NBA SEASON PREDICTIONS
Baller Mind Frame NBA Survey | NBA World Champions | Most Valuable Player | Rookie of the Year | Sixth Man of the Year | Defensive Player of the Year | Most Improved Player | Coach of the Year | Breakout Player of the Year | Surprisingly Good Team | Surprisingly Bad Team
Stephen Nixon: Elfrid Payton
Props goes out to Grantland’s Bill Simmons for choosing this player. I wouldn’t have watched his YouTube videos for hours if it weren’t for him, and after watching, I fell in love with the way Payton plays basketball. His craftiness and speed is very rare and his pass-first mentality is something that makes him incredibly fun to watch. Payton is going to play a lot of minutes on a lowly Orlando Magic squad, and as the season progresses he will get even better, and will end up winning the Rookie of the Year Award.
Corey Quincy: Jabari Parker
Jabari Parker is the most complete player to come out of this year’s draft. Milwaukee’s new small forward has been explosive during the preseason. Expect it to carry over throughout the year as the 19-year-old former Duke star grows with his team, and, one day, perhaps beyond this franchise.
Bryan Brandom: Jabari Parker
At this point, it’s Jabari Parker’s award to lose. This doesn’t mean he’s the most talented rookie, or that he’ll be at the top of his class two decades from now. But right now, Jabari’s in the best position to succeed. He’s definitely the most polished rookie, is pretty much already the No. 1 option on offense, and has a supporting cast strong enough to keep teams from overplaying him. All other candidates for this award have major strikes against them. Andrew Wiggins doesn’t have quite the refined game, half of his strength (defense) is typically ignored by ROY voters, and there are other scorers and young guns on his team. Nerlens Noel’s only threatening offensive skill is rolling to the rim, but that doesn’t really work if he doesn’t share the floor with competent NBA shooters (he won’t).