NBA rookies split on Deandre Ayton, Collin Sexton winning ROY; Trae Young voted as best shooter, playmaker

One of the best parts of every new NBA season is seeing how the rookie class performs. Year after year, a new group of talented youngsters comes into the league with high expectations, and it's fascinating to see not only how they play, but how the projections end up panning out. 

Perhaps the most interesting bunch of those projections comes from the rookies themselves, courtesy of the league's annual rookie survey. Ahead of each season, the rookie class is asked to make their picks for superlatives about their fellow rookies, with the caveat that they can't vote for themselves, a former college teammate or current pro teammate. 

Let's take a look at some of the most interesting results from this year's edition. 

For Rookie of the Year, this class was split, with both Deandre Ayton and Collin Sexton receiving 18 percent of the vote. This is only the second time in the survey's history that the vote was split, but interestingly it's also the first time no rookie received at least 20 percent of the vote. Which just goes to show that while this rookie class is deep, there may not be one player who stands out above the rest. Another thing to note here is the rookies have only gotten this pick right one time, when they selected Kevin Durant back in 2007. 

Rookie of the Year pick

Percent of vote

Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns

18

Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers

18

Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

9

Kevin Knox, New York Knicks

9

Another interesting result from this survey was the rookies' pick for the player in their class who would end up having the best NBA career. In what is perhaps a bit of a surprise, Wendell Carter Jr. got the most votes, while Jerome Robinson finished tied for second. Of course, it's too early to tell from the past few seasons, but aside from a few notable missteps -- Jahlil Okafor in 2015, for example -- the rookies have usually been pretty good in this category. 

Rookie to have the best career

Percent of vote

Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago Bulls

13

Kevin Knox, New York Knicks

10

Jerome Robinson, Clippers

10

The last notable tidbit here is that the Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young was picked by his fellow rookies as both the best shooter and best playmaker in the rookie class, and by a pretty wide margin. He received 47 percent of the votes for best shooter, and 35 percent of the votes for best playmaker. And yet, despite that, he received only six percent of the vote for who would be Rookie of the Year, putting him tied for a distant fifth place. Obviously there's nothing that guarantees you'll win ROY, but it is interesting that most rookies agreed he's the best shooter and playmaker -- two very important skills -- in the class, yet at the same time don't see much chance for him to win the award. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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