When rookies enter the league, the amount of criticism these players receive is insane, most rookies get bashed before they even step foot onto an NBA court.
Now, I’m a firm believer in rookies because however you look at it these young guys are the future of this league and I believe that Rookies are becoming more dominant than previous years.
When new faces enter the league it shows a different edge to the game of basketball when these young guys have to prove their worth in the league. I get pumped to see the rooks play every year, because they play for more than just the paycheck. It’s a very rare thing to see in the league nowadays, but i look forward to it every season.
Some say the hype is what’s making these players seem good, but what I see is guys striving to make their teams better in every aspect of the game. Now, a lot of you think scoring the basketball is the most effective, but there are different ways to impact a game. Look at Lonzo Ball. He is a pass first guard with a run and gun mentality. Everyone thought he was going to be this huge star right out of the gate because of all the hype from his father, but people forget he played college ball for one of the weakest conferences in the NCAA with the PAC 10. Now, I’m not degrading his resume, but if he wasn’t this hyped up, he would be looked at in a different light. Instead he’s looked at as a bust and i strongly disagree. This is what the media does to rookies.
When it comes to versatility we have to think of Jayson Tatum. One of the most NBA ready rookies to come into the league. Now, if you’ve been following my writing you would read my early article about me predicting Tatum as rookie of the year. Most said he wouldn’t see the floor at all due to Gordon Hayward, but when the first game tipped off Tatum was in the starting lineup with Hayward. Tatum’s 6’8 frame is scary and he can get any look he wants whether it’s attacking the basket or shooting from the perimeter.
Another rookie who is making a name for himself is Donovan Mitchell. The dude is a problem and i might even go as far as saying that he’s picking up Gordon Hayward’s slack when he departed. Even though, he needs to work on some aspects of his game like defense, it doesn’t shy away from the fact that Mitchell can straight out score the basketball. At 21 years old he’s been approached by some of the top stars in the league, mentoring him along the way. He will be an all star one day, but look to see him among the top rookies for ROTY.
I have to put Kyle Kuzma in this conversation because of his build and his ability to attack the rim with ease. His 6’9 220 lb frame creates problems on both ends of the court. Mind you he is putting up a healthy 16 points a game alongside Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Brook Lopez. Needless to say the Lakers are loaded with tons of young talent and the fact that Kuzma is able to thrive within Luke Walton’s system is the reason why he is a dominant rookie.
Other rookies to look out for:
Dennis Smith Jr
Frank Mason III
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