The NBA officially released the All-Rookie teams today. There was no surprise in the players that were picked for this year’s teams. The NBA Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins led all rookies with 130 votes and players like Nikola Mirotic and Nerlens Noel were right behind him in the voting.
Leading all rookies in scoring at 16.9 points per game, Andrew Wiggins seems like a player who will be the face of the NBA for many years to come. In the last two months of his first NBA season, he was 16th in the league in scoring at 20 points per game. Having a great defensive presence as well, it is not too farfetched to say that he resembles a young Kobe Byrant. He also has the turnaround jumper that we all know too well from Bryant and the likes of Michael Jordan.
See for yourself:
I referenced Nikola Mirotic in my story on the legacy of Robert Horry left behind as a three-point shooting big man. Appearing in all 82 games for the Chicago Bulls this year, Mirotic averaged 10.2 points in 20 minutes of play. Winning rookie of the month twice this season, Mirotic lead all rookies in fourth quarter points average at 9.1 ppg. Once again, Mirotic is really mirroring the play of a Robert Horry as he is becoming a player with clutch instincts and is a very valuable asset to his basketball team. I expect Mirotic to take a big leap next year and improve his ‘role playing’ abilities for Chicago.
You readers should already know Nerlens Noel was my vote for Rookie of the Year. He was the first rookie since David Robinson to have 140 blocks and 140 steals in one season. Now, Nerlens Noel has an offensive game that is far from polished, but the defensive presence is already there. I think he will evolve into a franchise player for the 76ers. A franchise player doesn’t have to be the go-to player every night, but one that makes an impact. Down the road, I see him having the impact that the likes of Ben Wallace or Dikembe Mutombo had. Those players, although not the best on their team, had the defensive presence that forced teams to shoot the three-point shot at a greater rate than they already did.
Elfrid Payton made a great impact for the struggling Orlando Magic. While the point production may not have been there, his facilitation on the floor was seen through out the season. He put the ball the right spot for his teammates to succeed. He seems like he can be the face of the Orlando Magic for years to come. If his offensive game keeps improving for years to come, look for Payton to be on the rise as one of the league’s better point guards.
Jordan Clarkson was one of the few bright spots that the Los Angeles Lakers had. Their lottery pick Julius Randle was out for the season with a broken leg that was suffered in their first game of the season. Averaging almost 12 points per contest, Clarkson was a player that improved his play as the season went on. For the months of March and April, he averaged close to 17 points per game while shooting 46% from the floor. Look for Clarkson to make an even bigger impact for the Lakers next season with fellow second year player Julius Randle making an impact as well.
Congratulations to all of the rookies chosen to be on this year’s All-Rookie Teams. Good luck to all of them in their future NBA careers.