There are a lot of rookies who should make an impact in some way or another, but there are three that should make huge impacts in their first year.
- Dennis Smith Jr– Smith is an unpolished 19 year old who was on a mediocre college team so no one got to see what he could do in March. He is explosive and has great ability to change direction on a dime. Smith will be put into a decent roster even though Dallas struggled this past season. He has the best big man shooter in history in Dirk Nowitzki and has Wesley Matthews to give him a spot up shooter. Harrison Barnes is a nice asset as well. Smith will definitely lead the Mavs to a better than .500 record.
- Lonzo Ball– His father would put him at number one. He has less around him than Smith and unless Paul George joins the Lakers, he won’t get a taste of the playoffs his first year. He has the skills to be a strong point guard in LA. He has height over most starting guards and has great rebounding ability from the guard spot. He will be relied on to score in bunches and finding his assist numbers low early on shouldn’t be surprising. Luckily, he has another rookie coming in who can post up in Tony Bradley.
- Josh Jackson-My favorite for rookie of the year because he has the certainty to have perpetual mediocre players around him. He doesn’t have the chance to have Paul George joining him like Lonzo. He also doesn’t have Dirk Nowitzki to shoot the team to a win. He can score and slash to the rim with the best of them and is in a place where being a facilitator isn’t necessary. He has Devin Booker to take some of the pressure off of him, but this can be his team rather quickly. He’s also the best defender of the three.
Yes, predictions aren’t always correct, but these three picks have high floors so it was easy for the teams that picked them to roll the dice. Is it October yet?