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Magic's Oladipo among rookie favorites to stand out in 2013-14

POSTED: Aug 26, 2013 10:40 AM ET

By John Schuhmann

BY John Schuhmann


Anthony Bennett, Ben McLemore, Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller are among the rookie favorites.

There are a lot of duties that come with being an NBA rookie. You have to carry bags, buy donuts and sport a Barbie (or perhaps a Dora the Explorer) backpack.

Before you get to all that, you have the privilege of filling out the Rookie Survey in between shots at the annual Rookie Photo Shoot at the Knicks' practice facility. This year, 36 rookies were on hand to give us a preview of the new class.

This crop of rooks isn't coming into the league with much hype, but there are a couple of players who could make an impact right away. There are also a few that will get plenty of playing time with bad teams. Victor Oladipo is one of those, and he could be the star of the class -- both short-and long-term -- according to the players who know him best.

Note that players were not allowed to vote for themselves, college teammates or NBA teammates.

Who will be the 2013-14 Rookie of the Year?

cj mccollum
Fellow rookies think C.J. McCollum is destined to shine bright in Portland.

T-1st: C.J. McCollum, Portland & Victor Oladipo, Orlando -- 24.2 percent

3: Kelly Olynyk, Boston -- 18.2 percent

4: Trey Burke, Utah -- 12.1 percent

5: Ben McLemore, Sacramento -- 6.1 percent

Others receiving votes: Anthony Bennett, Cleveland; Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia; Ray McCallum, Sacramento; Nerlens Noel, Philadelphia; Otto Porter, Washington

Worth noting: McCollum is an interesting pick, given that he'll be sharing minutes and touches with reigning Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard. But it's clear from the total amount of votes he received on all the questions that his fellow rookies believe he's a player. That's good news for the Blazers, no matter what his role is.

Which rookie will have the best career?

T-1st: Victor Oladipo, Orlando & Kelly Olynyk, Boston -- 18.2 percent

NBA Rooks: Kelly Olynyk

3: C.J. McCollum, Portland -- 15.2 percent

4: Cody Zeller, Charlotte -- 9.1 percent

T-5: Anthony Bennett, Cleveland, Tim Hardaway, Jr., New York & Otto Porter, Washington -- 6.1 percent

Others receiving votes: Isaiah Canaan, Houston; Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia; Solomon Hill, Indiana; Ray McCallum, Sacramento; Ben McLemore, Sacramento; Mason Plumlee, Brooklyn; Peyton Siva, Detroit

Worth noting: The top four picks picked up 39 percent of the vote. The No. 5 pick? Alex Len (Phoenix) didn't receive a single vote for any question in the survey.

Which rookie is being most overlooked?

T-1st: Ricky Ledo, Dallas, Erik Murphy, Chicago, Nerlens Noel, Philadelphia & Kelly Olynyk, Boston -- 8.6 percent

T-5th: Isaiah Canaan, Houston, Allen Crabbe, Portland, Jamaal Franklin, Memphis, Solomon Hill, Indiana, Peyton Siva, Detroit & Tony Snell, Chicago -- 5.7 percent

Others receiving votes: Steven Adams, Oklahoma City; Reggie Bullock, L.A. Clippers; Trey Burke, Utah; Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Detroit; James Ennis, Miami; Ray McCallum, Sacramento; C.J. McCollum, Portland; Tony Mitchell, Detroit; Mike Muscala, Atlanta; Otto Porter, Washington; Glen Rice Jr., Washington

Worth noting: As usual, this question got a ton of different responses. And just like last year, we had a four-way tie at three votes apiece. This year's list of 21 vote-getters includes seven of the 14 lottery picks and two guys -- Ennis and Muscala -- who will be playing overseas.

Which rookie is the most athletic?

1: Tony Mitchell, Detroit -- 47.2 percent

2: Victor Oladipo, Orlando -- 16.7 percent

3: Ben McLemore, Sacramento -- 13.9 percent

T-4th: Shane Larkin, Dallas & Nerlens Noel, Philadelphia -- 5.6 percent

Others receiving votes: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Detroit; Jamaal Franklin, Memphis; Archie Goodwin, Phoenix; Peyton Siva, Detroit

Worth noting: Voters may have been influenced by Mitchell's performance in an impromptu dunk contest about midway through the photo shoot.

Which rookie is the best shooter?

Ben McLemore: Day in the Life

1. Ben McLemore, Sacramento -- 19.4 percent

2. Reggie Bullock, L.A. Clippers -- 16.7 percent

T-3rd: C.J. McCollum, Portland & Tony Snell, Chicago -- 13.9 percent

5: Tim Hardaway Jr., New York -- 11.1 percent

T-6th: Allen Crabbe, Portland & Erik Murphy, Chicago -- 5.6 percent

Others receiving votes: Trey Burke, Utah; Grant Jerrett, Oklahoma City; Ryan Kelly, L.A. Lakers; Jeff Withey, New Orleans; Nate Wolters, Milwaukee

Worth noting: McLemore may have won this category by more if he didn't shoot a brutal 7-for-36 (19 percent) from 3-point range at the Las Vegas Summer League.

Which rookie is the best defender?

GameTime: Victor Oladipo

1: Victor Oladipo, Orlando -- 62.9 percent

T-2nd: Solomon Hill, Indiana, Nerlens Noel, Philadelphia & Peyton Siva -- 5.7 percent

Others receiving votes: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Detroit; Archie Goodwin, Phoenix; Grant Jerrett, Oklahoma City; Ricky Ledo, Dallas; Ben McLemore, Sacramento; Andre Roberson, Oklahoma City; Jeff Withey, New Orleans

Worth noting: Oladipo was easily the most overwhelming winner in any category and the Magic could obviously use any help they can get, having ranked 25th in defensive efficiency last season. Siva didn't win any category, but earns this year's "Mr. Versatility" award for receiving votes on six of the first eight questions. Not bad for a second round pick who almost didn't have a roster spot.

Which rookie is the best playmaker?

1: Trey Burke, Utah -- 47.1 percent

Burke's Summer League

2: Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia -- 17.6 percent

T-3rd: Isaiah Canaan, Houston, Shane Larkin, Dallas, C.J. McCollum, Portland & Peyton Siva, Detroit -- 5.9 percent

Others receiving votes: Ricky Ledo, Dallas; Ray McCallum, Sacramento; Victor Oladipo, Orlando; Glen Rice Jr., Washington

Worth noting: Carter-Williams is more of a true point guard, having averaged 74 assists per 100 field goal attempts for Syracuse last year. But Burke (46 per 100) certainly knows how to get his own shot.

Which rookie is the funniest?

1: Ricky Ledo, Dallas -- 31.4 percent

Rookie Photo Shoot Bloopers

2: Steven Adams, Oklahoma City -- 20.0 percent

T-3rd: Isaiah Canaan, Houston & Glen Rice, Jr., Washington -- 11.4 percent

T-5th: Jamaal Franklin, Memphis, Tim Hardaway, Jr., New York & Tony Mitchell, Detroit -- 5.7 percent

Others receiving votes: Ray McCallum, Sacramento; Nerlens Noel, Philadelphia; Peyton Siva, Detroit

Worth noting: Ledo should hope to avoid the fate of last year's funniest rookie, Fab Melo, who played a total of 36 minutes for the Celtics last season and was traded this month, with cash, for a guy (Donte Greene) on a non-guaranteed deal.

What will be the biggest adjustment for you, playing in the NBA?

1: Size and strength of opponents -- 30.6 percent

All-Access: Rookie Transition Program

2: Speed or pace of the game -- 20.8 percent

3: Length of season -- 18.1 percent

4: Travel -- 12.5 percent

5: Reduced playing time -- 6.9 percent

6: Learning a new system -- 5.6 percent

7: Lifestyle -- 4.2 percent

8: Longer 3-point distance -- 1.4 percent

Worth noting: A lot of guys put two answers for this question. And after the Rookie Transition Program, they'll at least know what they're getting into.

Who is your favorite player in the league?

1: Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers -- 21.2 percent

All-Access Rookie Photoshoot

2: LeBron James, Miami -- 15.2 percent

T-3rd: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City & Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas -- 12.1 percent

T-5th: Kevin Garnett, Brooklyn & Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers -- 9.1 percent

Others receiving votes: Carmelo Anthony, New York; Vince Carter, Dallas; Tim Duncan, San Antonio; James Harden, Houston; Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio; Steve Nash, L.A. Lakers; Dwyane Wade, Miami

Worth noting: LeBron won his second straight championship, but couldn't retain his spot as the rookies' favorite player. As Kobe nears the end of his career, he still gets love from the kids.

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for You can e-mail him here and follow him on Twitter.

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