Wednesday, October 29th, 2008 at 1:41 pm  |  86 responses

2008-’09 Rookies Most Likely To…

Who’s winning that ROY?

You should have seen the issue by now. You should have checked Lang’s Preview by now. What’s left? The SLAM staff’s annual rookie predictions. Here’s what we have to say…

This is why we get the big bucks. Or not. For real, who else knew that Kevin Durant would be the leading rookie scorer, Al Horford the leading rookie rebounder and Mike Conley the top first-year assist man? P.S. Yes, we rounded off.

Voters: Jake Appleman, Senior Writer; Michael Bradley, Senior Writer; Matt Caputo, Assistant Editor; Adam Fleischer, Editorial Intern; Ryan Jones, Contributing Editor; Ryne Nelson, Online Editor; Ben Osborne, Editor-in-Chief; Dennis Page, Publisher; Susan Price, Managing Editor; Khalid Salaam, Senior Editor; Aggrey Sam, Senior Writer; Bonsu Thompson, Senior Writer; DeMarco Williams, Senior Writer; Ronnie Zeidel, Associate Publisher

Average 20 points:

Michael Beasley, OJ Mayo (43% each), Eric Gordon (14%)

“Mayo and Beasley carried the scoring weight in college. Moving to the NBA, their teams need them to contribute right away. Mayo’s deadly shooting range and finishing skills around the basket should give him the scoring advantage over his Draftmates.”—Matt Caputo

Average 10 rebounds:

Kevin Love (43%), Michael Beasley (36%), Greg Oden (21%)

“I could list his 23 double-doubles last season at UCLA (oops—looks like I just did), but I don’t need digits to justify this pick. Just know that few players understand how to rebound as well as Love does. Watch. You’ll see.”—Ryan Jones

Average 10 assists:

Derrick Rose (57%), Russell Westbrook, DJ Augustin (14% each), Jerryd Bayless, Kevin Love (7% each)

“Starting a true floor leader could uproot fear from the Chicago Bulls’ front office and replant it abroad the East. Derrick Rose is the only handler on their roster with that kind of green thumb. Plus Memphis is currently weeding out the PGs from the OJs.”—Bonsu Thompson

Unfairly get bench splinters:

Jerryd Bayless (29%), Joe Alexander (14%), Ryan Anderson, JR Giddens, Eric Gordon, George Hill, DJ Augustin, Bill Walker, Anthony Randolph, Kosta Koufos (7% each)

“The Trailblazers are stacked front to back like Kim Kardashian. This is a good thing and a bad thing for Jerryd Bayless, who will win more but play less than his counterparts on lesser teams.”—Jake Appleman

Lead the League in Turnovers:

Derrick Rose (36%), OJ Mayo, Russell Westbrook (14% each), Eric Gordon, DJ Augustin, Jerryd Bayless, Brook Lopez, Mario Chalmers (7% each)

“Even if D’Antoni really rubbed off on Del Negro, put on your John Hollinger glasses and try to imagine how Pooh can’t win this category after a year leading the 100-mph Memphis track meet, then going pro.”—Aggrey Sam

Lead the League in Blocks:

Greg Oden (36%), Jason Thompson, JaVale McGee, Roy Hibbert, Kevin Love (14% each), Anthony Randolph (7%)

“While at Ohio State, Oden was a game-changing shot blocker. Now, as Portland’s starting center, his size and patience will allow him to dominate the middle in the NBA as well. What’s more, the ’08 Draft Class severely lacks a solid defensive big man.”—Ryne Nelson

Be Rookie of the Year:

Michael Beasley (43%), OJ Mayo (29%), Derrick Rose (14%), Danilo Gallinari, Greg Oden (7% each)

“A member of the best high school class in years, Beasley consistently stood out whenever he played amongst them, and I don’t see that changing in the NBA. If anything, motivated by future All-Star appearances, long-term contracts and endorsement deals, Be Easy may show the gap between him and his classmates to be even bigger.”—Ben Osborne

Hurt Himself Running Laps:

Roy Hibbert (36%) Alexis Ajinca, Danilo Gallinari (14% each) Robin Lopez, Donte Green, Joe Crawford, Derrick Rose, DJ White (7% each)

“Roy Hibbert seems like a good enough kid, but he just has this certain air of fragility about him. Until I see some more fire in his eyes, I’m afraid he’s going to come off as delicate in mine…”—DeMarco Williams

Fade into Obscurity:

Anthony Randolph, Jason Thompson (14% each), Joey Dorsey, Danilo Gallinari, Roy Hibbert, Serge Ibaka, Robin Lopez, JaVale McGee, Brandon Rush, Sean Singletary, Bill Walker, DJ White (7% each)

“Sh*t, Jason Thompson is forgotten already. Can you name what school he attended? Do you know what position he plays? Do you have any idea about how he even looks? Exactly. And he’s playing in Sacramento? LOL.”—Khalid Salaam

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  • http://slamonline.com Matt Caputo

    I could never be first!

  • Hussman25

    It is unfair to say Jason Thompson will fade into obscurity…(He went to Rider.) As you all know now any BIG 6’10 and over will definately get shown some interest; although a relative unknown. He should be fine. My pick would have been Sean Singletary…

  • LeeVan

    I thoroughly enjoyed both this feature and the explanations that accompanied the picks.

  • orteezy

    technically…RUDY!!! bow down rooks!

  • http://www.ballislife.com Justin Walsh

    I think it’s totaly fair to say he is leading the polls of who will fade to obscurity. Almost nobody knows the guy who isn’t a hoophead like us diehard SLAMfans/basketball fans

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

    Thank you Hussman. I’ve been saying forever that you can’t “fade into” something you’re already in. My colleagues don’t always listen. PS, I voted for Derrick Rose. He’s garbage!

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Wait, Roy Hibbert isn’t a Hoya anymore?

  • Ken

    Surprised Oden wasn’t on the list of likely to hurt himself running laps.

  • http://www.mybleedingfingertips.blogspot.com/ Myles Brown

    Twice as many people thought KLove would average 10 boards than Greg Oden? Interesting. And Rose will be ROY.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Someone voted for Galinari for ROY?

  • http://www.hoopmixtape.com Simon S.Y Lawy

    OLDEN is DOWN…

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    My ballot must have gotten lost in the mail.

  • http://joebasketball.blogspot.com Not-so-average Joe

    It took Oden less than 13 minutes of an nba game to get an injury. I think he kind of wins that award already

  • http://www.sonicbids.com/shaemorin doyouwantmore

    Lead the league in surgeries

    Oden – Ninety-nine freaking percent.

  • http://www.sprint.com/sero Dma

    no love for Rudy anywhere? he was a great pickup in fantasy sports for last pick. stat stuffer. 16 points, 3 3′s, 2 steals, few rebounds.

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

    Kevin Love ten assists huh?

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Jason Thompson has a little game. I watched a random Kings preseason game and liked his activity. I don’t even know who DJ White plays for.

  • MSkittle

    Greg Oden could easily hurt himself during running laps!

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

    I think it’s worth noting that some of the voters might’ve based their picks on the 2008 Draft list, and actually forgotten about Greg… and I might’ve been one of them. Doh!

  • underdog

    Oden isn’t even mentioned in the “Hurt Himself Running Laps” category? Big mistake.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Russ, Susan has you in the club of people that didn’t respond to her “ballots”. Hard to know who is right between you and her but you can make amends (with time on your side): who would you have chosen in these categories?

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    OOOOOH, internal Slam beef. Will we be getting a diss record?

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    That rookie team is something else!

  • http://slamonline.com Josh D

    The Race 4 ROY is going to be one of the best ever, any one of 4 players has a nearly equal chance of winning it

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    I don’t remember getting said e-mail, but I’m not the most reliable witness. In order: Beasley, Oden, Rose, Gordon, Mayo, Oden, Rose, Oden, Gallinari. (Rose for ROY is a straight-up, no-shame heart pick.)

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    “Just know that few players understand how to rebound as well as Love does. Watch. You’ll see.”—Ryan Jones

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Is it possible for Love to understand how to rebound without being able to actually do it at an NBA level?

  • cp3mvp0809

    Jason Thompson went to Rider college, and hes a forward. I still remember him

  • http://www.gmi-mr.com Nolan

    I agree that Rudy Fernandez should not be left out of the conversation – diverse player, will put up fairly solid numbers across the board, but somewhat overshadowed by Oden (if Oden can stay healthy). He’s definitely a sleeper pick!

    BUT… my pick would be Beasley – he’s going to absolutely light up the stat sheet. I predict his numbers will be as well rounded as Marion’s this year due to his athleticism, skill and maturity.

  • Colin

    Khalid that is cold what you said about Jason Thompson. He went to Rider in N.J. plays power forward, was second in the nation last year in rebounding behind a guy named Beasley. He looks like a basketball player – tall and lean. I expected a little more from you man I thought Sam was the trash talker.

  • http://AllAbout-Penis-Enlargement.com Jukai

    Kevin Love averaging 10 assists…. Lemme guess.. Ryan?

  • SchW

    Put that picture up for a wallpaper download cuz its huge

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

    Now, let me guess how many times you’ve typed my name in the past 72 hours…

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

    Oh, and Eboy, I stand by that sh*t. L your AO all you went.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    The over/under starts at 25…..

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

    Over. Has to be.

  • http://slamonline.com Khalid Salaam

    Its not personal, guys. I wish Jason Thompson the best. Relax people

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    The Sarcasm Gods are crying….

  • http://slamonline.com Khalid Salaam

    though be honest, most of you don’t even know who he is. Hence, that’s why he won that category.

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

    Is Jason Thompson white? ‘Cause Khalid hates white people. I assume everyone knows that by now.

  • http://where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    Love this every year. I just got my new issuewanted to thank everyone at Slam for an amazing issue. Possibly the best one yet. The Josh Smith article and the backboard by Brandon Jennings were very welcomed surprises. Thanks guys.

  • http://where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    I obviously can’t type today.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Everybody keeps telling me how great Beasley is, but I haven’t seen the kid play. I’m intrigued.
    Rose is so athletic. I thought he was just athletic compared to wack college guards, but he is one of the fastest, strongest point guards in the league and he’s a rookie! Yeah, I wish Miami had gotten Rose and Chicago had gotten Beasley. Two teams would have been much better faster. Now things are more complicated.

  • http://AllAbout-Penis-Enlargement.com Jukai

    Ryan Jones Ryan Jones Ryan Jones! Did I make you lose count?

  • slamfan4life

    Rose will be ROY

  • http://kb24.com Bigi


  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    Leon Powe Line: 13 points, 2 rebounds, 23:07 minutes.

  • scott

    Powe had a sweet facial on West too.

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    I would have picked Beasley to be ROY right after the draft, Oden to be ROY right after I remembered he was eligible (and saw he could walk), and Rose right after I remembered I was a Bulls fan and being objective is for suckers.

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    Also, I’m totally rooting hard for Kevin Love just because so many people apparently think he’s the Pillsbury Doughboy with a chinstrap. I’m not sure who I’d compare him to, but I think he’s gonna do just fine.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    GREG ODEN WONT GET NOTHING. (double negative…)

  • Rob Wells Jr.

    Russell Westbrook is agem. No one knows yet but i think this guys gonna be real good. He’s lightning fast goin up the court and to the basket.

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    CORRECTION: Since he got no love at all, and Greg Oden appears to be made of paper, I’d like to change my 10-rebound pick to Marc “The Lumberjack” Gasol.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Eric Gordon is a very likely contender for Rookie of the Year. Remember, IF he wins, you heard it from me first.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Wait what? Danilo Galinari is on the list for most likely to win ROY, but Eric Gordon isn’t? Okay… Still, I hope he can help my Knicks out later in the season and not become Darko Jr.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    0 fade into obscurity votes for Alexis Anjinca? Well, i guess he has staied in obscurity so i cant blame yall for not putting him on the list.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    Eboy:According to a current NBA.com boxscore,Kevin Love has amassed 5 rebounds in 1minute and 12 seconds.

  • http://slamonline.com Ryan Jones


  • http://slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Sorry. Was that too loud?

  • http://slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Needless to say, I’m going to be an even bigger *sshole than usual about this one, and I don’t care if he never gets another rebound ever again.

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    Meanwhile, the Heat lost to the Knicks and Beasley had nine points (on 4-14) and four boards and the worst plus/minus on the floor.

  • Placktose

    Looking at today’s box scores, it looks like this is going to be one of the best rookie classes in years… although i guess you cant judge it yet as we have only had two days of the season.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    In unrelated news, one game was played. 81 left.

  • mike

    still didint get this ish in seattle

  • mike

    or the next

  • Nashty

    best nickname for a rookie: Monkey King


    Darrell Arthur will be better than Kevin Love. Once he is starting for the Grizz he will be putting up better numbers as well. People are forgetting about Arthur b/c he fell so far but he did win a National Championship last year and was a major reason why. Chalmers gave them the shot and Arthur finished it.

  • Majic

    hate on shock and hawes last year hate on JT this year. 14 rebounds and 6 blocks & 7-11 (FGs) 10 boards collectively

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Kevin Love average 10 assists? On the T-WolveS?! L my A0 (Thanks Jones). I saw that boxscore of Love as well. Gasol was good tonight vs. the rockets as well.

  • Art

    No Rudy Fernandez, no credibility.
    And Marc Gasol is gonna get a lot of rebounds, you can bet (12 pts – 12 rbds – 2 blks in his first game).

  • ohyes

    After 2 days of season R.fernandez and M.Gasol are contenders for ROY, and right now at the top of the list


    I can see Mario Chalmers being the most productive point guard out of the rookies.

  • Ned

    Jason Thompson, 18 and 10 yesterday, or something? R.O.Y!!!!!

  • catalonian


  • http://AllAbout-Penis-Enlargement.com Jukai

    Someone on the Kings scored 18 points on seven of eleven shooting. I can’t remember who though.

  • jaywhy

    Bayless deserves as many minutes as Rudy… hope coach Nate brings some justice!

  • slamfan4life

    no way chalmers will be more productive than Rose

  • The Last Kings Fan

    Jason Thompson had a double double off the bench last night. Sure it was against the Wolves. But still…..

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Ryan, I drafted Kev in my fantasy draft and I’m feeling pretty good about it. I have to admit that were it not for your e-harping on him, he probably would have been lower on my list.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    I must have lost my ballot, too…
    Jason Thompson is like no player you have ever seen. Hate if you like, but the kid is outrageously talented and a physical freak of nature.

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  • http://hotmail.com JAY OF DA PEAS

    R.O.Y is between derrick rose and oj mayo not to say b-easy ain’t that good , but it’s mayo or rose.Love,oden ,bayless ,gordon and even rush can be contenders but minutes have to play a big part on their side

  • Davis

    Kevin Love

  • ctab21

    hurt himself running laps…Greg Oden (100%)

  • xavier23

    Jason Thompson= sick game this kid is something special..he a geoff Petrie pick the guy that drafted peja,turkglu,gerald Wallace,hawes, kevin martin and the greatest euro player that never came to the NBA. beasley wins Roy heat will have more wins than bulls..oden injury bug…but jt will be a dwight Howard of he had offense

  • http://nbl antho