So now that the Dwight trade has shaken up the league, it looks like the dust has finally settled enough to assume that nothing that happens between now and start of training camp will affect a rookie's role on his team. So sounds like a good time to start considering how the rookies stack up in the race for Rookie of the Year award and where the Raps rooks might fall.
So here is how I see the crop grouped. (Note: I didn't rank players in the groups)
These four represent the guys that have both the current skill set and best team situation where they will have the opportunity to put up number. I very much doubt Davis will win it, but as the top pick he certainly will be in the conversation. JV is widely believed to be the guy most teams would have taken 2nd overall in this year's draft. JV will get opportunity with the Raps and will have benefitted from playing in the Olympics this summer. Beal will be lining up next to John Wall and could explode in scoring this year.
My personal vote at this stage is Damian Lillard (the guy I desperately wanted the Raptors to draft but alas...) He will run the offence in Portland and has a legit low post scorer in Lamarcus Aldridge. He can hit the outside shot and should be a beast at attacking the rim.
I doubt Kidd-Gilchrist will be able to put up enough numbers on Charlotte to impress voters. He will be a good player, but I just dont see the flashy-enough numbers for the average voter. Barnes could put up huge scoring numbers in GS. Waiters will benefit from playing with Kyrie Irving and could score a lot this year.
Perry Jones 3
I don't think Robinson will get enough PT or touches playing down low with D-Cousins. Ross would be the under-dog that Raps nation would love to get behind, but I think he has an up-hill battle for this year's crown. Rivers will be a bust in my opinion, but on the Hornets he could score a lot and who knows, maybe I'll be wrong and he'll be an efficient scorer too. Harkless jumps up with the trade to Orlando that desperately needs everything. Harkless could produce. PJ3 would be the ultimate upset. I loved the kid in college and in OKC he will likely never see the light of day, but if he can be dependable and versatile, then he could fill the void behind Durant and even play some small ball PF.
So my final rankings for ROY voting are: