There are so many skilled, fantastic new players joining the NBA this year, they all have the potential to become the next big thing. Lots of the rookies were put in situations where they did not have an immediate team they can easily call a championship team, considering most of them were put on teams trying to create a new brand during their stages of rebuilding. During this season some rookies who are in position to thrive and be a big part of their team's success while others could fail to adjust to the next level and ultimately become a “bust”.
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans
Williamson has the potential to take the league by storm, and that's not a joke. His silky smooth touch around the rim along with his gradually-expanding range considering his size continues to keep fans in awe. Playing alongside one of the most profound passers in the league Lonzo Ball, and a consistent, polished all- around guard like Jrue Holiday can only benefit the young phenom. Williamson’s defense can also benefit the Pelicans with his absurd amount of strength. How will this number one pick deal with the pressure, the fame, and the fortune? You’ll just have to see for yourself.
Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies
Athleticism should be Morant's middle name, similar to all star and former MVP Russell Westbrook, given his extraordinary bunnies that he isn’t afraid to show off around the rim. Despite not being a highly-touted prospect to begin last year’s college basketball season, Morant seemed to turn the heads of many basketball eyes fairly quickly, after showcasing his playmaking ability, while leading the country in assists, and carrying his team to the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament. Even though he has not proved to be a consistent 3-point shooter just yet, Morant makes up in other aspects around the court which outweighs his weaknesses. This transition to a whole new level of basketball may not be the easiest for Ja Morant, but can he handle the pressure?
RJ Barrett, New York Knicks
Barrett lacks a strong supporting staff in New York like he had all throughout his college career at Duke, but that yields opportunity for the 3rd overall pick. Barrett was a great instinct shooter back at Duke but hopefully he realizes that the NBA is a whole new level of skill, agility, and focus that isn't fully introduced at the college level. Will Barrett be able to execute against the length and strength of the NBA’s best wing players?
De’Andre Hunter, Atlanta Hawks
Still on a high from a Championship win, Hunter showcased his defense more than any other skill he contains. Hunter consistently stays on the ball pressuring turnovers with his speed and strength. Along with his high quality defense Hunter has ascended into a solid 3-point shooter, while converting on 43.8% of his attempts last season at Virginia. While his presence add immediate help on the defensive end, his ability to knock down the 3-ball could prove beneficial towards the Atlanta Hawks this upcoming season.
Coby White, Chicago Bulls
Coby White has to be one of the most consistent shooters this NBA draft has seen. Once White is on a roll, its very hard to cool him down. Playing alongside Zach Lavine can eventually be a better duo than most imagine. White has the ability to come off the bench and put the game in his own hands. Even though his handles are spectacular, and his ability to finish in the paint gave him great success for the Tar heels last year, his small frame of only 170 pounds as well as his 6’4” wingspan may make it tougher to excel I’m that area. How big of an impact will White make for the Bulls this upcoming season?
Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards
Hachimura created history the day he got drafted into the league making his family and country extremely proud. Even though during his time at Gonzaga he seemed to produce low offensive numbers when not near the hoop and his defensive numbers also were lower than expected for a player whose main assignment is rebounding. Washington Wizards have limited skill which can throw Hachimura into the position to improve his offense with passing and shooting.
Cam Reddish, Atlanta Hawks
Despite being drafted 10th overall in the NBA draft, he was voted most likely to have the best career. Despite his inefficient year at his lone season at duke, with a 35.6% field goal percentage while also shooting 33% from beyond the arc, his raw talent clearly stands out amongst the majority of the rookies. Let’s not forget that he was the 3rd overall ranked recruit coming out of high school. He showed the basketball world a tidbit of his performance in clutch situations, particularly when he hit the buzzer-beating game winner against FSU. If “Cam fam” can move on from his inconsistencies, he can be a very important contributor to the Hawks’ success this year.