Thursday, November 1st, 2007 at 11:26 am  |  43 responses

Rookies Most Likely To…

Who do we like (besides Kevin Durant)?

Hopefully you all (save for you non-US readers who have made your unhappiness with the time it takes SLAM to reach you very clear) have gotten this issue by now.

One thing in it, which SLAM readers might enjoy debating in the comments section and which online-only heads should see either way, is our Annual Rookie’s Most Likely Too feature.

Here’s how it runs, verbatim, in the new issue:

Before Greg Oden’s injury, this had the makings of a legendary rookie class. Now, it may just be “Kevin Durant and some other guys.” But do we think KD will be great from the jump? And which “other guys” are we high on? Check the latest installment of an annual tradition (and check pg. 110 to see how we did last year). P.S. Yes, we had to round off.

Voters: Russ Bengtson, Contributing Editor; Ryan Jones, Contributing Editor; Ben Osborne, Editor-in-Chief; Dennis Page, Publisher; Susan Price, Managing Editor; Sam Rubenstein, Online Editor; Khalid Salaam, Senior Editor; Aggrey Sam, Senior Writer; Vincent Thomas, Copy Editor; Bonsu Thompson, Senior Writer; Lang Whitaker, Executive Editor; Nima Zarrabi, Senior Writer; Ronnie Zeidel, Associate Publisher

Average 20 Points: Kevin Durant, 85%; Al Thorton, 8%; Marco Belinelli, 8%
“You are Coach Carlesimo and inherited a team that just traded its busiest shooter—Ray Allen and his 1,400 shots a year. Which other Sonic are you giving them to? Says here KD will reward your faith.”—Bonsu Thompson

Average 10 Rebounds: Al Horford, 54%; Kevin Durant, 15%; Joakim Noah, Brandon Wright, Glen Davis, Spencer Hawes, 8% each
“The Hawks are going to miss a lot of shots, just like usual, and all Al Horford has to do is throw his big body around and let the ball come to him. Kind of like at Florida, except without the winning titles part.”—Sam Rubenstein

Average 10 Assists: Mike Conley, 54%; Acie Law, 31%; Aaron Brooks, 15%
“I picked Mike Conley because I had to pick someone and Conley was the first point guard drafted. Do I really think he’ll average 10 apg? No. But he has at least as good a chance as Brian Davis does of buying the Grizz.”—Lang Whitaker

Unfairly Get Bench Splinters: Rodney Stuckey, 15%; Brandon Wright, 15%; Julian Wright, Greg Oden, Joakim Noah, Jeff Green, Arron Afflalo, Morris Almond, Thaddeus Young, Sean Williams, Marco Belinelli, 8% each
“Rodney Stuckey is a cold-blood scorer who might lead the League in points per minute. Too bad he’ll probably only play three minutes per game.”—Ryan Jones

Lead the League in Turnovers: Kevin Durant, 38%; Mike Conley, 31%; Acie Law, 23%; Javaris Crittenton, 8%
“The polite answer is that he will have the ball in his hand the most. But I’d also like to add that even though KD is a sick scorer, his handle is a little loose. This combination of factors is going to yield a lot of turnovers.” -Ben Osborne

Lead the League in Blocks: Joakim Noah, 62%; Jared Dudley, Wilson Chandler, Sean Williams, Al Horford, Brandon Wright, 8% each
“Joakim was a beast in college, and if you add that to the fact that he’s going to watch and learn from shot-blocking master Ben Wallace every day in practice, there’s no question he’ll do it again in the pros. Also: he’s really tall.”—Susan Price

Be Rookie of the Year: Kevin Durant, 93%; Corey Brewer, 8%
“With Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis gone, Durant will start and pull 15-20 shots per game. Expect good numbers and plenty of highlights, even as the Sonics struggle to win 30 games. Despite the losses, Durant will revive Seattle fans and scoop up ROY honors.”—Nima Zarrabi

Hurt Himself Running Laps: Yi Jianlian, 23%; Spencer Hawes, 23%; Aaron Gray, 15%; Joakim Noah, 15%; Alando Tucker, Julian Wright, Greg Oden, 8% each
“Yi will need time to get accustomed to the League. In doing so, he may overexert himself while trying to impress his new teammates or the Chinese government and pull a groin muscle or something.”—Khalid Salaam

Fade Into Obscurity: Spencer Hawes, 23%; Brandan Wright, Yi Jianlian, Thaddeus Young, Aaron Gray, Arron Afflalo, Stanko Barac, Greg Oden, Aaron Brooks, Nick Young, Jason Smith, 8% each
“By the year 2012, instead of on an NBA court, you will be able to catch Hawes choppin’ it up with Patrick O’Bryant, Robert Swift, and Nikoloz Tskitishvili on NBA TV’s version of The Surreal Life. Mark it down.”—Vincent Thomas

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  • http://www.myspace.com/2536545 Bryan

    Who the hell voted for Greg Oden to fade?

  • http://whitehoteboysworld.blogspot.com white hot eboy

    Susan Price must have a crush on Mr. Noah. She was joking about his possibility of leading the league in blocks, right.

  • Ken

    “except without the winning titles part”

    It’s funny because it’s true.

  • Jared

    How’s conley gonna lead the league in anything when he’s not gonna get burnnn

  • josh

    rookies ain’t nothin but a wet fart

  • Ben Hogan


  • Ben Hogan

    Nevermind, no Im not.

  • German Reignman

    hmmmmm …. I thought China installed a “1-Child-Policy”® …. how is Eazy-Yi gonna pull a groin muscle then ?

  • http://www.firemchale.com/index.php JR

    appreciate the vote for brewer for ROY. wolves fans need whatever hope you can give us right now.

  • Captain America

    I coulda made this easy for ya: Corey Brewer!

  • Captain America

    Corey Brewer may be the best rim-to-rim player in the league right now.

  • Captain America

    JR, no charity on Brewer required. Other Sonics need to get the ball to KD where he can shoot until he firms up. KD and Oden are two class acts. The League is fortune to have them.

  • Jared

    best rim-to-rim player in the L??? that’s a bit of a stretch…he’s good, maybe best rim-to-rim ROOKIE…but player??? let’s see the kid play A game first…

  • http://mynameinorange.blogspot.com Hisham

    the rookie of the year voting amounted to a total of 101%!

  • Rasheedionics

    Yi is the foreign player most likely to hate bling and rap music…Playing with Bogut doesn’t help.

  • http://mynameinorange.blogspot.com Hisham

    fade into obscurity has 111% to be divided among the rookies!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    For the record, I made my call on Stuckey about a month before he f*cked up his hand. I’m smart.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Also, re: Fade Into Obscurity, you cannot “fade” into obscurity if you’re already obscure. Hence, whichever of my colleagues who voted for Stanko Barac should be fired. Immediately.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Also, eboy, this comes up every year, and you’ve been around long enough that you should know better: The category is a misnomer, since no one is predicting a particular rookie to lead the League in blocks; it’s if one of them somehow did, which one is most likely. I’ve really had it with you people today.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Hisham: It’s the new math. Get with it.

  • RV

    Have guys like Scola and Navarro always been left out in past issues? I thought they were still considered rookies

  • http://steveohappenings.blogspot.com/ Steve O

    If you have a Fade Into Obscurity category you should also include a Blossom into the Limelight category as well. My vote: Stanko Barac

  • http://myspace.com/prettygsrus The Notorious King

    Corey Brewer is the biggest sleeper in this draft

  • jawn

    As a sacto fan. this post hurts my soul. I counting on that big goofy white boy to do more than drive around sacto in his big truck. develop young hawes please!!!

  • http://whitehoteboysworld.blogspot.com white hot eboy

    Thanks for the heads up, Ryan. Like I didn’t know that. Mean person.

  • http://mynameinorange.blogspot.com Hisham

    haha, none of these categories add up to 100%.. So this is where everybody gets “giving 110%” from.. New math my ass

  • http://myspace.com/bodiebarnett jbn74sb

    Ryan – Stop commenting on these obscure posts and join us in some of the more lively discussions elsewhere on the site.

  • Ben

    Kevin Durant…10 boards a game…he can´t bench press a stamp!!!

  • http://www.ta.com Kiyan

    Nima had the hardest category to work with … Salam agha! Khoobi?

  • KobeStopper

    You guys must be forgetting Scola is a rookie this year because he should be up there in a few of these categories

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    Still trying to figure out the German”s comment

  • http://www.cfpf.org.uk/articles/rdp/caasqp/caasqp.html Tarzan Cooper

    julian wright will get his minutes once peja goes down for the season.

  • Ozrock

    haha in oz we only just got kicks we’re like two issues behind now shocking and dodgy as oh well what can I do

  • Kelvin W

    yes very unhappy, still haven’t seen one single SLAM of this iss. on any newstands…very unhappy. But go Al Horford and Corey Brewer!

  • blk_majic

    ure fkd if u think spencer hawes will b nowhere by 2012 absolutely fkd

  • Eoin

    I presume the many math flaws here are deliberate?I don’t see any way someone could fail to correctly add 93 and 8…

  • phunkykarma

    “Rookies most likely to…” is my favorite article every year, even if it arrives 4 months later. Thank you mister postman.

  • German Reignman

    Yeah, why don`t you guys just put up a subscriber website so that intl. readers can look there instead of waiting for ages for the magazine to land …. btw, what shipping method takes 6 weeks nowadays ?

    @ Mr. Martha: it wasn`t that important, no figuring out needed

  • Slim


  • dacre

    Rookie to win dunk comp this year? Jamario Moon: HE got 95% of the votes. Stanko Barac: 7% of voting total.

  • dacre

    In another related topic…I wanted Luc Longley’s number retired at Chicago – But If ‘kim Noah really wants it…

  • 301oFFicial

    I personally think Mike Conley is going to be a bust….the guy has no jump shot and overrated handles….in the league if your a lead gaurd you have to have a some kind of juomper unless your like TJ Ford he just does magic with the ball………BUT A DUDE TO LOOK OUT 4 IS NICK YOUNG HE IS BEING SLEPT ON..

  • seatownhooper

    Rodney Stuckey is better than acie law and mike conley jr. need proof watch what he did to the mephis grizzleys during the summer league!…this boy doesnt worry about what anyone says he lets his game do the talking…Joe Dumars knows what he saw in Eastern Washington…now its time for u cats to do the same! ps the only reason why conley gets his balls licked so much is because the dude played with oden…he not that nasty!im sorrry..