Posted Sep 18 2010 11:22AM
With training camps set to open in a week, there's a new class of rookies ready to carry bags, buy donuts and make their mark on the NBA. You'll get to know this rookie class pretty well over the next seven months, but as a pre-camp preview, we're going to let the class tell you a little about itself.
At the annual Rookie Photo Shoot in August, NBA.com surveyed 40 rookies about the best in their group. Wizards point guard John Wall, the top pick in the Draft, is clearly at the top of the class, but he's not the only Kentucky guy, nor the only one with a chance to win Rookie of the Year.
Note that players were not allowed to vote for themselves, their NBA teammates or their college teammates. So, six of the 40 rookies were unable to vote for Wall (and they can blame the University of Florida class of 2007 for the rule), and the Clippers' Eric Bledsoe wasn't able to vote for any of the top three guys on the first question ...
Who will be the 2010-11 Rookie of the Year?
1. John Wall, Washington -- 38.5 percent
2. Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers -- 23.1 percent
3. DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento -- 12.8 percent
4. Wesley Johnson, Minnesota -- 7.7 percent
Others receiving votes: Eric Bledsoe (LAC), Jordan Crawford (ATL), Derrick Favors (NJN), Gordon Hayward (UTA), Jeremy Lin (GSW), Larry Sanders (MIL), Evan Turner (PHI)
Not only was Wall the No. 1 pick, but he'll also have the ball in his hands more than any other rookie. Griffin, the No. 1 pick in the 2009 Draft, has recovered from the knee injury that caused him to miss last season. (Because he missed all of last year, he's eligible for Rookie of the Year honors this season.) He can make an impact in L.A., but he'll be part of a balanced lineup. Cousins may have a better shot at challenging his Kentucky teammate.
Which rookie will have the best career?
1. John Wall, Washington -- 23.7 percent
2. DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento -- 13.2 percent
3. Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers -- 13.2 percent
4. Derrick Favors, New Jersey -- 10.5 percent
5. Evan Turner, Philadelphia -- 7.9 percent
6. Wesley Johnson, Minnesota -- 5.3 percent
Greg Monroe, Detroit -- 5.3 percent
Larry Sanders, Milwaukee -- 5.3 percent
Others receiving votes: Craig Brackins (NOH), Avery Bradley (BOS), Paul George (IND), Luke Harangody (BOS), Gordon Hayward (UTA), Damion James (NJN)
Griffin was the top vote-getter (20.6 percent) for this question last year.
Which rookie is being most overlooked?
1. Lance Stephenson, Indiana -- 17.9 percent
2. Luke Babbitt, Portland -- 10.3 percent
3. Devin Ebanks, L.A. Lakers -- 7.7 percent
4. Jeremy Lin, Golden State -- 6.4 percent
5. Craig Brackins, New Orleans -- 5.1 percent
Paul George, Indiana -- 5.1 percent
7. Jordan Crawford, Atlanta -- 3.8 percent
Others receiving votes: Cole Aldrich (OKC), Al-Farouq Aminu (LAC), Eric Bledsoe (LAC), Trevor Booker (WAS), Avery Bradley (BOS), Landry Fields (NYK), Tiny Gallon (MIL), Luke Harangody (BOS), Xavier Henry (MEM), Damion James (NJN), Dominique Jones (DAL), Gani Lawal (PHX), Larry Sanders (MIL), Evan Turner (PHI), Greivis Vazquez (MEM), Willie Warren (LAC), Eliot Williams (POR)
This question obviously generated the biggest variety of responses. Of the players who received more than one vote, George was selected highest, at No. 10 by the Pacers.
Which rookie is the most athletic?
1. Terrico White, Detroit -- 33.3 percent
2. Paul George, Indiana -- 16.7 percent
3. John Wall, Washington -- 11.1 percent
4. Wesley Johnson, Minnesota -- 8.3 percent
5. Avery Bradley, Boston -- 5.6 percent
Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers -- 5.6 percent
Eliot Williams, Portland -- 5.6 percent
Others receiving votes: Al-Farouq Aminu (LAC), Trevor Booker (WAS), Devin Ebanks (LAL), Quincy Pondexter (NOH), Stanley Robinson (ORL)
The responses here were pretty balanced, evidence that this is an athletic class. But White distinguished himself in an impromptu dunk contest after everyone had filled out the survey.
Which rookie is the best shooter?
1. Luke Babbitt, Portland -- 32.4 percent
2. Jordan Crawford, Atlanta -- 10.8 percent
Gordon Hayward, Utah -- 10.8 percent
4. James Anderson, San Antonio -- 8.1 percent
Andy Rautins, New York -- 8.1 percent
6. Lazar Hayward, Minnesota -- 5.4 percent
Xavier Henry, Memphis -- 5.4 percent
Others receiving votes: Craig Brackins (NOH), Avery Bradley (BOS), Da'Sean Butler (MIA), Paul George (IND), Wesley Johnson (MIN), Lance Stephenson (IND), Evan Turner (PHI)
More balance here. This class can evidently shoot pretty well, too.
Which rookie is the best defender?
1. Avery Bradley, Boston -- 41.7 percent
2. Hassan Whiteside, Sacramento -- 8.3 percent
3. Lazar Hayward, Minnesota -- 5.6 percent
Ekpe Udoh, Golden State -- 5.6 percent
Others receiving votes: Cole Aldrich (OKC), James Anderson (SAS), Eric Bledsoe (LAC), Trevor Booker (WAS), Jordan Crawford (ATL), Ed Davis (TOR), Devin Ebanks (LAL), Derrick Favors (NJN), Xavier Henry (MEM), Damion James (NJN), Gani Lawal (PHX), Quincy Pondexter (NOH), Lance Stephenson (IND), Terrico White (DET)
It seems right that Celtics are getting the player considered the best defender in the class. Relative to top guys for most of the other categories, Bradley dominated this question.
Which rookie is the best playmaker?
1. John Wall, Washington -- 67.6 percent
2. Eric Bledsoe, L.A. Clippers -- 5.4 percent
Jordan Crawford, Atlanta -- 5.4 percent
Evan Turner, Philadelphia -- 5.4 percent
Others receiving votes: James Anderson (SAS), Avery Bradley (BOS), Paul George (IND), Greg Monroe (DET), Ishmael Smith (HOU), Lance Stephenson (IND)
This was the most lopsided response. And if Trevor Booker, Wall or any of Wall's Kentucky teammates could have voted for him, it would have been even more lopsided.
Which rookie is the funniest?
1. DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento -- 44.7 percent
2. Tiny Gallon, Milwaukee -- 32.9 percent
3. Cole Aldrich, Oklahoma City -- 5.3 percent
Others receiving votes: Luke Babbitt (POR), Da'Sean Butler (MIA), Damion James (NJN), Patrick Patterson (HOU), Larry Sanders (MIL), Hassan Whiteside (SAC), Lance Stephenson (IND)
A two-man race. And the winner was the one guy that many members of the media just don't get.
What will be the biggest adjustment for you playing in the NBA?
1. Length of schedule -- 26.9 percent
2. Speed or style of play -- 24.4 percent
3. Lifestyle and time management -- 12.8 percent
Size and strength of opponents -- 12.8 percent
5. Amount of travel -- 5.1 percent
Decrease in role or playing time -- 5.1 percent
Preparation and conditioning -- 5.1 percent
Also receiving votes: Defense, Longer 3-point shot, Playing a new position
These guys are going from a 35-game schedule to an 82-game schedule. Yeah, that's a big adjustment.
Who is your favorite player in the league?
1. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers -- 38.2 percent
2. LeBron James, Miami -- 10.5 percent
3. Carmelo Anthony, Denver -- 7.9 percent
4. Kevin Garnett, Boston -- 5.3 percent
Dwyane Wade, Miami -- 5.3 percent
Others receiving votes: Renaldo Balkman (DEN), Kevin Durant (OKC), Monta Ellis (GSW), Pau Gasol (LAL), Dwight Howard (ORL), Joe Johnson (ATL), Steve Nash (PHX), Shaquille O'Neal (BOS), Chris Paul (NOH), Paul Pierce (BOS), Rajon Rondo (BOS), Brandon Roy (POR), Ramon Sessions (CLE), Amar'e Stoudemire (NYK)
Back-to-back titles mean more to the rookies than back-to-back MVPs.
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