Most projection have the top 3 picks of the 2018 NBA Draft as the ones who will battle it out for the Rookie of the Year award. There is very little doubt the DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley and Luka Doncic will all be in consideration when the time comes.
Aside from them, however, there are still some sleeper picks that might give the favorites a run for their money. Here are some of the them.
It almost sounds ridiculous that a player who averaged 27.4 points and 8.7 assists in college be considered as just as sleeper. But in the recent rookie survey, he received just six percent of the vote when rookies were asked who they thought would be Rookie of the Year.
Young will surely get the opportunity to prove himself with the departure of Dennis Shroder from the Atlanta Hawks as they look to build the team around the spitfire point guard. His combination of shooting skills, ball-handling and passing have merited comparisons to superstar Stephen Curry. The only concern, however, with Young is if he has the size and athleticism to compete in the NBA level.
Jaren Jackson Jr.
If you’re looking for a guy who will have the best career in this draft class Jaren Jackson Jr. out of MSU will surely be one of the top candidates. He was one of the top players in Summer League where he showcased a well-developed outside game to go with his length and athleticism. He might not have the touches early in his career as the Memphis Grizzlies already have established stars in Mike Conley and Marc Gasol but look for him to be a big part of their future as his game and body develops.
Michael Porter Jr.
No more than 2 years ago, Michael Porter Jr. was the consensus no.1 pick of this draft class. His size and scoring ability had people comparing him to Kevin Durant. Unfortunately for him, he had some back issues which caused him to play only 3 games for Missouri.
This caused him to slide to the Denver Nuggets who were more than happy to take him. If he can get back to 100 percent, he might just be the most-talented player of his class and he will surely make the thirteen teams that passed on him regret their decision.
Very few players will probably be able to match Collin Sexton’s intensity on the basketball court. He’s got great physical tools for a guard and competes on both ends of the floor. He still relies heavily on his explosiveness but if he can get some consistency on his jumper, he will surely get opposing teams problems even on his rookie year.
With the departure of LeBron James from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Sexton will surely need to put up good numbers if they want to make a push for the playoffs.
It is new era in the San Antonio Spurs organization now that their previous core of Duncan, Parker, Leonard and Ginobili are no longer part of the franchise. With this, Lonnie Walker is one of the players the Spurs are banking on to be big part of their future.
He had a great college season in Miami where he showcased his athleticism and scoring ability. His knack for making tough shots off the dribble will surely help him in the NBA. Knowing the Spurs’ track record in player development, look for Lonnie Walker to be one of the next stars to watch out for.
When Kevin Knox’s name was called on draft night, he received a lot of boos from the Knicks’ contingent in the audience. He was quick to turn those boos into cheers as he put on some dazzling performances for his team in the Summer League.
Some people were surely surprised at his combination of smooth,silky jumpers with high-flying dunks to the rim. With Kristaps Porzingis probably not at 100 percent yet at the beginning of the season, Knox will have to shoulder a significant part of the load for the Knicks as they look to give their fans more reasons to cheer.