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Rookies you're most eager to see on the big stage come October?
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David Aldridge: The top 3-5, obviously, but I also want to see how Kevin Knox handles the spotlight in New York. A lot of guys older than Knox weren’t able to deal with the daily scrutiny and occasional ridiculousness that the New York media puts you through. Knox has talent, but like any human, he’s going to have times of struggle and frustration. Can he manage those times with aplomb? If he gets through this year I think the skies brighten considerably for his long-term success there.
Steve Aschburner: There are three in particular who intrigue me. First, the Knicks’ Kevin Knox, just to see if his play in Las Vegas and the tabloid hoopla over it transfers to the other city that never sleeps. Cleveland’s Collin Sexton gets to show if he’s as capable of stepping into his new team’s LeBron James vacuum as Kyrie Irving was in 2011. And of course, Dallas Luka Doncic, the Slovenian wonder boy, remains a blank slate who might or might not be ready for his close-up.
Tas Melas: Too many to name! Will Jaren Jackson Jr. be the best player in the draft? Can Collin Sexton make Cavs fans forget a little about LeBron? Does Wendell Carter Jr. steal a starting spot in Chicago? Will Luka Doncic maintain his “most ready player in the Draft” status? Will Shai Gilgeous-Alexander be this year’s Donovan Mitchell? Will Michael Porter Jr. play? Will this class be regarded as one of the best ever? Summer League has me drinking the 2018 Draft Kool-Aid.
Shaun Powell: My answer is Luka Doncic only because he's largely a mystery, having spent his young pro career in Europe and he also missed NBA summer league. Also, the Mavericks' draft-day trade with the Hawks, who took Trae Young, makes everyone wonder which team did the right thing. Even though the final verdict on that trade won't be known for years; remember, the Hawks also got a top-five protected first rounder.
1. Luka Doncic -- A 6-7 playmaker could be the next big thing.
2. Kevin Knox -- Showed signs of being a big, do-it-all wing (and an ideal complement to Kristaps Porzingis) at Summer League.<br />
3. Harry Giles -- The No. 20 pick in the 2017 Draft was once the No. 1 player in his class. He sat out all of last season, but had some moments at Summer League, with the potential to be a disruptive force on defense.
Sekou Smith: I know he doesn't count, but I'd include Markelle Fultz in the category of rookies I cannot wait to see on the big stage in October. As for the "real" rookies, how can anyone deny the intrigue that Luka Doncic brings to the party? If he's as good as his international profile at age 19 suggests, we're talking about a future Hall of Famer. Trae Young's rough start had me worried, but he came on as the summer season wore on and showed some serious NBA-level chops. I still want to see what it looks like when the big boys show up. Kevin Knox was easily the most surprising rookie for me during the summer season. I had no idea his game was as fluid as it appeared to be in Las Vegas. Like Knicks fans everywhere, I want to see if how he holds up under the brightest of lights.
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