Let's take a brief look at the front-runners, the stars everyone's expecting to compete for the award:
Victor Oladipo: After a breakout junior season at Indiana, Oladipo quickly became a prime draft prospect and was plucked at No. 2 overall. He'll serve as a combo guard with substantial responsibilities on both ends for the Orlando Magic. He won't have a Damian Lillard-type season, but his efforts may still be enough to outshine the rest of the 2013-14 class.
Trey Burke: At Michigan, Burke torched opponents with his ability to create shots for himself and his teammates. The Utah Jazz are grooming him to do the same thing in the NBA as a dual-threat point guard. Since the club is in a transitional rebuilding phase, Burke will see ample playing time.
Ben McLemore: Smooth-shooting Kansas standout Ben McLemore won't instantly save the Sacramento Kings, but he will put up good enough numbers to compete for Rookie of the Year honors. If he can shoot the ball efficiently, he'll match or exceed fellow St. Louis prodigy Bradley Beal's 2012-13 stats.
C.J. McCollum: Damian Lillard's 2012-13 season is a tough act to follow, and C.J. McCollum won't likely deliver that kind of impact (19.0 points, 6.5 assists per game). However, if he scores 15-16 points with three to four assists and helps the Portland Trail Blazers make the playoffs, he'll have a great chance to win ROY.
Cody Zeller: The Charlotte Bobcats' top selection has the best mix of NBA-readiness and long-term upside of any big man in this draft. Zeller will team with Al Jefferson to form a potent low-post combo, and the Indiana product could very easily out-perform Anthony Davis' 2012-13 production.