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NBA Rookie Survey: Zion Willamson, Ja Morant tipped to shine | NBA News

Zion Williamson and Ja Morant, the highest two picks within the 2019 Draft, have acquired reward and approval from their friends within the annual NBA Rookie Survey, writes NBA.com’s John Schuhmann.

Final season was the primary time in because the 1984-85 season that the highest 5 picks of the earlier Draft went on to be the 5 gamers who comprised the All-Rookie First Group. One yr later, the groups that had these high 5 picks ought to really feel fairly good about their selections.

Time will inform in regards to the 5 groups that had the primary 5 picks on this yr’s Draft. Nevertheless it’s clear that fellow rookies approve of the gamers chosen within the high two.

On this yr’s NBA Rookie Survey, 62 per cent of responders picked the New Orleans Pelicans’ Zion Williamson or the Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant to win the 2019-20 Rookie of the 12 months award.

Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils dunks the ball against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the second half in the East Regional game of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Capital One Arena on March 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. 1:55
Watch a scorching choice of Zion Williamson’s most thunderous dunks from his school season with Duke

Williamson made Rookie Survey historical past with what number of votes he acquired on the ‘Most Athletic’ query, whereas Morant was a transparent favorite for ‘Greatest Playmaker’.

Williamson and Morant acquired essentially the most complete votes within the survey, nevertheless it was No 7 choose Coby White (Chicago Bulls) and No 33 choose Carsen Edwards (Boston Celtics) who each acquired votes on a survey-high 5 questions. In complete, 38 completely different rookies acquired votes on at the least one of many seven questions on their draft class.

NBA.com sat down with the rookie class on the annual Rookie Photograph Shoot the place they answered the survey questions.

Gamers had been requested to not vote for themselves, school team-mates or NBA team-mates. Some nonetheless did, and people votes had been discounted.

Who would be the 2019-20 Rookie of the 12 months?

  • Zion Willamson (New Orleans Pelicans) – 35 per cent
  • Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies) – 27 per cent
  • RJ Barrett (New York Knicks) and Cam Reddish (Atlanta Hawks) – 5 per cent
Zion Williamson flexes after scoring in his Summer League debut
Picture: Williamson flexes after scoring in his Summer season League debut

Williamson seems like a robust choose, however within the earlier 10 years of the Rookie Survey, the highest vote-getter has gone on to win the Rookie of the 12 months award simply as soon as. That was in 2007 when Kevin Durant acquired 54 per cent of the vote.

Williamson is the primary participant within the final 5 years to obtain at the least one third of the vote, and he may need had extra if a few of his fellow rookies (those who voted for the six guys chosen outdoors the Lottery) had studied their historical past. Of the 67 Rookie of the 12 months winners (that weren’t territorial picks within the 1950s and early 1960s), 61 (or 91 per cent) had been chosen within the high 10 of the Draft, and 52 (or 78 per cent) had been chosen within the high 5.

Which rookie may have the perfect profession?

  • Cam Reddish (Atlanta Hawks) – 19 per cent
  • Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies) – 16 per cent
  • De’Andre Hunter (Atlanta Hawks) – 11 per cent
Cam Reddish #2 of the Duke Blue Devils celebrates a three point basket against the UCF Knights during the first half in the second round game of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Colonial Life Arena on March 24, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina. 0:43
Study extra about Atlanta Hawks rookie Cam Reddish

That is the sixth straight yr {that a} Duke participant has earned (or tied for) essentially the most votes on this query, with Reddish becoming a member of Jabari Parker (2014), Jahlil Okafor (2015), Brandon Ingram (2016), Jayson Tatum (2017) and Wendell Carter Jr (2018).

The seven gamers who acquired a number of votes had been all chosen within the high 10, although there have been one other eight votes for gamers chosen outdoors the Lottery.

Which rookie was the most important steal at the place he was chosen within the Draft?

  • Bol Bol (44) (Denver Nuggets) – 19 per cent
  • Kevin Porter Jr (30) (Cleveland Cavaliers) – 19 per cent
  • Carsen Edwards (33) (Boston Celtics) – 5 per cent
  • Nassir Little (25) (Portland Path Blazers) – 5 per cent
  • Isaiah Roby (45) (Dallas Mavericks) – 5 per cent
  • Coby White (7) (Chicago Bulls) – 5 per cent
  • Grant Williams (22) (Boston Celtics) – 5 per cent
Bol Bol #1 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates his three point shot in the second half against the Syracuse Orange during the 2K Empire Classic at Madison Square Garden on November 16, 2018 in New York City.The Oregon Ducks defeated the Syracuse Orange 80-65
Picture: Denver Nuggets rookie Bol Bol in school motion for the Oregon Geese

Because it typically does, this query received the most important vary of solutions, together with every of the final six picks of the primary spherical. However Bol and Porter, two of the six gamers from the Pac-12 Convention, clearly stood out among the many group.

Draymond Inexperienced is the one one of many earlier 16 gamers to earn (or tie for) essentially the most votes on this query (which was worded “Which rookie is being most overlooked?” via 2014) that has ever been an All-Star, although Donovan Mitchell is actually a possible All-Star within the years to return.

Which rookie is essentially the most athletic?

  • Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans) – 87 per cent
  • Brandon Clarke (Memphis Grizzlies) – eight per cent
Zion Williamson during his Pelicans debut at Summer League in Las Vegas 2:16
Zion Williamson’s Summer season League debut for the New Orleans Pelicans towards the New York Knicks was reduce quick as an earthquake shook the sector in Las Vegas

The 87 per cent that Williamson earned right here is the best share of the vote that any participant has earned on any query within the historical past of the Rookie Survey, surpassing the 79 per cent that Stephen Curry received for ‘Greatest Shooter’ in 2009. That is good firm!

Which rookie is the perfect shooter?

  • Tyler Herro (Miami Warmth) – 33 per cent
  • Kyle Man (Sacramento Kings) – 29 per cent
  • Cameron Johnson (Phoenix Suns) – 13 per cent
Tyler Herro attacks off the dribble during Summer League 1:05
Miami Warmth rookie Tyler Herro poured in 25 factors towards the Orlando Magic in Summer season League

Man made twice as many three-pointers (120 at a 43 per cent clip) for Virginia final season than Herro did in his one season for Kentucky (60 at 36 per cent). Johnson (47 per cent) shot higher than each of them.

The Suns may gain advantage from having two of the highest 4 gamers on this class (their choose Ty Jerome acquired eight per cent of vote to take fourth place). Phoenix ranked 29th or 30th in efficient area objective share from outdoors the paint in every of the final three seasons.

Which rookie is the perfect defender?

  • Matisse Thybulle (Philadelphia 76ers) – 37 per cent
  • De’Andre Hunter (Atlanta Hawks) – 29 per cent
  • Brandon Clarke (Memphis Grizzlies) – eight per cent
  • Jaxson Hayes (New Orleans Pelicans) – eight per cent
  • Nassir Little (Portland Path Blazers) – eight per cent
Matisse Thybulle in action for the Philadelphia 76ers at Summer League in Las Vegas
Picture: Matisse Thybulle in motion for the Philadelphia 76ers at Summer season League in Las Vegas

That is the one query for which Thybulle acquired any votes, however he acquired the best share of the vote on this query since Victor Oladipo (63 per cent in 2013).

Whereas Thybulle is becoming a member of a crew with a handful of men which have already confirmed to be influence defenders, Hunter’s protection is extra crucial to the success of the Hawks, who ranked 28th on that finish of the ground final season.

Which rookie is the perfect playmaker?

  • Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies) – 40 per cent
  • Darius Garland (Cleveland Cavaliers) – 15 per cent
  • Ty Jerome (Phoenix Suns) – 10 per cent
  • Coby White (Chicago Bulls) – 10 per cent
Ja Morant celebrates a Grizzlies basket at Summer League
Picture: Morant celebrates a Grizzlies basket at Summer season League

Morant led the nation in assists by a fairly large margin. In Memphis, the most recent winner on this query is changing the primary; Mike Conley acquired 45 per cent of the vote for greatest playmaker within the preliminary Rookie Survey in 2007. The Grizzlies would certainly like to see Morant stick round so long as Conley did.

Successful this class as a Laker – as Lonzo Ball and D’Angelo Russell each as soon as did – apparently means that you will be traded lower than two years after doing so.

Except for assessing one another’s skills, the 2019 rookies had been additionally requested to call their favorite participant within the league. The outcomes had been as follows:

LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the first half of a game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on March 04, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Picture: LeBron James units himself to go in a Lakers recreation

  • LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers) – 38 per cent
  • Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets) – 20 per cent
  • Kawhi Leonard (LA Clippers) – eight per cent
  • Damian Lillard (Portland Path Blazers) – eight per cent

Within the 10-year historical past of this query’s inclusion within the survey, solely three gamers have been the highest vote-getter. James, named the highest man for the fourth time, separates himself from Durant (three) and Kobe Bryant (three). Apparently, Bryant wasn’t one of many two retired guys – Kevin Garnett and Steve Nash to get votes this time round.

John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for NBA.com.

The views on this web page don’t essentially replicate the views of the NBA, its golf equipment or Turner Broadcasting.

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