NBA Rookie of the Year 2019/20 – Preview and Prediction
As we sit here in the heat of the summer, we cross our the days on our calendar, which brings us closer and closer to the start of 74th NBA season, which promises to be even better, faster and most importantly even more exciting as any season before. Waiting to see how our favorite teams will perform in the upcoming season is something we can all be ecstatic for, however, all the spotlights, just like at the start of every other season will point towards the newcomers to the NBA league, the young future stars that will shape the future of the NBA for the years to come or simply the NBA rookies.
Speculating how the rookies will perform among the “big boys” and who out of the 60 will end up the season as the Rookie of the year seems to get harder every year, with seemingly more and more talented players entering the strongest basketball league in the world. While there is no denying all of 60 players belong among the world’s elite, there are usually only a handful who are considered to be the best and the favorites to earn ROTY reward. Without further ado let’s check out who are considered to be the most promising rookies that will enter the NBA in October and who do we believe will end up as the rookie of the year.
RJ Barrett; NY Knicks
If we were to talk about RJ Barrett last year, he would be a definite No.1 pick in the NBA draft. However, that changed after his season at Duke, where Barrett failed to keep up with Zion Williamson, who completely overshadowed the Canadian. Nonetheless, RJ Barrett still managed to produce incredible numbers, which deservingly got him to be among the top 3 NBA Draft picks this summer. He ended up joining Knicks, which will give RJ Barrett plenty of opportunities to contribute to the team right away, and considering his size and strength, I believe it won’t take long for RJ Barrett to find his rhythm and start performing on the highest level in the NBA. Efficiency might be an issue for him at the start, however, when we draw a line, I am confident saying RJ Barrett will have solid rookie numbers to his name by the end of the season.
Ja Morant; Memphis Grizzlies
If there is one word that describes Ja Morant it’s the desire to be the best. Boasting with incredible athleticism, which is arguably up to par with the NBA standards even now, Ja Morant is expected to play a crucial role in Memphis Grizzlies, who drafted the 19-year-old from South Carolina as the 2nd pick of the NBA Draft. Looking back at his season with Murray State., Ja Morant’s abilities when it comes to scoring were not easily matched, however, his capability to score baskets is not all Ja Morant can bring to the table. We can simply forget the fact that he leads the nation in assists as a college sophomore last season (10 APG). This, however, won’t be a huge asset to him or to Grizzlies this season, as the team does not have a lot of potent scorers. Nonetheless, Ja Morant will be given more than enough opportunities to show off his skills, as he is expected to lead Grizzlies offense in 2019/20 season.
Zion Williamson; New Orleans Pelicans
I don’t think anyone was surprised when Zion Williamson was announced as the no.1 pick in the NBA Draft. The undisputed favorite to win the ROTY and widely considered to be one of the best NBA prospects in decades, there are a lot of positives to say about Zion Williamson and his future in the NBA. One of the biggest issues rookies face when they enter their first season of the NBA is the fact that they are simply not built for the NBA game yet. Facing off against players that are twice as big and twice as strong was never going to give anyone an advantage. However, when it comes to Zion Williamson, a quick look at him and it becomes clear that he won’t have issues with the physicality of the NBA. Standing tall at 2.01m and 129kg, Zion Williamson is simply built to play on the highest level. In addition to that, the 2019 All-American and the NABC player of the year is also expected to have a lot of opportunities to show off his skills with the Pelicans who are known to play at a fast pace and be strong in defense, which is perfect for Zion Williamson to put up impressive numbers.
Putting three favorites side by side, I would not be confident picking anyone else besides Zion Williamson. His build, abilities and the fact that he will be put into a team that will allow him to blossom as a player makes me confident he is in the best possible spot to end the 2019/20 season as the rookie of the year. Looking at what all the rookies bring to the table, and how do their abilities stack up against each other, I believe that the only thing which could stop Zion Williamson from winning the ROTY is an injury, which is of course not out of the question, however, definitely not something we can count on to happen.
Prediction: Zion Williamson to win ROTY