The NBA season is now less than a week away, and it’s quite an exciting time.
Fans will see their teams back in action, and it gives them a chance to check out new additions. Their teams may have signed some new players, acquired players in a trade, or drafted them earlier in the offseason. And this was a pretty exciting draft class.
The 2021 NBA Draft class has some great new talent. In fact, it has a few players that can (truly) turn around a franchise. With so much talent in a draft, one must wonder: who’s going to win Rookie of the Year? Well, let’s take a look at some of those players.
Cade Cunningham Has the Makings of a Star
Cade Cunningham was the first pick of the 2021 draft. He’s a 6-foot-8 guard with the ability to handle the ball, score, and defend. He came into the league with comparisons to Luka Doncic and Grant Hill, and while those are big shoes to fill, he could do it.
The Pistons have a player to build around in Cunningham, and it’s safe to say, that’s a pretty good start. He had a solid summer league averaging 18.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. He hasn’t played in the preseason, but if his regular season stats look like his summer league stats, his Rookie of the Year odds look good. But he’s not the only one.
Jalen Green: Ready for Liftoff
Jalen Green was the No. 2 pick of the draft. He hoped to be the first pick, but those honors went to Cunningham. Could we see a Cunningham/Green rivalry in the future? Personally, I’m here for it.
But Green is another great talent, and for a team that lost James Harden, drafting Green was a good start.
Green’s journey to the NBA was a little different than most players. He decided to skip college and join the NBA’s G League Ignite team. The team is a chance for young prospects to play in the G League and get paid up to $500,000. He was the first player drafted from the Ignite, and his former teammate Jonathan Kuminga was drafted shortly after. Green played with the Ignite for a season and averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.5 steals.
Green is a scorer, and his charisma screams star in the making. He’ll make the Rookie of the Year race interesting, and there’s a strong possibility he could win the award.
Don’t Sleep on Evan Mobley
Evan Mobley was the third pick of this year’s draft. And if this was any other year, he could have been the first pick. But Mobley joins the Cleveland Cavaliers and gives them one of their most interesting players.
Mobley is effective on both ends of the floor, and he showed it during his time at USC. He was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and Pac-12 Player of the Year (overall). He earned the honors by averaging 16.4 points and 2.9 blocks.
Mobley has just as great of a chance as Cunningham and Green. And if he shines on both ends of the floor, the Rookie of the Year race becomes even more interesting.