One of the most unpredictable drafts in NBA history is in the books, and the speculation is underway. We at Dime are not immune from the guessing game that follows one of the most exciting nights of the year. This is the time for fans to feel optimistic, that they might have the next superstar on their hands. Even in a class that was seen as particularly weak, there’s still bound to be a few aces on the table. A lot of these guys might be seen as projects, buried on the depth charts until they’ve been marinated enough. But there are also the instant impact players, ones who are thrust into situations to help a team right away. They are the ones that hog all the attention from the media and could take home some hardware come spring.
Here are the most likely Rookie of the Year candidates…
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10. REGGIE BULLOCK, Clippers
Bullock enters a dream situation with the Clippers. He gets a star distributor in Chris Paul, an acclaimed coach in Doc Rivers, and not much competition at the SF spot. With Caron Butler floating around in trade rumors and Matt Barnes entering free agency, the former Tar Heel could end up with some solid minutes. He can shoot the lights out and defend the 2, 3 and even a smaller 4.
Of course, it will take some time for Bullock to crack the rotation, so he’ll be handicapped by lack of playing time at the beginning of the season. Once he sees the floor, though, I believe he could really garner some attention on a very good team. That L.A. spotlight won’t hurt his chances either.
9. SERGEY KARASEV, Cavaliers
The Russian guard was the Cavaliers second selection of the draft, but he could outshine the first overall pick if everything goes right. First, let’s hope that he decides to come play in Cleveland right away as expected. Then, he’ll need to crack a rotation spot at a spot where the Cavs aren’t too strong. Whether he tries to break in at the 2 or the 3, he doesn’t have too much in the way of competition.