In a recent survey taken by this year’s NBA rookies, Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kris Dunn has the best chance of winning the Rookie of the Year Award.
On Tuesday, NBA.com released their rookie survey where the recent draft picks vote on thing such as favorites for the Rookie of the Year Award, the steal of the draft, most athletic player, and much more.
Dunn’s performance in Summer League likely had a heavy influence on his draft mates.
He only played in two games before being diagnosed with a concussion, but he managed to take the league by storm in his 68 total minutes of play by averaging 24 points, seven rebounds, and three assists per game.
Dunn is certainly the most polished rookie heading into the 2016-17 season. After four season at Providence, he has had plenty of time to sharpen his skills as a point guard to be competitive from the jump.
It’s no secret that the NBA Draft for the past 10 or so years has favored the one-and-done players. Some have become superstars of the league, but there is also a large number of them that fade out of the league quickly simply because they weren’t ready.
Dunn fell into Minnesota’s lap after both Boston and Phoenix passed on him with the third and fourth overall picks.
The Timberwolves are expected to make huge improvements from their 29-53 finish to the 2015-16 season. With Wiggins continuing to blossom, Towns’ likelihood of being a legitimate All-Star candidate, and Dunn, the future is pretty much guaranteed success.
When it comes to winning the Rookie of the Year Award though, Dunn may struggle. Yes, he may be a part of a winning team and have his hand in a good portion of the success, but the recent award winners have one thing in common: the best stat line.
Towns, Wiggins, and Michael Carter-Williams are the last three winners of the award. Each one posted the most impressive stat line despite playing on a teams that were in the bottom of the league. Those three aren’t the only ROY winners to follow that formula.
Considering that Dunn will play alongside Towns and Wiggins, it’s safe to assume that though his stat line could be impressive, it may not be as good as Simmons or Ingram, both of which will be the number one options on their respective teams.
It was interesting to see that Simmons finished in third-place in the voting, but there’s a good chance that the rookies don’t know how heavily statistics weigh on how the winner being determined.
Judging off of the recent years, Simmons should be the favorite heading into the 2016-17 season because he’ll have the ball in his hands the most and have the ultimate freedom to make plays.
While head coach Tom Thibodeau won’t hold Dunn back, he also has to be sure that Wiggins and Towns are getting their touches as well as looking for his own opportunities.
Maybe Dunn can be the player who breaks the streak of rookies winning the award strictly off their averages.
If the Timberwolves can have a turnaround season and make the playoffs (which isn’t an unrealistic prediction) and Dunn puts together a solid stat line as the starting point guard, he’ll have a strong argument for being the third straight Timberwolves player to win the award.