NBA 2014-15: Top 5 rookie of the year candidates
The draft classes of 1984, 1996 and 2003 have been labelled as the best 3 ever in terms of the amount of talent that came in to the league in those specific years. For reasons one too many, it is said the current draft class of 2014 is one to be the best since the LeBron James class of ‘03.Of course the biggest factor for judjing the talent of a particular draft class is in its depth. This year’s draft was so competitive that the Cleveland Cavaliers who had the first overall pick did not decide to pick Andrew Wiggins ahead of Jabari Parker till the final day.The reason why this is an indicator of the talent pool is, generally in every draft class there is one standout youngster who is clearly the favorite to be picked first however this wasn’t the case this year. So based on their Summer League performance and pre-season action, here are the top five Rookie of the Year candidates from the best draft class in recent years:
#5 Julius Randle-Los Angeles Lakers
Picked 7th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers, Julius Randle comes to the NBA after a near championship year at Kentucky under 3 time National Coach of the Year John Calipari. He led Kentucky Wildcats to the Championship Game of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) tournament where they lost to University of Conneticut.
In all the 40 college games, Randle started each game with averages of 15 points and 10.4 rebounds. He registered 24 double doubles for the season, second most by a Kentucky player since Dan Issel’s 25 in 1969-70 and the most by a Kentucky freshmen (the presvious record of 20 was jointly held by DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis).
Forgoing his final three years at college, Randle signed his rookie contract with Lakers and played for the franchise in the Summer League on the same day. Although his Summer League performance was not very encouraging, his time on the floor in the pre-season has proved to be much more fruitful.
For a player his size he has a great ability to finish at the basket but he is still coming to terms with fast paced and physical natured game in the NBA. With assured minutes by Head Coach, Randle would always be on the top 5 candidates but never top 3.