The 2017 rookie class has the potential to become one of the best draft classes of all time. However, not all of the draftees will one day become NBA Hall Of Famers, and some will eventually be bounced out of this brutal league. The average career span for an NBA player is 4.8 years. Most of these incredible athletes, who have devoted their lives to this sport, will barely get to see their dreams lived out. Though, many of them will get chances at winning at least one award in their career. Let’s see which rookies could win which awards throughout the duration of their NBA careers.
Disclaimer: Other than Rookie Of The Year, most of these awards are predictions for any year throughout the player’s careers.
Rookie Of The Year Winner: Lonzo Ball
Ball, the second overall pick in the draft, is coming fresh off of a summer league MVP and his own Los Angeles Lakers went on to win the Summer League Championship despite his championship game absence. Ball, who was one of the best college athletes this year in any sport, has one of the nations most talked about fathers Lavar Ball. Lavar, who promised Lonzo would lead the Lakers to the playoffs his rookie year, has no problem with being bold. Although Lavars prediction may be a bit off, Lonzo will have the opportunity to become the best rookie this upcoming year. Best described as the second coming of Jason Kidd, Lonzo is one of the leagues tallest point guards at 6 foot 6 inches. However, Ball shot 42% from three in his only college season which was 8th in the Pac 12. Ball also led the nation in assists with 7.7 a game. In summer league though, Ball averaged 16.3 points, 9.3 assists, 7.7 rebounds, and 2.5 steals, while also putting up two triple doubles. It’s safe to say that Lonzo had no trouble adjusting to the league and given the opportunity, I believe he will run away with the rookie of the year votes. Lonzo will also have the chance to be the star of a young Lakers team, which just happens to be the league’s most historic franchise. Barring any injury, Lonzo Ball will be your 2017-18 Rookie Of The Year.
Predicted Stats: 15.6 Points Per Game, 8.5 Assists Per Game, 7.1 Rebounds Per Game, 43% Field Goal Percentage, 35% Three Point Field Goal Percentage
Sixth Man Of The Year Winner: Malik Monk
Malik Monk is a pure scorer. Monk, who was recently selected as the 11th pick in the NBA draft to the Charlotte Hornets, averaged nearly 20 points a game at Kentucky while shooting 39.7% from behind the arc. A proven scorer, Monk should be able to transfer his shooting ability into the NBA. Although Monk was a bit streaky while at Kentucky, over the years, NBA coaches should be able to polish off his game. However, Monk did not take the court at Orlando Summer League and many believe he fell a few spots in the draft, but I believe that when it’s all said and done, Malik Monk will be remembered as one of the best players from his draft class. Now obviously Monk will not be the sixth man of the year winner next year, but if he can consistently grow throughout his career, and continue to grow as a scorer, three or four years down the line, Malik Monk could be giving an acceptance speech of his own. Let’s be honest, The Sixth Man award has turned into a scoring competition. Historically over the past few seasons, whoever scores the most points on an above average team, will win the award. That perfectly fits Monks description.
Predicted Stats (of award winning season): 15.7 Points Per Game, 3.2 Assists Per Game, 4.1 Rebounds Per Game, 44.4% Field Goal Percentage, 36.8% Three Point Field Goal Percentage
Defensive Player Of The Year Winner: Josh Jackson
Josh Jackson is personally my favorite player coming out of this draft class. Jackson, a defensive anchor reminds me of a young Kawhi Leonard. Obviously, that is an incredibly high bar for Jackson to live up to, but defensively, Jackson averaged 1.7 steals a game along with over 1 block. The Kansas star also averaged over 16 points a game despite his inconsistent jump shot. While during Kawhi Leonards two seasons at San Diego State, he averaged just 14.1 points a game to pair with 1.4 steals and less than 1 block a game. However, Leonard has been groomed by possibly the best organization in the league. Selected as the fourth overall pick by the Phoenix Suns, Jackson will pair alongside young star, Devin Booker. This pick was perfect for Phoenix as Jackson will surely boost their lackluster defense while not taking any shots away from Booker or Bledsoe. look at Draymond Green, paired alongside two scoring machines, Green was able to focus solely on defense and let his teammates focus on scoring. Jackson, at his peak, could average over 2.0 steals a game with over 1.5 blocks. With that said, let’s look at Josh Jacksons predicted stats for his Defensive Player Of The Year season.
Predicted Stats (of award winning season): 12.3 Points Per Game, 4.2 Assists Per Game, 7.1 Rebounds Per Game, 49.4% Field Goal Percentage, 31.3% Three Point Field Goal Percentage
Most Valuable Player Of The Year Winner: De’Aaron Fox
De’Aaron Fox could become the best point guard in the NBA. Fox, who led Kentucky to an elite 8 appearance last year, is a natural born leader. The highlight of Fox’s career came against Lonzo Ball and UCLA in the sweet 16, where Fox dropped 39 points on 65% shooting from the field. This was just a small sample size of things to come from an ultra competitive player who shows up for his team when needed. Not to mention that this was a nationally televised game against one of the biggest college athletes at the time. Over the course of Fox’s one-year college career, he averaged 16.7 points and 4.6 assists on 47.8% shooting. Fox also showed out in summer league averaging 11.8 points per game pairing with 2.3 steals a game. Now let’s discuss why De’Aaron Fox is a future NBA MVP. Fox is the quickest player coming out of the draft who although struggles with his three point shot, has an incredible mid range game. In fact, Foxs game has an uncanny resemblance to Washington Wizards point guard, John Wall. Wall also lacked a three point shot coming into the league but has slowly developed that part of his game. Fox is also great at pushing the tempo and controlling the game. Learning under veteran point guard, George Hill, he should be able to mentor Fox and mold him into a great shooter. De’Aaron is also paired alongside young shooting guard, Buddy Hield, who has been excellent in his short stint with Sacramento. So it’s safe to say that if this young Sacramento team properly develops, De’Aaron Fox has a good chance at hoisting his first NBA MVP trophy.
Predicted Stats (of award winning season): 23.7 Points Per Game, 9.9 Assists Per Game, 4.2 Rebounds Per Game, 53% Field Goal Percentage, 36.2% Three Point Field Goal Percentage
Notable Players Missing: Markelle Fultz, Jayson Tatum, Jonathon Isaac, Dennis Smith Jr.