NBA 

Two Sides Of The Coin: The 2014-2015 NBA Rookie Of The Year Is…..

The NBA Draft had plenty of people excited over who could potentially be playing for their favorite team. More specifically, teams were looking to cash in on the bevy of talent that this draft had. And some teams got lucky to get who they wanted. While others are waiting on their guys to eventually ready to contribute to their team. But let’s take a look at who will run the Rookie class in the NBA. Mike and Eddie look into their crystal ball to give you the 2014-2015 NBA Rookie of The Year.

Let’s start with who Mike has as his star rookie this season.

The vast array of talent available in this year’s draft was amazing. But before this past college basketball season, three youngsters were considered the top three. Jabari Parker of Duke, Andrew Wiggins of Kansas and Julius Randle of Kentucky were all thought to be the first three taken off the board before they even played a collegiate basketball game. And all three showed flashes of their potential and them some in their lone season in college basketball. But as the draft talk and the teams began to do their evaluations, Parker and Wiggins began to separate themselves from the pack, while Randle began to fall back to it. By the time the draft rolled around, Wiggins and Parker went one and two like they were predicted to. But Randle fell to the Los Angeles Lakers at the 7th overall pick. Some may view this as a bad thing for Randle, but in my opinion, this was the perfect spot for him to land and claim what is his: the 2014-2015 NBA Rookie Of The Year Award.

Julius Randle attacks the rim( picture via www.solecollector.com)
Julius Randle attacks the rim( picture via www.solecollector.com)

Looking at the Lakers right now, there is not much of depth up front. Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill and Chris Kaman are all free agents and more than likely will not be back in Los Angeles next season. That leaves the Lakers with only Ryan Kelley and Robert Sacre up front. The lack of quality big men for the Lakers provides the opportunity for Randle to step right in and immediately get some playing time. And with his physical gifts, Randle could be a handful for many a power forward. The great thing about Randle is he fits into two styles of play. He can fill the lane on the fast break if the Lakers decide to go with the fast-break style of offense. Even though his arm length measurments were merely average, Randle can still finish at the rim on the fast break with either power or finesse. And in the halfcourt, look for him to overpower some players or face up and use his quickness like he did here in this clip:

http://youtu.be/SdsY62qaCoA

Randle completely owned Adreian Payne, who was the first round pick of the Atlanta Hawks this year. And in these highlights, another strength of Randle’s was shown. Randle is a tenacious offensive rebounder. With his strength, quickness and strong hands, that will not change in the NBA.

Of course Randle is not a finished product as of yet. Offensively, he still has to get better at finishing with his right hand and become more consistent with his midrange jumper. Defensively he has to improve his position defense. But in 2014-2015, expect this physical specimen to be a bullish rebounder and relentless worker on a team in need of a bulldog down low. He was a double-double machine at Kentucky. Randle may not be a double-double machine to start his career, but look for Randle to average roughly 17 points and 7 or 8 rebounds as he becomes one of the pieces in the resurgence of the Lakers. And of course his success in the bright lights of Los Angeles will lead to him being named the 2014-2015 NBA Rookie Of The Year.

Eddie seemed to have another idea as to who the Rookie Of The Year would be. In his opinion, the NBA Rookie Of The Year resides in the Midwest.

The 2014 NBA draft was one of the mosh memorable and deep drafts in quite some time. A lot of players in this draft will be able to come into the league and contribute right away.

Before the college basketball season started last year, the talk amongst many was that Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker would be the top two draft picks in 2014. That’s exactly how it went when the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Wiggins with the first pick and the Milwaukee Bucks taking Parker with the second pick. Many questions will rise coming out of this draft about the players selected. One of those questions is who will be the rookie of the year.

There are a handful of players who could win the award. Joel Embiid, if he was going to be healthy all season, would be my pick for ROY. Other players like Dante Exum (Utah Jazz) Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics) and Julius Randle (Los Angeles Lakers) will be in the conversation with Parker and Wiggins. My pick for rookie of the year is Jabari Parker.

The Bucks were fine with taking whichever of Wiggins or Parker fell to then. The organization was

Jabari Parker (Photo courtesy of  www.thesportsbank.net)
Jabari Parker (Photo courtesy of www.thesportsbank.net)

leaning towards Parker and got they guy they wanted. Most players wouldn’t usually want to be drafted to the Milwaukee Bucks, but Parker wanted that. He is from Chicago and is excited to represent his home city as well as his new basketball city. This kid will add some much needed scoring and excitement to this franchise. Parker can create his own shot  and score in a bevy of ways. With his offensive skills, he can come into this league and become a pretty good scorer. He should average anywhere from 17-23 points per game this season. Parker is also versatile enough offensively to post guys up with his 6’8″ frame, something the Bucks desperately need.

Parker averaged 19 points and 8 rebounds per game in his freshman season at Duke. He also seems to be a very mature player who really knows and understands the game of basketball. And another thing Parker has going for him is he just played for one of the greatest basketball coaches ever in Mike Krzyzewski. Parker will need to improve on the defensive end, but I think he will with time, as long as he is able to maintain his weight. He has been compared to the likes of Paul Pierce and Carmelo Anthony, two great players in the league. Those are ideal comparisons for Parker as he is a little bit bigger like both Pierce and Anthony and can shoot the rock.

Parker will be relied upon to be the guys who fills the seats with his dynamic play. I believe Parker is ready to embrace this organization and have a great NBA career. Of all these talented players, Parker will be the one walking away with the hardware.

Two writers with two different opinions. But only one can be right in the end. So who will it be? Will it be Randle or Parker? The question may be out still on who will win out here, but there is no doubt the NBA was a huge winner about all with the NBA drafting Isaiah Austin. Salute to the NBA and Adam Silver for his great gesture.

For more sports talk, follow Eddie on Twitter @KingEdward15 or follow Mike at @General_MP .

Written by 

The General Mike Patton is an up-and-coming writer from Nashville, TN who brings a fresh and non-biased opinion about sports. From his radio experience in Nashville to his time as a sports writer for Free's World, the website for radio personality and former cohost of BET's 106 and Park Free (www.freesworld.com), The General is definitely one you want to get to know in the sports world. You can catch his work on CitySportsReport.com as well as here on My Mind On Sports . Mike grew up rooting for the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bulls and Chicago Cubs, and remains a passionate sports fan who expresses intelligent opinions.

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