National Basketball Association rookies view Dennis Smith Jr. as ROY favorite, draft's top athlete

2017 NBA Draft class

Despite the hype surrounding Lonzo Ball, no. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz, Jayson Tatum, and even forgotten rookie Ben Simmons, fellow rookies are looking elsewhere when it comes to Rookie of the Year.

NBA rookies sat down with to answer seven questions regarding the 2017 draft class with such categories ranging from biggest draft steal to most athletic.

Ball is one of the most dynamic passing talents of this generation of National Basketball Association players, able to pick out passes and open teammates regardless of the range or angle difficulty. spoke with 39 rookies at the recent Rookie Photo Shoot in NY.

The survey, which takes votes from every National Basketball Association rookie, picked Dennis Smith Jr. of the Dallas Mavericks as the most likely to win Rookie of the Year (Ball was second, Tatum received votes), but Tatum and Ball received 18.4 percent of the vote apiece for best career.

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Picked ninth in the draft, Smith Jr. enters the season with a chip on his shoulder, feeling he should have been picked higher. After all, they are the ones playing against him, not the executives that passed on him on draft night.

Only one draft class has guessed the Rookie of the Year Award correctly, which came in 2007 (Kevin Durant). Last season, then-Timberwolves guard Kris Dunn (now with the Chicago Bulls) was predicted to win the award, which went to Milwaukee's Malcolm Brogdon.

Smith Jr.'s fellow rookies also named him him the most athletic player in this draft class.

T4. Kyle Kuzma, L.A. Lakers- 5.7%. He ran away with the decision, earning 43.6 percent of the votes; the runner-up was Terrance Ferguson of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who finished with 12.8 percent.

Boston Celtics wing Jayson Tatum tied for the top slot in the National Basketball Association rookie survey question "Who will have the best career?" along with Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball. Smith Jr. and Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson tied for third, receiving 10.5 percent of the votes.


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