2010-11 NBA Awards Predictions: Power Ranking the Rookie of the Year Candidates

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2010-11 NBA Awards Predictions: Power Ranking the Rookie of the Year Candidates
Al Bello/Getty Images

Last year, Stephen Curry shot 44 percent from three-point range on his way to averaging 18 points and six assists in his rookie campaign. Brandon Jennings lit up the Warriors for 55 points and led the Bucks to an encouraging playoff berth.

Neither of them won Rookie of the Year.

In one of the stiffest competitions ever for the prestigious award, Tyreke Evans won by becoming only the fourth rookie in history to average at least 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists per game. 

However, some years the competition is a bit less fierce. In 2001, the NBA gave the Rookie of the Year award to Mike Miller mostly just because they had to give it to someone following one of the most disappointing draft classes ever. Simply put, there is no such thing as a sure thing when it comes to young players. Injuries, shooting slumps, or just cracking under pressure can undercut any seemingly promising career.

The best example to prove this is by looking back at the top picks in each draft and comparing them to the Rookies of the Year. Despite the fact that many of these players were "can't-miss" prospects, only three of the last 12 first overall picks have won the Rookie of the Year (and only two have done so on their own, as Elton Brand shared the crown with Steve Francis in 1999).

Draft Year No. 1 Pick Rookie of the Year
1998 Michael Olowakandi Vince Carter
1999 Elton Brand Steve Francis/Elton Brand (shared)
2000 Kenyon Martin Mike Miller
2001 Kwame Brown Pau Gasol
2002 Yao Ming Amar'e Stoudemire
2003 LeBron James LeBron James
2004 Dwight Howard Emeka Okafor
2005 Andrew Bogut Chris Paul
2006 Andrea Bargnani Brandon Roy
2007 Greg Oden Kevin Durant
2008 Derrick Rose Derrick Rose
2009 Blake Griffin Tyreke Evans


So who will do it this year? Will it be the first pick, John Wall, the former first pick, Blake Griffin, or someone else? If history is any indication, any prediction can only be described as an educated guess.

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