Ben Simmons entered the 2017-18 season as Vegas’ favorite to win that year’s Rookie of the Year award – and he made the sportsbooks look wise. Simmons looked ready to dominate at the ripe age of 21, averaging 15.8 points, 8.2 assists, and 8.1 rebounds per game and helping the Sixers mount a late charge for East supremacy.
Many predicted the Aussie would claim that award, but few expected he’d be jockeying for the honor with Donovan Mitchell, who inexplicably fell to No. 13 in the 2017 draft. Jayson Tatum (the No. 3 pick) came in third, and though a fourth finalist wasn’t announced, we imagine Kyle Kuzma (No. 27) would’ve checked in next on the list.
So, which young star will shine the brightest this year? Here are 10 incoming rookies we think have the best shot of taking home the hardware in June 2019.
10. Harry Giles, Sacramento Kings
It seems everyone has forgotten about Giles, a top-three recruit in the Class of 2016 (the others at the top: Lonzo Ball and Josh Jackson). Everyone, that is, except for the Kings, who have sung his praises this offseason. After sitting out his rookie season, Giles made his debut at Summer League and performed well, consistently posting double-doubles and showing impressive ability to protect the rim. Vince Carter, who spent last season with Giles, recently told me he was surprised the Kings would go after another big (Marvin Bagley III) because Giles is going to be a problem. Expect a Harry Giles comeback story this season.