by Brandon Lloyd
Who will win the 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year award? I think after the draft and even up until a week or so ago, the answer was obvious, Zion Williamson. The No. 1 overall pick and most talked about rookie since LeBron has had a heck of a preseason campaign but will now miss the first couple of weeks of the regular season with some type of knee injury. Those first couple of weeks sitting on the sidelines could, and in my opinion should put his chances at rookie of the year in jeopardy. Somebody has to win it, right? If not Zion, who?
There are plenty of other big names out there like R.J. Barrett and JA Morant. Morant will be sharing the court with fellow rookie Brandon Clarke in Memphis.
One guy that hasn’t gotten much pub so far in the preseason is De’Andre Hunter, who is by the way a national champion. Dre has had a solid preseason so far for the Hawks and joins a talented, young roster with guys like Trae Young, John Collins and another fellow rookie in Cam Reddish. The Hawks roster is loaded with young playmakers and veteran support but it looks as though Dre will see his fair share of playing time, and will have the opportunity to put some points on the board.
Young averaged over eight assists a game last season in his rookie campaign and while he is not shy when it comes to shooting the ball, will be able to get guys like Dre involved in the offense.
Dre has shown that he will not be gun shy in his first season as a pro either as he has averaged nine points per game so far in the preseason. He has also padded the stat sheet with 2.7 rebounds and assists per game.
A solid 2019 draft class won’t make it easy for any of the top names to take home the award, and it is still unknown how much time Hawks’ head coach Lloyd Pierce will feel comfortable leaving Dre, the No. 4 overall pick, on the floor….especially in key moments.
Although everyone that watched UVa basketball last season knows that Dre came up clutch in many key moments during the Cavaliers’ national title run, even in the title game against Texas Tech when he calmly knocked down a corner 3-pointer to tie the game and send it to overtime. Malcolm Brogdon won the award back in 2017 and Dre seems to be the best option to give the ‘Hoos another candidate for the award this season. The Hawks open the regular season on Thursday night in Detroit.