What do the NBA Rookies Think about their Peers?
When it comes to this year’s NBA rookie crop, the only consensus is that there is no consensus.
The results of the league’s annual Rookie Survey were released on Tuesday, with a number of different answers emerging for various questions.
When asked to predict the 2018-19 Rookie of the Year, 18% of rookies said Phoenix’s DeAndre Ayton, while another 18% preferred Cleveland’s Collin Sexton. However, they were just 2 of the 15 different answers provided by those polled. Furthermore, the 18% received by the aforementioned rookies is the first time in the 10-year history of the Survey that the highest percentage for the category was less than 24%.
When asked which rookie will go on to have the best career, a similarly wide variety of answers were provided, which 18 different players receiving a vote. Chicago’s Wendell Carter led with 13%, the 5th consecutive year that a Duke product has received the most votes in the category.
Clearly, the rookie field is considered wide open. Another takeaway from the poll is that Atlanta’s Trae Young could be for real. The former Oklahoma star topped the “best shooter” and “best playmaker” categories, garnering 47 and 35% respectively.
Other leading vote-getters include Philadelphia’s Zhaire Smith as “most athletic,” Memphis’ Jevon Carter as “best defender” and Minnesota’s Keita Bates-Diop as “biggest steal at where he was selected in the draft.” Bates-Diop was drafted 48th.
The Survey also revealed that this year’s rookies consider the speed or pace of the game to be the biggest adjustment to playing in the NBA, while ball-handling and shooting were voted the skills that those polled most needed to develop.
LeBron James was voted favourite player for the 2nd consecutive season.