Dark Horse 2019 NBA Rookie of The Year Candidates
The incoming 2019 NBA Rookie Class has generated a lot of hype given the type of talent that this class’s players possess. With players like Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and RJ Barrett all joining rebuilding teams, they are sure to be the favorites to win rookie of the year. However, there is still a significant chance that the Rookie of the Year awards will be awarded to somebody else. Here are some of the young guns that may show out this coming season.
Jarrett Culver (6th pick – Phoenix Suns)
Some people don’t really see Culver as a sleeper pick especially given the way he performed during his stint at Texas Tech averaging 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. The 2018-2019 Big 12 Player of the Year is a great combination of size, talent and skill which bodes well for him at the NBA level. Also, he will immediately be given a significant role in Suns team that is still in rebuilding mode. The young players like him will surely get more minutes as soon as they are out of the playoff picture.
Coby White (7th pick – Chicago Bulls)
A lot of pundits had Coby White as their top-rated point guard prospect even over No. 2 pick Ja Morant. At 6’5”, he already has great size for his position which makes his potential on both ends of the floor very high. He’s also a dynamic scorer as he is a threat as a shooter and a slasher. Playing with Zach Lavine will also relieve him of having to be responsible of ball-handling most of the time. If he can sharpen up his decision-making, he’ll have a good shot at the ROY award.
Rui Hachimura (9th pick – Washington Wizards)
Hachimura was already a high prospect coming into the college season and then his stock skyrocketed with a stellar performance in a win against the Zion Williamson-led Duke Blue Devils. He then continued to excel, albeit rather under the radar, as other prospects got more attention. He’s got a prototypical size and frame for a power forward with a 230-pound frame and a 7’2” wingspan. Partner that with his already well-developed post game and perimeter skills, and you’ve got one of the most intriguing prospects of the draft. I guess the main question is if he can translate all these into the NBA.
Tyler Herro (13th pick – Miami Heat)
In this era of pace and space, knockdown shooters are of great importance to a team’s offense. Herro has followed up a pretty good college year with a very impressive showing in the NBA Summer League averaging 19.8 points on 42% shooting. He also further showcased his underrated athleticism and slashing ability. The key is to continue to knock down shots at a high rate to get the minutes he needs to thrive.
Kevin Porter Jr. (30th pick – Milwaukee Bucks; traded to Detroit; later traded to Cleveland)
In the days leading up to the draft, many scouts had Porter Jr. very high on their mocks. So, it came as a huge surprise when he dropped all the way down to No. 30. A lot of people consider him as probably the most talented player given his natural scoring ability and athleticism. Whether he will be able to get the usage necessary to take advantage of skills remains to be seen. But if he does, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him get a leading role to this Cleveland team.