Every year, NBA.com releases their Rookie Survey, where they ask different survey questions to the most recent draft classes for everyone to see. You can tell what remarks are products of trolling. However, there are always some informative nuggets in there. In theory, who knows better about these guys than the ones that have actually played against them, right?
Every year though, this survey generates some sort of excitement within a fanbase, as it gives them optimism about such an unknown piece to the team’s puzzle.
Memphis Grizzlies fans should already be excited. They have two talented rookies coming in to team up with Jaren Jackson Jr., a potential superstar that’s actually younger than the two rookies. Ja Morant is a dazzling, high-flying playmaker that gives off Russell Westbrook vibes. Brandon Clarke’s versatility and athleticism makes many salivate at his defensive potential alongside Jackson.
Morant and Clarke’s peers recognize their potential as well.
When projecting next season’s Rookie of the Year, Ja Morant received 27% of the votes, only trailing Zion Williamson (35%). He also received major consideration for having the best career in the class, as he got 16% of those votes, oddly trailing Cam Reddish (19%). He also was an overwhelming favorite for “best playmaker” in the class, tallying 40% of the votes.
Brandon Clarke wasn’t a favorite anywhere, but he appeared in four polls. He received some consideration for Rookie of the Year and “biggest steal.” He also gathering 8% of the votes for both “most athletic” and “best defenders.”
Whether or not you put stock in whatever the rookie class says, this only further validates the optimism surrounding the long-term future of the Memphis Grizzlies. It’s refreshing to see that it’s not just a rabid fanbase that overhypes everything. National media and players alike have all good things to say about the fresh talent on the Grizzlies.
This kind of optimism and buzz only make it harder to wait for the season to start.
Survey stats found on nba.com.