67RIEFNS No. 66: Rookies

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The NBA is full of talent, personality and suspense. During the offseason, It’s easy to forget how wonderful the league can be. So, I’ve assembled 67 Reasons I’m Excited For Next Season (67RIEFNS). They’ll be presented in no particular order.

To quote Barney Stinson, “Newer is always better.”

Every season, I look forward to rookies. They’re so exotic, so mysterious, so unknown. Of course, returning players can always surprise, but rookies are guaranteed to.

I sure didn’t see Michael Carter-Williams, Rookie of the Year, coming. I didn’t even consider him a contender.

This year, a few of the key rookie questions I have my eye one:

  • Is Andrew Wiggins as raw as everyone said? Is Jabari Parker as polished? I’m guessing they meet in the middle.
  • Will Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton make the Magic better or just more exciting? My money is on the latter.
  • How quickly can Julius Randle become the Lakers’ second-best player? It’s not a high bar.
  • Will Zach LaVine become the NBA’s best dunker? He’s got a chance.
  • How large of roles will Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic fill with the Bulls? Tom Thibodeau has already expressed how difficult it is to win a championship with two rookies in the rotation.
  • Is Jusuf Nurkic the steal of the draft? Maybe, but I bet someone else passes him.

And I know I’m missing far better rookie storylines, one that will emerge during the season. I just don’t know where to look – and that’s the beauty of rookies. They’re all such surprises.