John Wall was the most recent No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft. Sure, he's got the talent, the upside, the speed, and the everything else, but is he the favorite for the 2010-2011 Rookie of the Year (ROY)?
Let's take a closer look at all of the other candidates who have a chance.
First off, we will analyze Wall's college teammate, DeMarcus Cousins, who was drafted by the rising Sacramento Kings. Cousins' chances of winning the award were not good when the Kings planned to bring him off the bench. However, now that Samuel Dalembert is injured and will most likely miss the beginning of the regular season, it seems Cousins could have a chance.
If Cousins plays well, I would expect him to take a starting job from either Dalembert or Carl Landry. He's got the rebounding talent and can score well in the paint, so he's got a great chance of winning the ROY award.
Next we have last year's top pick, Blake Griffin of the Clippers. Since he hasn't played a regular season game yet, he's still technically a rookie. Along with John Wall, he's the co-favorite to win the ROY award. He has a tremendous skill set and is an explosive, athletic power forward. He can rebound well and dominate in the paint. Griffin's style of play reminds me of Amar'e Stoudemire.
Drafted by the Washington Wizards, Wall is a speedy, strong point guard with an array of skills. The team is on his shoulders, unlike the other two main candidates. John Wall plays very good defense and is a fantastic passer. Although he's a point guard, he's so explosive and is able to score easily. His mid range jumper and three-point shot need some work, but he's still so talented.
In the end, these three rookies are the main contenders for ROY, though I believe Blake Griffin will come away with this award. He has a lot of talent, compared to the other two, he's not much better. But even though he didn't play, he has a year of experience that will come in handy. His team has a pretty good supporting cast and may be playoff-bound. The same cannot be said about the other two teams.
If DeMarcus Cousins can get a good amount of minutes and works at his game, he may have a chance. John Wall will be the only real challenger to Griffin, but Griffin should have a slight advantage that will help him win it.