If it were up to the rookie class of 2014, Jabari Parker of the Milwaukee Bucks would have been the number one pick of June’s NBA Draft – and it’s not even close. In a survey conducted by the league on Sunday at the Rookie Photo Shoot, Parker wasn’t just the overwhelming choice of first-year players to win Rookie of the Year, but also to have the best career among his peers.
At the annual Rookie Photo Shoot at the Knicks’ practice facility in Tarrytown, N.Y., on Sunday, 38 rookies answered eight questions about their class. And over those eight questions, 39 different first-year players received at least one vote. But it’s clear who they think is at the top of their class.
Jabari Parker received the most votes overall. His peers think he’s the pick to win the Kia NBA Rookie of the Year and also the best bet to have a great career. The rooks also told us what will be the biggest adjustment as they join the NBA and who their favorite player is.
Note that players were not allowed to vote for themselves, college teammates or NBA teammates.
A whopping 52.3 percent of rookies picked Parker to win Rookie of the Year. The Chicago Bulls’ Doug McDermott and Cleveland Cavaliers’ Andrew Wiggins tied for second-place by receiving 8.3 percent of votes.
The class of 2014 is similarly confident that Parker will emerge as its best player – 45.9 percent of rookies think Parker will have the best career among them. McDermott came in second again with 13.5 percent of the vote, the Phoenix Suns’ TJ Warren was third with 8.1 percent, and Wiggins and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Zach LaVine rounded out the top-five vote-getters in this category.
More tallies of note, no matter how unsurprising: LaVine and Wiggins are considered far and away the “most athletic” rookies in this class, gaining 56.6 percent and 30.3 percent of votes; McDermott’s strong showing was highlighted by being named the “best shooter”; and the Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid won the class clown award given to the “funniest rookie.”
It’s no shock that the rookies love the games of Parker, McDermott, and even Warren. Prolific scorers routinely fare best among surveys of NBA players, and the offensive games of this esteemed trio are a cut above their peers’. In further support of league bias to high-scoring players: The class of 2014 named Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant its favorite NBA stars.
Interestingly, Wiggins was the only player to appear in the top-five of multiple categories and finish as a vote-getter in six total distinctions. He received votes for “most overlooked,” “best defender,” and “best playmaker” in addition to Rookie of the Year, “best career,” and “most athletic.”
The rookies are clearly high on Wiggins’ all-around game, but obviously prefer Parker’s unmatched scoring ability on the whole. The heated debate surrounding them goes on. We can’t wait to watch it continue unfolding as the careers of Wiggins, Parker, and the rest are officially underway come October.
What do you think of the rookies’ choices?
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