2019 NBA Rookie Survey Results Revealed

by August 20, 2019
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The results from the 2019 draft class survey are in and there are several surprises, as John Schuhmann of NBA.com outlines. Topics include: who will win the rookie of the year award; who will have the best career (spoiler: the rookies don’t believe it will be Zion Williamson); which skills do prospects need at the NBA level; and which NBA players are their favorites. Let’s dive into the results:

Who will win the Rookie of the Year award?

Zion WilliamsonPelicans35%
Ja MorantGrizzlies27%
R.J. BarrettKnicks5%
Cam ReddishHawks5%

Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Goga Bitadze, Brandon Clarke, Carsen Edwards, Darius Garland, Kyle Guy, Rui Hachimura, Romeo Langford, Coby White, and Grant Williams all received votes as well.

Which rookie will have the best career?

Cam ReddishHawks19%
Ja MorantGrizzlies16%
De’Andre HunterHawks11%
R.J. BarrettKnicks5%
Jaxson HayesPelicans5%
Coby WhiteBulls5%
Zion WilliamsonPelicans5%

Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Jarrett Culver, Carsen Edwards, Darius Garland, Rui Hachimura, Keldon Johnson, Mfiondu Kabengele, Romeo Langford, Cody Martin, Eric Paschall, Tremont Waters, Dylan Windler also received votes.

The 2019 draft class also voted on which rookies were the most athletic, best shooter, best defender, and best playmaker.

QuestionWinner%Runner-up%
Most
Athletic
Zion
Williamson
87%Brandon
Clarke
8%
Best
Shooter
Tyler Herro33%Kyle
Guy
29%
Best
Defender
Matisse
Thybulle
37%De’Andre
Hunter
29%
Best
Playmaker
Ja
Morant
40%Darius
Garland
15%

The rookies also voted on what skills they believe they will need at the next level. Here are the results from this topic:

  • 40% of the draft class believe speed or pace of the game will be the biggest adjustment for them (21% said physicality).
  • 32% believe the shooting is the most important skill one needs to develop at the next level. Responses varied on this question and money management (5% of responders) was among the more surprising answers.

The rookies voted on which player was the biggest steal of the 2019 draft with Bol Bol (No. 44 overall, Nuggets) and Kevin Porter (30, Cavs) each receiving 19% of the vote. Carsen Edwards (33, Celtics), Nassir Little (25, Blazers), Isaiah Roby (45, Mavs), Coby White (7, Bulls), and Grant Williams (22, Celtics) each received 5% of the tallies. Several other players also received a vote.

Lastly, the rookies voted on who is their favorite players. LeBron James received 38% of the vote with Kevin Durant owning 20% of it. No other player received more than 10% of the vote in the poll.

This year was the 10th time that the rookies were asked about their favorite players. James has taken home the top spot in four of those questionnaires (2012, 2017-2019). Durant won three times (2014-2016) with Kobe Bryant taking home the award in the other years the question was asked (2007, 2010, 2013).