Damian Lillard rookie of the year?
Anthony Davis looks like the concensus ROY, but from watching this kid in the preseason, I like his skillset. This kid can score, pass, has some explosiveness. He looks like he might be a future star in this league, just a hunch.
I'm not sure if he'll have even the 5th best career of this draft class, but I'd say he's the favourite to take out ROY. Davis isn't going to be a huge stats guy his first season, Williams will bring him along slowly and a healthy Gordon will take a lot of the pressure off. Barnes is surrounded by scorers so his numbers will dip, Drummond will be purely a defensive player in his early years, Robinson is on the Kings (enough said), MKG isn't going to put up the sufficient numbers, Beal won't be given a lot of responsibility on a deep team and Waiters will have his minutes controlled by Byron Scott.
Lillard might be on a team with good players around him, but as the starting point guard you know he'll have the ball in his hands, he's going to get his touches and shots, and he seems to be capable of putting up the numbers based on his SL performance.
I don't think he'll be a future star though, maybe a borderline All-Star level PG like Jennings and Ty Lawson, it's hard to see him standing out with the amazing crop of PGs we have in the NBA right now.
Dion will probably play the most minutes of any rookie playing SG and then playing PG when Kyrie is taking a breather.
Lillard is one of the rookies who will see more minutes and is likely to be a starter sooner rather than later. Talking of the Trailblazers, I noticed that Myers Leonard also had a good game in his first NBA start last night and could be in with a chance if getting a lot more minutes than other rookies drafted ahead of him or near to him. I would not class him as a ROY contender unless he had a real breakout year as he'd still be 5th scoring option on a Blazers starting 5.
I'd agree that Davis and Lillard would seem prime contenders, MKG will get starts but maybe won't get the stats the first two get and other high picks are on more experienced teams. The only other wildcard could be Jonas V at Toronto who looks a likely C starter and could get into the mix and put up good stats but Toronto have a deep frontcourt so he may not see as may minutes as say Myers Leonard could.
Is going to put up numbers. Not sure what his numbers will be, but his game is NBA ready. If he plays good on D his minutes will be there and I have no question on his O translating to the L.
PJIII has put up pretty solid numbers this preseason, but I don't think he'll get enough minutes in the regular season to put him in the running. In fact, I wouldn't be shocked if he got sent down to Tulsa to play more minutes as OKC is a fan of sending their young players to the D-League.
He's going to have to play more 3 to crack the Thunder's 10 man rotation and he's a true stretch 4 IMO. He may get a couple minutes at the 3, but that certainly isn't his strength as a rookie.
I think he'll put up about 5 ppg 2 rpg this season in the NBA and if he sees time in the D-League, he'll blow it up and look great. He really has shown some improvement since last April, but he still not a guy who can come in and drop a lot of points on a team that made the finals last year.
I think he will play more than Jackson did last year. Jackson was learning the PG and playing behind Fisher and Westbrook. PJ will get more minutes as the season goes on.
It's not crazy to think that Damian Lillard is the favorite.
Terry Stots will give him the keys right away and he'll have the ball a lot. And luckily for Lillard, he'll be playing the P&R with (who I consider) the best power forward in the NBA. When Lamarcus Aldridge is healthy, he's tough to stop and has a complete game offensively.
Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum and Aldridge... I just really like the way Lillard fits in with those guys.
I could see Lillard putting up similar numbers to Derrick Rose in his rookie season... Maybe a lower FG%, but higher 3PT%... Maybe a point or so less.
Lillard is in a position to have a good rookie season statisically as he would automatically be in the mix to be the Blazers 2nd option after LMA as both Batum and Matthews are more supporting/complimentary scorers. He will however be guarded closely as neither of Batum or Matthews would merit a double team so his coach will have to draw up plays for him to make the opening or create his own shot.
A lot will depend on Lillard's playmaking and decision making at the NBA level as he will have to decide what is the best option when he has the ball in his hand and make the percentage plays. He will still be on a learning curve but a lot of this could well be on court so we will soon get a very good handle on his ability.