NBA.com’s John Schuhmann published the results of an 8-question poll from 38 incoming rookies today and the results were somewhat unflattering, at least from Buddy Hield’s perspective.
Sure, the most recent Wooden, Naismith and ESPY winner was overwhelmingly voted as the best shooter and his peers did give him the third best odds of having the most promising career from the 2016 class, but he failed to garner a single vote in several other categories.
In most Rookie of the Year predictions I’ve come across, Hield’s name has routinely been found among the top 5. Among the 11 names who received votes in this poll, Hield’s name was notably absent. Here, have a look at the breakdown.
Are you serious, Skal Labissiere or Pascal Siakam???
On the flip side of the coin, it’s also mildly surprising to see Ben Simmons finish third in this race. Did Kris Dunn’s Summer League explosion — in all of 2 games mind you — sway the votes in his favor or should we assume that perhaps young men, some of whom have yet to reach the legal drinking age limit, consider other factors outside of solid objective analysis?
This question is worth pondering further when examining the best playmaker results. Not only did Dunn lead the pack again, despite finishing with the 72nd highest Assist % and reportedly having trouble initiating the offense in Summer League play, but a name like Thon Maker populated the list. Did all those who voted for him fail to account for the fact that Maker posted zero assists in 151 minutes of playing time?
Hield and his 24.5 Assist percentage finished in the same neighborhood as Kay Felder (25.2 AST%) and well ahead of Denzel Valentine (15.1 AST%). Now, it’s understandable if collegiate play was weighed more heavily, but it begs the following question: did all the participants fail to watch Buddy Buckets light up most opponents this past NCAA season and hence deserve just a teeny bit of ROY appreciation?