The Draft has finally concluded and we are looking at the brand new class of the NBA. With the shortened offseason the teams and new players have less time to get ready for the new season. This opens up the Rookie of the Year award wide open and we really don’t know what to expect. Here is an early preview of what I think we could see holding up this trophy.

LaMelo Ball, USA, #3 to Charlotte Hornets

This pick was fun to watch with the whole LaVar saying he is better than the MJ thing, but that is beside the point. LaMelo is a straight-up playmaker and is going to be fantastic in the NBA. He is one of the players that got a taste of pro-life before he went into the draft which should help him out. He can pass the ball well which should lead him to be able to fit very very well with his young teammates. I think this is LaMelo’s team to lose. There are good players around him, but he has the potential to be better. He will be able to pass very well and should he perfect his shooting he will no doubt be the Rookie of the Year.

Anthony Edwards, Georgia, #1 to Minnesota Timberwolves

Edwards is one of the more obvious front runners for this award. He has great length and can move really well which will cause problems for opposing defenses. The Timberwolves already have two big stars in Karl Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russel. So I don’t expect Edwards to beat them or come anywhere near trying to do so. I expect him to play his role which will get expanded over the year which is why he is number 2 on this list.

Obi Toppin, Dayton, #8 to New York Knicks

Like everyone has already said with this class, it is pretty open. There are a lot of potentially great players in this class, it is just up to the players to see who is going to work harder. This is one of those hard working players I see and that should lead him to be in the running for the award. He has great size and makes great plays all across the floor. He proved himself this year in the NCAA season and I think he could have gotten drafted even higher if we got to see some March Madness.

Onyeka Okongwu, USC, #6 to Atlanta Hawks

This is another player from Chino Hills which is a whole different story for another time. This guy has played well throughout his career and has put in the work to be on this early list. He is very mobile, has strong hands, and plays well on defense. This has gotten the Onyeka to the top of the draft boards and is something the Hawks need. They haven’t played defense very well and this will bring a big presence into the mix. The Hawks have developed their younger players well and this could be the biggest piece in taking them into a playoff spot. I think he will get minutes but my question is volume. How much are we going to see from this kid with so much talent already on this Hawks roster?

James Wiseman, Memphis, #2 to Golden State Warriors

James is one of the top pics on many boards, but I don’t see it being a very good fit. Steph and Klay should pick up a lot of the slack missed last year. Then all the players played so well thought the year last year. I just think it will be a lot harder for Wiseman to make a big push towards the Rookie of the Year. Maybe we see some surprises with his length and mobility, something to watch for this year.

James is one of the top pics on many boards, but I don’t see it being a very good fit. Steph and Klay should pick up a lot of the slack missed last year. Then all the players played so well thought the year last year. I just think it will be a lot harder for Wiseman to make a big push towards the Rookie of the Year. Maybe we see some surprises with his length and mobility, something to watch for this year.

Top picture by NBA.com

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