Top 7 NBA Rookie of the Year Candidates

7.   Jayson Tatum; Boston Celtics: Jayson Tatum was definitely my favorite player from the NBA Summer League. I loved his spot-on scoring ability and his great athleticism for his size. A major issue is that will cause him to almost definitely not win Rookie of the Year is that his teammates will demand the ball a lot as the Celtics are a championship contender. They already have an MVP candidate in Isaiah Thomas and added an All-Star in Gordon Hayward this offseason. If Taytum played on a team which did not have any other stars, he would have a very big chance at winning the Rookie of the Year.

6.   Josh Jackson; Phoenix Suns: Josh Jackson is a very skilled player who can be a future NBA All-Star. His one glaring weakness is his offensive game. In college, his free throw percentage was an atrocious 56.6%. If he can somehow work on his game and improve his offense, he will have the potential to become the best player in this draft class. For right now, because he will be sharing the ball with Devin Booker and Eric Bledsoe, his stats will most likely not be good enough to win the Rookie of the Year.

5.   De’Aaron Fox; Sacramento Kings: De’Aaron Fox is one of the most exciting players in this draft class. He is also the best defensive guard in the draft. One question

is if he will get the ball enough to actually put up Rookie of the Year numbers. I say this because the Kings signed George Hill, and he may not want to come off the bench behind a rookie after starting for one of the best Western Conference teams last season in the Utah Jazz. Also, like Josh Jackson, De’Aaron has a very questionable jumpshot. With a league run by the Golden State Warriors, led by three of the top 15 three-point shooters ever, you cannot have a point guard without a decent three-point shot.

4.   Markelle Fultz; Philadelphia 76ers: Markelle can definitely win the Rookie of the Year award but the only problem with his case is that he already has an All-Star level talent in Joel Embiid as well as a promising young player in Ben Simmons playing right beside him. He is very talented, but Ben Simmons seems more like a star than Markelle at this moment. If Markelle does put up nice numbers, the credit will probably go to Ben Simmons for sharing the ball with him. He will have to share the spotlight with Embiid and Simmons which will drop his numbers significantly just like Jayson Tatum.

3.   Ben Simmons; Philadelphia 76ers: It seems like for the second year in a row, the Sixers have two rookies with a legitimate chance at winning Rookie of the Year. Last

year, it was Dario Saric and Joel Embiid and this season it will be Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz. Even though Simmons apparently grew to 7’ tall last season when he couldn’t play because he was slowly recovering from a preseason injury. Simmons will play some minutes at point guard next season which can make him the tallest point guard in NBA history. He even got one year of NBA training while recovering last season. With all these special traits, giving Simmons the Rookie of the Year award is inevitable. His only problem is that once again, Simmons is put in the same situation as Markelle Fultz and Jayson Tatum. If he gets fantastic numbers, the credit will be given to his other teammates.

2.   Lonzo Ball; Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball definitely has a great case for winning Rookie of the Year. He has a storm of hype surrounding him and he has some great skills. I think the reason he won’t win Rookie of the Year is simply because the hype around him will cause many people to watch his games, and find the smallest of his flaws. When millions of people tune in to watch him during Lakers games, Lonzo’s flaws will glare out more than other players. Analytics may ruin his chance at winning this award even though his skillset is clearly there.  


1.   Dennis Smith Jr.; Dallas Mavericks: Dennis Smith Jr., in my opinion, will win

Rookie of the Year. After the Mavs snagged him at pick 9, people though he would pretty good. In the Summer League, though, he was amazing. He almost posterized a few people and showed-off his amazing athleticism. Smith will have an unbelievable amount of highlight plays next season. There are no ball-dominant players on the Mavs which can lead to Smith getting many touches, and therefore impressive stats. He may average around 20 points as well as 5 assists and 5 rebounds next season.  



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