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

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22 August, 2017

NBA rookies sat down with NBA.com to answer seven questions regarding the 2017 draft class with such categories ranging from biggest draft steal to most athletic. Some think there are at least three generational talents in the class, which doesn't make sense because there can only be one generational talent at a time.

But Tatum will be given an opportunity to develop on a good franchise with an excellent coach. Ball was the second pick.

NBA.com spoke with 39 rookies at the recent Rookie Photo Shoot in NY.

The rookies also voted Ball and Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum as the most likely players to have the best National Basketball Association careers (18.4 percent each), Mitchell (picked No. 13 overall) as the biggest steal in the draft (18.9 percent) and Smith as the most athletic player (43.6 percent). The players surveyed have correctly predicted the Rookie of the Year just once since 2007 - Kevin Durant won the award that season.

Kris Dunn was the player voted most likely to win the award last season at 29 percent. Kyle Kuzma, Donovan Mitchell, and Ben Simmons tied for fourth with 5.7 percent.

Smith also received 43.6% of the vote for the most athletic rookie, while Ball was a runaway favorite for the best playmaker in the class (71.% of the vote). Thunder guard Terrance Ferguson finished second with 12.8 percent.

While Rookie of the Year guesses can have a ton to do with who each young star is playing with-Fultz will be sharing the ball with fellow rookie Ben Simmons-predicting which player will have the best overall career is pretty straight forward. Smith earned 25.7 percent of the votes, Ball claimed 20 percent, but Tatum fell into the "others receiving votes" category.


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