Poll: 2019/20 NBA Rookie Of The Year

Promising young rookies enter the NBA every season, but few come with the sort of fanfare that Zion Williamson has. The Duke forward is the kind of prospect who comes along once every few years, following in the footsteps of former No. 1 overall picks like LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Given the hype surrounding him – and the expectations facing him – it’s no surprise that Williamson will enter the 2019/20 season as the overwhelming favorite to win this year’s Rookie of the Year award. The 19-year-old is in position to put up numbers immediately on a Pelicans team that has playoff aspirations, with no veterans ahead of him on the depth chart at the power forward spot.

Williamson’s Rookie of the Year chances are buoyed by the fact that 2019’s draft class wasn’t considered particularly strong. While plenty of this year’s draftees should turn into successful pros, the ’19 class lacks the star power that other recent rookie classes have had. It would be a surprise if three NBA newcomers have the type of seasons that last year’s Rookie of the Year finalists – Luka Doncic, Trae Young, and Deandre Ayton – did.

Still, there are players who will push Williamson for Rookie of the Year honors. Sports betting site Bovada.lv lists the Pelicans’ forward as a -130 favorite (you’d have to risk $130 to win $100), with fellow top-three picks Ja Morant (+350; risk $100 to win $350) and RJ Barrett (+550) viewed as the primary challengers. Darius Garland (+1800) and Coby White (+1800) are among the players in the next tier of Rookie of the Year contenders, along with 2018 draftee Michael Porter Jr. (+1600).

With Mike Conley no longer a member of the Grizzlies, Morant should get a chance to take the reins and assume control of the rebuilding franchise right away, and while he may experience some growing pains, he’ll have the opportunity to have some big games. Developing Barrett will be a priority for the rebuilding Knicks too, despite the fact that the team invested heavily in veteran forwards in free agency.

Porter is an intriguing dark horse candidate — like past ROY winners Ben Simmons and Blake Griffin, he’ll have the advantage of having spent a year with an NBA team already, perhaps giving him a leg up on a competition. But it will be difficult for him to carve out a significant role on a deep, talented Nuggets roster. That shouldn’t be a problem for Garland, as the Cavaliers seem likely to jettison some of their veteran talent during the season to clear even more minutes for their youngsters.

Williamson may be the frontrunner, but he’ll have to produce and – perhaps more importantly – stay healthy in order to take home the hardware next spring. Davis, arguably the last No. 1 pick to enter the NBA with this sort of hype, took a year to develop into the impact player many were expecting out of Kentucky. Though he has a streak of six consecutive 20/10 seasons now, AD averaged a modest 13.5 PPG and 8.2 RPG in his rookie year in 2012/13, losing out to Damian Lillard in the Rookie of the Year vote.

What do you think? If you were placing a bet on the 2019/20 Rookie of the Year winner, would you pick Williamson or the field? Which player do you think will be the biggest threat to Zion in this year’s ROY race?

Vote in our poll, then head to the comment section below to share your thoughts!

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17 thoughts on “Poll: 2019/20 NBA Rookie Of The Year

  1. Tazza

    I do rate Zion as a player but I still struggle to see how he will be amazing in the NBA with the pelicans. At PF I don’t think he’s tall enough, nor does he stretch the floor that well and I don’t think he will play as hard as a Barkley or Wallace type of guy. He more similar to LeBron coming from college. Hes not a great shooter but he’s a great dunker and slasher, that’s why I think he’s better playing the 3 off a good shooter in the guards. Which is what he had at Duke with Barrett also.

    The pelicans roster has a bunch of guys with great potential but in reality they are going to suck from 3, they have a lot of guys that like to score in the paint and a lot of guys that’ll want touches. I can see Zion having a 15 7 and 3 season, with 1 block per game as well.

    But Morant gets to run the Griz this year he should be able to score 15+ and have close to 10 assists. Micheal Porter Jr might be able to have a really good year depending on his fitness and his role. I can see RJ Barrett scoring a lot of points and having a good amount of touches. As for a wildcard I’d say Jarrett Culver has a good opportunity. The Wolves will be closer to playoffs and if he can overtake Wiggins to start at SG which shouldn’t be hard he could be a major contributor to that team. He’s solid on D and has the ability to average about 13+ points

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      He’s the same height as Draymond, who often plays center for GS.

      • Tazza

        Draymond plays PF most the time, Draymond also is a grinder and loves contact and niggle. Zion prefers highlight plays like dunks. Draymond also on offence usually is at the top of the key creating and can hit open threes. Zion is more of a slasher and more like Bron than Draymond.
        Other than height these two are very different players. Ben Simmons is about the same height I don’t think Zion plays PG

  2. afsooner02

    Much like espn to the sec in football, the nba will proclaim Zion is the second coming of Jesus and he’s honestly won every award imaginable already before playing a second.

    In all fairness, I think Zion will win it anyways.

  3. IslandFlava

    Zion is the clear favorite, the only other guys with options will be MPJ & RJ.

  4. hiflew

    This just has the feeling of one of those years where the ROY comes from out of nowhere. Kind of like Brogdon in 2016-7. Maybe not as drastic a 2nd round guy, but I could see a late 1st round pick like Keldon Johnson or Kevin Porter getting off to a hot start and just riding the wave through the season.

    Zion will likely win on name alone, but I would bet on the field every single time in a case like this.

    • x%sure

      Rookies will be seeing load management from here on out, and teams will fuss over any injury issue. The top prospects may not get that much PT.

      • x%sure

        … But neither will any from a good draft that might get underrated because of reduced minutes given. Also I think GMs were not being forthright about the draft quality.

        Zion, Ja, NAW, Brandon Clark.

  5. harden-westbrook-mvps

    How bad will AD look if Zion has more success there than he did?

    • IslandFlava

      Not at all, as Pels have a much better team now than the 7 years he was there thanks to what they got for him, so you can’t compare. That is why comparing wins or team success to rate players is just too much flawed & frankly useless if you ask me.

      • hiflew

        You think Jrue Holiday and a few Laker underachievers is a much better team than prime DeMarcus Cousins, younger Holiday, and Davis? The year Boogie first got injured, the Pelicans were one of the best teams in the West.

  6. Simple Fan

    I voted for Another player but it is time to ZIONize.

    Pels, Champs, boilermakers & all need to come to this game, see the new star. Watch out for his geographical style player, or even better yet look out for his athleticism, virtue with the ball, or stylized way of playing.

    If I’m not being asked why don’t I believe in the new geographic of playing, then why? would I ever start saying that Zion Williamson is the problem? But, … other sharks there are *just going to* jump the water

  7. Tazza

    Morant for me will win it. He’s going to run the offence, and have a 17 and 8.5 kinda season. If your looking way down the draft for someone out of no where maybe Nassir Little can bounce back from a bad college year

  8. hiflew

    Michael Porter has played all of a half hour in the past two years combined. I get that the guy was good in the McDonald’s game and in high school, but let’s get realistic here. He has proven nothing against even college competition, let alone NBA competition.

    I could be completely wrong about him and he could end up as the best player of his generation. But players that are injured as much as him are more likely to end up as “what might have beens” than Michael Jordan.

    • Luke Adams

      The Zion vs. the field structure was less about phoning it in and more about trying to create a poll that has at least two close-to-equally compelling answers.

      Zion is such a significant ROY favorite that he would’ve easily been the No. 1 choice in a poll vs. 10-15 other individual rookies, which would’ve been a less interesting outcome to me. (shrug)

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