Rookie of the Year, best playmaker, best defender and funniest. Kris Dunn even received a vote for best shooter despite his jumper holding him back in pre-draft evaluations.
Dunn – the Timberwolves’ No. 5 pick – cleaned up in the NBA’s annual rookie survey.
But when it came to the most important question, Brandon Ingram – the Lakers’ No. 2 pick – claimed the top spot:
Which rookie will have the best career?
1. Brandon Ingram, L.A. Lakers — 26.7%
2. Kris Dunn, Minnesota — 16.7%
3. Buddy Hield, New Orleans — 13.3%
T-4. Dragan Bender, Phoenix — 6.7%
Jaylen Brown, Boston — 6.7%
Jamal Murray, Denver — 6.7%
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia — 6.7%
Others receiving votes: Dejounte Murray, San Antonio; Dario Saric, Philadelphia; Pascal Siakam, Toronto; Tyler Ulis, Phoenix; Denzel Valentine, Chicago
That’s a pretty poor showing for Ben Simmons, whom the 76ers drafted No. 1. Maybe it’s because Simmons didn’t make the NCAA tournament at LSU.
But that lack of exposure only barely dissuades me. I still think Simmons will have the best career and win Rookie of the Year. The 76ers will likely feature him in a major role this season while Dunn is stuck behind Ricky Rubio (for now, at least).
But that didn’t dissuade their fist-year peers:
Who will be the 2016-17 Kia Rookie of the Year?
1. Kris Dunn, Minnesota — 29.0%
2. Brandon Ingram, L.A. Lakers — 25.8%
3. Ben Simmons, Philadelphia — 19.4%
Other notable questions (click through to NBA.com full results) and my picks:
Which rookie was the biggest steal at where he was selected in the Draft?
1. Dejounte Murray (29), San Antonio — 16.1%
2. Tyler Ulis (34), Phoenix — 12.9%
My pick: Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot (24), Philadelphia
Which rookie is the most athletic?
1. Jaylen Brown, Boston — 38.7%
2. Brice Johnson, L.A. Clippers — 16.1%
My pick: Brown
Which rookie is the best shooter?
1. Buddy Hield, New Orleans — 65.7%
2. Jamal Murray, Denver — 20.0%
My pick: Hield
Which rookie is the best defender?
1. Kris Dunn, Minnesota — 23.5%
2. Gary Payton II, Houston — 20.6%
3. Malcolm Brogdon, Milwaukee — 17.6%
My pick: Payton
Which rookie is the best playmaker?
1. Kris Dunn, Minnesota — 29.4%
2. Ben Simmons, Philadelphia — 26.5%
3. Tyler Ulis, Phoenix — 20.6%
My pick: Dunn in a vacuum with the caveat that Simmons’ playmaking – not far behind Dunn’s – will be more valuable at power forward than Dunn’s will be at point guard