It’s late August, player movement is virtually at a standstill, we’re still six weeks away from the start of training camp and we’ve already milked the glorious photographs of Jonas Valanciunas in a Raptors uniform for all they’re worth.
So with little else to discuss right now, let’s take a look at the obviously meaningful results of the NBA.com rookie survey.
39 players from this year’s rookie class were polled. They weren’t allowed to vote for themselves, their NBA teammates or a college teammate. Here’s how the Raptors fared:
- Both Acy and Ross received a vote for most overlooked rookie
- Acy finished tied for the most votes (17.6% of the vote) with Perry Jones III for most athletic. Ross finished third in this category with 14.7% of the vote
- Ross finished tied for fifth (5.4%) with Damian Lillard for best shooter
- Acy received a vote for best defender
Seeing Terrence Ross place in the top-five for athleticism and shooting didn’t surprise me, but seeing Quincy Acy up there with a reputed freak athlete like Perry Jones III for most athletic caught me off guard. Everyone’s going to love Acy’s hustle and I can see him earning a place in the rotation on work ethic alone, but I never really thought of him as a great athlete. Though maybe this will help quell the Reggie Evans comparisons for now, since other than being good rebounders and growing beards, they aren’t really similar players.
If the rookies are right, then the Raptors got a whole lot more athletic by drafting the combination of Acy and Ross, but what about the much hyped Jonas Valanciunas?
JV didn’t receive a single vote in any category, and while that might be fair for the Rookie of the Year prediction (Valanciunas won’t score enough next season to take home the award), it’s a little puzzling in the best defender category and in respect to the question of “Which rookie will have the best career?” Anthony Davis is the easy answer and should be the correct answer, but Kim English and Bernard James both received a vote under the “best career” category for God’s sake, so it’s not like only the high profile rookies were recognized.
The simple explanation is that the draft class of 2012 probably doesn’t know much about the draft class of 2011, let alone the foreign fifth pick from 2011, and that’s why I wasn’t expecting to see Valanciunas’ name pop up too many times in this survey.
But not even once, really? You’d assume these guys would be aware of which of their peers are highly touted and which aren’t.
I suppose it’s possible that much of the 2012-13 rookie class doesn’t even know who Jonas Valanciunas is at this point, but Valanciunas was present at the rookie symposium, so his fellow rookies either don’t realize that he’s kind of a big deal, or they know all about him and simply don’t believe the hype.
If it’s the latter, then Rambo just added 37 names (Ross and Acy couldn’t vote for him) to his hit-list, since you know Jonas has this survey and a rookie group photo of all involved taped to his mirror for motivation.
Be afraid, fellow rookies, be very afraid.
They’re probably all just jealous anyway, since I doubt any of them ever served as the inspiration for truly
epic disturbing music like this:
In all seriousness though, of the three Raptors rookies, I’d bet Ross has the best debut season, Valanciunas ends up the more valuable player long term and (the athletic?) Acy carves out a meaningful role in Toronto sooner than expected.