NBA: An Early Look at Potential Rookie of the Year Candidates
The 2019-2020 NBA season is just around the corner. Training camps and preseason play will begin within the next month or less. The 2019 NBA Draft was also very deep and there is the potential to have a few All-Stars within this group in the long run. Who is some potential NBA Rookie of the Year candidates?
The first player that comes to mind is forward Zion Williamson from Duke University. He was the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans. They will be on TV a lot this season because of him. Williamson is a highlight reel waiting to happen every night. He is strong and physical. Zion Williamson is also a very underrated passer and he is going to shoot the three-ball more often than you think at the next level.
The second player that comes to mind is point guard Ja Morant from Murray State. He was the second overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzles. Morant was a highlight reel in college. His game is a lot similar to Russell Westbrook, but Ja Morant will be a much better shooter.
The third players that comes to mind is forward R.J. Barrett from Duke University. He is a natural scorer and a very good defensive player on the wing. Barrett is already loved in the New York area. It will be interesting to see what happens if he struggles early. R.J. Barrett was the best player they got in the offseason because they struck out in free agency.
The fourth player that comes to mind is forward De’Andre Hunter from the University of Virginia. Hunter is a player that could stretch the floor. He is also solid on the defensive end of the floor. De’Andre Hunter was one of the reasons why Virginia won the National Title last season in college basketball. He was the fourth overall pick in the NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks and it was originally owned by the Los Angeles Lakers and then it was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans and then they traded that pick to Atlanta.
The fifth player that comes to mind is guard Darius Garland from Vanderbilt University. It was interesting when the Cleveland Cavaliers took him with the fifth overall pick in the NBA Draft. Garland didn’t play many games last season because of a knee injury. He is a natural scorer of the basket and his supposed upside is point guard Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers.
The sixth player that comes to mind is shooting guard Jarrett Culver from Texas Tech University. His mental toughness was on another level in college. Nothing seemed to rattle him no matter what the score or the circumstances were. Culver was originally drafted by the Phoenix Suns with the sixth overall pick in the NBA Draft, but he was then traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves and I thought it was a monster mistake.
The seventh player that comes to mind is shooting guard Tyler Herro from the University of Kentucky. Herro is going to be the scorer that the Miami Heat desperately need this season. He was taken with the 13th overall pick in the NBA Draft. Miami also improved the roster in the offseason by acquiring Jimmy Butler in a sign-and-trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. Tyler Herro could be turning heads like as a rookie. He could be like Devin Booker. Booker is now an All-Star caliber player with the Phoenix Suns.
The eighth player that comes to mind is power forward Brandon Clarke from Gonzaga University. He was drafted 21st overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder and then Clarke was traded to the Memphis Grizzles. Memphis is building a nice core the future with him, Ja Morant, and Jaren Jackson Jr. Brandon Clarke was a shot-blocking beast in college and it will transition into the NBA. He also has some offensive style to his game as well. Clarke could be a player that turns heads across the league during his rookie season
Some other names that could potentially make noise during their rookie season: F/G Cam Reddish (ATL), F Rui Hachimura (WSH), F P.J. Washington (CHA), F Nasir Little (POR), G Romeo Langford (BOS), G Carsen Edwards (BOS), C Bol Bol (DEN), G Ty Jerome (PHX), F Dylan Windler (CLE), F Keldon Johnson (SAS), G Jordan Poole (GSW), G Kyle Guy (SAC), C Nicolas Claxton (BKN), C Jaxson Hayes (NO), and F Eric Paschall (GSW).
Who do you see as a possible Rookie of the Year candidate? Leave a comment below.
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