One of the most intriguing offseason surveys is the one that predicts which rookies will go on to be the most successful in the league.
As it relates to this class, there are at least five guys that have the potential to go on to be superstars. Obviously, a lot of that will come down to player development and how they fit in with their team’s style of play, but the potential is there.
For the short-term, those 39 rookies that were polled believe Dennis Smith, Lonzo Ball and Markelle Fultz have the best chance to win the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award.
Who will be the 2017-18 Kia Rookie of the Year?
1. Dennis Smith Jr., Dallas — 25.7%
2. Lonzo Ball, L.A. Lakers — 20.0%
3. Markelle Fultz, Philadelphia — 17.1%
4. Kyle Kuzma, L.A. Lakers — 5.7%
Donovan Mitchell, Utah — 5.7 %
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia — 5.7%
But as far as who will go on to have the most successful career, well, it was all about Ball and Tatum, and very little love for Fultz.
Which rookie will have the best career?
1. Lonzo Ball, L.A. Lakers — 18.4%
Jayson Tatum, Boston — 18.4%
3. Josh Jackson, Phoenix — 10.5%
Dennis Smith Jr., Dallas — 10.5%
5. De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento — 7.9%
6. Markelle Fultz, Philadelphia — 5.3%
Harry Giles, Sacramento — 5.3%
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia — 5.3%
For the record, I’m a huge fan of Smith. I wanted the Knicks to draft him — badly — and they’ll regret having not done so. I do believe he’ll win the Rookie of the Year award, but as far as the successful career goes, who knows? It’s all about how the coaching staffs develop these guys, and I think that’s a big reason why Ball and Tatum shared that honor, with the Celtics and Lakers having produced so many stars in their history.