You might see stories today about Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr.‘s peers picking him to have the best career among this rookie class. After all, he was the top vote-getter in that category in the NBA’s annual rookie survey.
But 87% of polled rookies chose someone else. That Carter’s 13% of votes led means only so much.
That was the story throughout the survey.
The leaders for predicted Rookie of the Year (tie between Suns’ Deandre Ayton and Cavaliers’ Collin Sexton), biggest steal based on where he was drafted (Timberwolves’ Keita Bates-Diop), most athletic (76ers’ Zhaire Smith) and best defender (Grizzlies’ Jevon Carter) each received less than 30% of the vote in their category. In other words, more than two-thirds of polled players picked a rookie other than the leader in each category.
The exceptions: best shooter (Hawks’ Trae Young at 47%) and best playmaker (Young at 35%). But even he didn’t get a majority of votes. Still, I appreciate many of his peers recognizing his passing ability. That’s his best skill, not the deep shooting that draws so much attention.