2014-2015 Rookie of the Year Predictions
Doug McDermott (Bulls) – He’s a knock down shooter playing for a defensive minded coach. If his defense is up to par than he will earn time on the court. If he’s a starter he will put up good offensive numbers. He’s surrounded by a talented team so he will get open shots. Derrick Rose can still break down a defense; Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol are great passers. McDermott will hit a lot of three pointers.
Elfrid Payton (Magic) – He lacks a consistent jumper. Defense is his specialty. This award is usually won by guys who can put up big offensive numbers. As the starting point guard he will have a tough assignment every night. If the Magic can get out and run he should rack up some assists and some easy baskets. His defensive numbers should be some of the best for a rookie.
Julius Randle (Lakers) – If he was a starter he would have a good chance of winning this award. He will be backing up Carlos Boozer so his minutes might be limited. The Lakers have been injury prone the past few years so I expect him to find a way into the lineup. He should be a good rebounder that draws fouls with his effort.
Marcus Smart (Celtics) – Another defensive guard who does not have a consistent jumper. With Rondo out he will get the start. I expect the Celtics to move Rondo and that will give Smart more time in the starting lineup. He is more aggressive than Payton on the defensive end and should rack up some steals. The scoring will be up and down all year because of his shooting ability.
Andrew Wiggins (Timberwolves) – A great athlete who will put up highlight plays all year. Although he was the number 1 pick he won’t have a lot of pressure in Minnesota. His defense will be stellar and that will lead to easy baskets. Not polished on the offensive end so he will have games where he will struggle to score or create his own shot. He will get enough chances to put up big scoring numbers.
Jabari Parker (Bucks) – The most polished scorer among rookies. He should be the leading scorer for all rookies. He will take and make a lot of shots. Has the ability to create his own shot and draw fouls. The Bucks will run a lot of plays through him. Not a great passer so expect his numbers to be low. Struggled shooting the three in the preseason but expect him to continue to fire away during the season.
Nerlens Noel (76ers) – Will finally see time during the regular season after missing all of last year. He looked solid during the summer league and has battled an illness during the preseason. He will be very good defensively and on the boards. He’s not great on the offensive end but will find ways to score with energy and effort. He will be among the league leaders in blocked shots.
Winner: Jabari Parker
I think Parker will have the most opportunities to put up big scoring numbers. Wiggins and Noel will be close because they will have good defensive stat lines.