During the NBA’s annual rookie photo shoot Sunday at the New York Knicks practice facility in Tarrytown, N.Y., 38 members of the rookie class were surveyed about their peers.
Jabari Parker, the No. 2 overall pick by the Milwaukee Bucks out of Duke, was the overwhelming favorite to win Rookie of the Year honors.
Players were not allowed to vote for themselves or for college or NBA teammates.
Parker was named on 52.8 percent of the surveys as the 2014-15 Rookie of the Year.
Doug McDermott of the Chicago Bulls and No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins of the Cleveland Cavaliers (wink, wink) were a distant second with 8.3 percent each. Shabazz Napier of the Miami Heat, Nerlens Noel of the Philadelphia 76ers—the No. 6 overall pick in 2013 who sat out all of last season while the 76ers shamelessly tanked with a knee injury—and Elfrid Payton of the Orlando Magic were named on 5.6 percent of the surveys.
Others receiving votes included Aaron Gordon of the Magic, Rodney Hood of the Utah Jazz, Julius Randle of the Los Angeles Lakers, Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics and T.J. Warren of the Phoenix Suns.
Of course, last year’s rookie class got their best candidate for ROY honors wrong. C.J. McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers and Victor Oladipo of Orlando were named by 24.2 percent of the 2013-14 rookies surveyed.
But it was Michael Carter-Williams of the 76ers who took home the hardware as Rookie of the Year last season.
Other questions on the survey and the leading response for each include:
- Which rookie will have the best career? Parker, 45.9 percent.
- Which rookie is being most overlooked? Kyle Anderson of the San Antonio Spurs, 11.1 percent.
- Which rookie is the most athletic? Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves, 56.6 percent.
- Which rookie is the best shooter? McDermott, 39.5 percent.
- Which rookie is the best defender? K.J. McDaniels of Philadelphia, 13.5 percent.
- Which rookie is the best playmaker? Tyler Ennis of the Suns, 24.3 percent.
- Which rookie is the funniest? Joel Embiid of the 76ers, 20 percent (and, hey, he could win this again next season, too, is Sixers GM Sam Hinkie does his thing again this year).
- What will be the biggest adjustment for you, playing in the NBA? Speed/pace of the game, 26.4 percent.
- Who is your favorite player in the league? Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, 25 percent.