pick in this draft.
Cade Cunningham entered the NBA Draft with the most hype out of anybody else in this class. He stands at six foot, seven inches tall and yet he plays the point guard position. He has displayed incredible ball handling skills and in the few games he played in the Summer League he showed that he can easily play off the ball also. Cade knocks down jumpshots with ease while also being able to attack the basket. There are some concerns regarding his passing ability but that should come with some more practice at such a high usage rate. Cunningham is going to be the main star over in Detroit, and should have wonderful stat lines to bolster his case.
Many were surprised when the Toronto Raptors chose not to select Jalen Suggs with the fourth overall pick. He didn’t end up slipping too far though, as the Orlando Magic nabbed him one pick later. In the Summer League, Suggs had a number of highlight plays and already looked like the leader of this organization. He never shies away from the big moment and has leadership skills that you would expect out of a ten year veteran. He may not have the scoring stats that Cunningham could produce with his high usage rate but Suggs could help lead his team to the most wins. After all, team success is a large part of these awards and the Magic seem close to turning it around with all of their young talent.
The young shooting guard out of the G-League, Jalen Green is ready to fill the void that James Harden left behind on the Houston Rockets. Green has long been praised for his scoring ability. He can get it done anywhere on the floor and has seemingly endless moves with the ball in his hands. That scoring hasn’t been in Houston the last year with Harden being traded to the Brooklyn Nets. The Rockets aren’t going to win many games this season so team success might be out of the equation already, but Green may be able to overcome that with his stats. If he could come out of the gates as a 20 plus point per game scorer then voters will certainly see his impact.
We’ve talked about team success already but this is a category that Davion Mitchell could dominate. The rest of these rookies are on rebuilding teams that could win around 20-30 games tops but Mitchell finds himself on the Sacramento Kings. He is going to be alongside both De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Halibutron in the backcourt, where he can play off the ball and show the league how dominant he can be defensively. If you take a look at Mitchell’s track record in terms of winning throughout his early life, he always seems to get the job done. He won the NCAA Championship with the Baylor Bears and led the Kings Summer League team to a championship. While he isn’t as offensively talented as Cunnigham or Green, his intensity and defensive abilities could help turn this team into a winner. Anytime a rookie can change the course of a franchise they are well in the race for the Rookie of the Year award.