By: David Kay
Welcome to a new weekly feature here at the The Sports Bank where we break down the top rookies in the NBA and who has the edge to win the Rookie of the Year Award. The draft class of 2009 was considered one of the weakest in recent years, but it looks like several newcomers will have a chance to contribute right away. Check back every Thursday for an update.
With number one overall pick Blake Griffin expected to be sidelined until mid-December, the Rookie of the Year race is officially wide open. The former Oklahoma Sooner was expected by most “experts” to run away with the award. Here are the first rankings, predicting how each newbie will perform in his first year in the assocation:
1. Tyreke Evans, Kings (4th overall)
’09-’10 Prediction: 17.5 ppg, 5 rpg, 6 apg, 2 spg
This is about the 1,263, 914th time I’ve said this; Evans is going to be an absolute stud. He is playing for one of the worst teams in the league and will have every chance to chuck up at least 20 shots a night especially with the injury to Francisco Garcia. His size allows him to crash boards. His handles and slashing abilities will give him plenty of assist opportunities. His length and quickness will get him a good amount of steals. If Evans can develop a consistent jumper, he will eventually hover around the 30 point per game mark in the NBA. Yup, I just said that.
2. Jonny Flynn, Timberwolves (6th overall)
’09-’10 Prediction: 15 ppg, 7 apg, 1.75 spg
Ricky Rubio’s decision to not come to the NBA helped his cause, but the signing of Ramon Sessions does not. Even with Sessions in Minnesota, Flynn is expected to run the show for the T-Wolves. His ability to score, assist, AND defend should earn him more minutes than Sessions and be a top candidate for the ROY award.
Check out the rest of the Rookie of the Year race.