Michael Carter-Williams

Michael Carter-Williams, Victor Oladipo lead NBA All-Rookie team


This wasn’t a great rookie class.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s acknowledge the guys who had the best rookie seasons — the NBA has announced its All-Rookie teams (as voted on by 125 media members). Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams and runner-up Victor Oladipo were the leading vote getters, not surprisingly.

These guys may not be future All-Stars but the guys who made the cut look to be solid NBA rotation players for their teams for years to come. Giannis Antetokounmpo is the one guy who could prove that last sentence wrong, the Bucks forward may be the best player out of this class in three years and his ceiling is almost as high as he can leap.

Here is the list:

NBA All-Rookie First Team (Team and points)

Michael Carter-Williams (Philadelphia) 250
Victor Oladipo (Orlando) 248
Trey Burke (Utah) 230
Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn) 214
Tim Hardaway Jr. (New York) 204

NBA All-Rookie Second Team (Team and points)

Kelly Olynyk (Boston) 119
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee) 116
Gorgui Dieng (Minnesota) 96
Cody Zeller (Charlotte) 67
Steven Adams (Oklahoma City) 65

Others receiving votes: Ben McLemore, Sacramento, 63 (4); Pero Antic, Atlanta, 62 (10); Nick Calathes Memphis, 39 (2); Ryan Kelly, L.A. Lakers, 29; Matthew Dellavedova, Cleveland, 20 (3); Nate Wolters, Milwaukee, 20; Ray McCallum, Sacramento, 8; Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Detroit, 6; Hollis Thompson, Philadelphia, 5; Tony Snell, Chicago, 4; Phil Pressey, Boston, 2; Anthony Bennett, Cleveland, 1; Reggie Bullock, L.A. Clippers, 1; Robert Covington, Houston, 1; Alex Len, Phoenix, 1; C.J. McCollum, Portland, 1; Shabazz Muhammad, Minnesota, 1; Andre Roberson, Oklahoma City, 1; Jeff Withey, New Orleans, 1.

Yes, Anthony Bennett got a second team vote, that came from Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News. Ask him, I don’t know.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.

PBT Extra bold prediction preview: Markieff Morris will be a happy Sun

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After a bumpy season where the he fought with Suns coaches, then a summer where he and his twin Marcus felt they were blindsided by a trade, Markieff Morris has been plenty vocal about his unhappiness in Phoenix. To the point it has cost him some serious cash.

So what should we expect from Markieff Morris’ upcoming season?

Relative calm, I tell Jenna Corrado of NBCSports in this latest edition of PBT Extra previewing the NBA season.

The reasons are twofold. First, he has to realize the Suns aren’t trading him anyway (especially not while he publicly demands a trade, lowering his trade value). Second, can you imagine how new locker room leader Tyson Chandler is going to react to that? Chandler was brought in to fill a leadership void in the locker room, and you can bet he will make his displeasure at such team-disrupting antics known.

Still not sure if that’s enough to get the Suns to the playoffs.