NBA general managers nailed the top of the draft last year, taking the entire All-Rookie first team off the board in five picks. Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley, Luka Doncic, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Trae Young were all highly regarded, but it’s rare that the first five selections are instantly the best five players.
This year’s draft is considered weaker, which makes it harder to predict. That only adds to the fun of speculating about who will wind up on the 2020 All-Rookie team.
There’s a lot left to happen this offseason, but there are a few things we know about this year’s draft class that we didn’t know a few days ago.
For example, we know the Anthony Davis era is over in New Orleans and the Zion Williamson era is about to begin. Unlike many top picks, Williamson will be surrounded by a strong supporting cast thanks to the generous return the Pelicans extracted from the Lakers. He won’t have to be dominant right away, but the spotlight will be on him and his natural talent should shine through. He’s the early favorite for Rookie of the Year.
Ja Morant should get the keys to the Memphis offense right from the start now that Mike Conley is on his way to Utah. It will take a while to reach Conley’s level, but Morant’s athleticism and highlight-reel dunks should make the Grizzlies a must-see team on League Pass.
R.J. Barrett may be considered a consolation prize in New York after the No. 1 pick slipped away, but his love for the city and his sweet shooting touch should win over Knicks fans. It’s easy to envision him topping all first-year players in scoring.
Darius Garland seems to duplicate a lot of the talents of Collin Sexton, the Cavaliers’ top pick last year, but the team is excited about the shooting threat he brings. Cleveland may not be ready to win, but Garland and Sexton will be a treat to watch in the open court.
Those are the top five picks, but are they all destined for the All-Rookie team? Are there better players taken later in the lottery or even later in the draft? We want to get your input on next season’s top rookies. Please leave your responses in the space below.