This will be a challenge, and some first-year players will struggle — but not all of them. For some NBA rookies, the opportunity to go against the best players in the world will only motivate them to become better players faster. Of course, while they will all earn recognition for this improvement, as well as for making strides during the Summer League, only one of them will be allowed to take home the hardware. While we’re still a ways away from the start of the 2016–17 season, here’s a look at the six players who are most likely to win NBA Rookie of the Year. 6.
Twenty years before Colin Kaepernick made his stand by sitting for the national anthem during preseason games — something he has every right to do: if we are going to force compliance in our rituals of allegiance how are we different as a nation than the countries we rail against for forced indoctrination? — the NBA had Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf. For those that don’t remember, Abdul-Rauf was a good NBA guard and a member of a Denver Nuggets in the mid-1990s. He had converted to being a Muslim during his playing career. As his faith and beliefs grew, he came to view the flag as a symbol of oppression. In the middle of the 1995-96 season, he told the NBA he would no longer stand for the anthem. Everything
Like fellow new addition Wayne Ellington, Luke Babbitt is a marksman from outside. For proof of that, look no further than a season ago when he shot 40.4 percent from three-point land as a member of the Pelicans. That’s not all to Babbitt’s game, though. The 6-foot-9 forward can also put the ball on the deck and finish around the rim. Babbitt showed that and more in one of his best games of the season on March 31 against the Nuggets. In that contest, the Nevada product notched a double-double with 22 points and 10 boards to go along with a plus-nine rating.