Rookie of the Year honors normally go to players at or near the top of the draft board. In fact, four of the last seven winners were drafted No. 1 overall — Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin (although he sat out his first season with an injury), Kyrie Irving and last year’s winner, Andrew Wiggins.
This year’s No. 1 pick, center Karl-Anthony Towns, figures to see a lot of minutes as part of the young core in Minnesota. However, several other rookies are also in position to get a large share of playing time. The Lakers liked point guard D’Angelo Russell enough to take him No. 2 ahead of Jahlil Okafor. Russell could put up impressive numbers and plenty of flashy highlights in Los Angeles. And Okafor, who landed in Philadelphia, could lead the Sixers in scoring with his polished post game.
Beyond the top three selections, there are plenty of intriguing possibilities for this year’s award. The Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis will face a bright spotlight in New York. Overseas products Mario Hezonja and Emmanuel Mudiay will get to show their skills to American audiences. Rookie big men Willie Cauley-Stein and Frank Kaminsky should both be part of their teams’ rotations, as will small forwards Stanley Johnson and Justise Winslow. And there’s always the possibility that someone outside of the top 10 will surprise, much like Michael Carter-Williams did in 2013/14.
Today’s topic is: Who do you expect to be the Rookie of the Year for 2015/16 and why? Remember, the question isn’t just who is the most talented player from this year’s draft or which team made out the best considering its draft position. Taking into account the opportunity for playing time and the adjustment to the NBA game, who do you believe will take home the trophy next spring?
Note: Since these Shootarounds are meant to be guided by you the reader, we certainly welcome your input on the topics we present. If there is something you’d like to see pop up here for a discussion, send a message to [email protected] or hit up Eddie Scarito on Twitter at @EddieScarito to submit topics or ideas for what we should present in future posts.