Despite the fact that these players have only been a part of their respected teams for only a few weeks now, it’s never too early to discuss NBA Rookie of the Year candidates. This past year’s winner was a bit of a sleeper, but Michael Carter-Williams proved he is the real deal despite the fact being the 11th player overall selected in his draft class.
Jabari Parker, Milwaukee Bucks
Jabari Parker is the consensus favorite to collect the coveted Rookie of the Year award. He fell to a team that desperately needs him to be their leading scorer. Parker was arguably one of the most NBA ready players coming out of the draft despite leaving after his freshman season at Duke. Parker possess an NBA body and can score the ball at will. His game should translate smoothly to the NBA and should be a future All-Star for years to come.
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
I selected Embiid in this spot over Andrew Wiggins because I believe Embiid will be in a better position to make an impact for his team.
Wiggins will join a team full of players who love to have the ball in their hands, so his production may be limited his rookie campaign. Embiid, on the other hand, is also on a team that lacks star power. The Sixers will look for Embiid to play a big role on both sides of the court. Philadelphia would love to have two consecutive Rookie of the Year winners.
Doug McDermott, Chicago Bulls
Dougie Fresh is absolutely tearing up the Summer League. Even though the talent level he faces in the Summer League leaves a lot to be desired, he looks awfully impressive.
His skill set is what the Chicago Bulls severely need: a big, smart, shooter who can spread the floor and really open up the defense. The starting small forward position on the Bulls could be up for grabs as Jimmy Butler can play the two and really struggled with his shot late in the season.
If McDermott continues to ride his summer league momentum, he could find his way into the starting lineup and be a dark horse contender for the Rookie of the Year.
Julius Randle, L.A. Lakers
The Lakers seem to be the most disorganized team in the league. They remain the only team that doesn’t have a head coach and their roster is a long way from being complete. After Kobe Bryant, the Lakers next best players are Nick Young and Jeremy Lin. It’s safe to say depth is a serious issue.
Enter Julius Randle: a southpaw power forward that has an aggressive style of play and a steadily improving mid-range jumper. He his a ferocious rebounder and has the experience of playing for a national championship. If Randle answers the bell this year, he could step up and become the second best player on his team, (which isn’t as hard as it sounds). If the Lakers end up with a winning record in the ultra-competitive Western Conference, I suspect Julius Randle to be one of the reasons why.