This year’s rookie class includes a third year pro in Joel Embiid. Also, there is a sixth year pro in Dario Saric, who’s spent his first five pro seasons in Europe. Not to mention the 27 year old Mindaugas Kuzminskas.
Espn’s Rookie Stats Jae Crowder’s injury has propelled Jaylen Brown into the starting rotation. Exposure is great for rookies, and Brown took full advantage of those extra minutes Thursday night against Cleveland. He still picks and chooses when to be aggressive and attack the basket, and may pass up on some opportunities to attack when he shouldn’t. Celtics’ Coach Brad Stevens is going to be forced to play Brown a lot this season if he keeps improving.
Brown offers a dynamic that the Celtics haven’t had in a while, which is an attack-the-basket slasher from the forward position. Joel Embiid is a freakish talent, and he’s had a lot more time to grow than Brown has. Currently, Embiid is a clear favorite to win the Rookie of the Year award, but Brown is right around the corner. Tonight Brown will get his second start, and look to build on his performance in Cleveland on Thursday. I’m not so sure I like the way this rookie of the year thing works. Having state-of-the-art facilities, a full complement of training staff that have various specialties, and an enormous amount of time to study and work on your game makes you a pro.
A rookie should be a player from the most recent draft, and not a player who missed their first season due to an injury. I don’t think the current requirements will change anytime soon, but being a pro means time and access. Number one overall pick Ben Simmons will be out until January. Embiid is coming off two missed seasons, and is experiencing his first NBA grind. Jaylen Brown has a pretty good shot at getting voted as the top rookie. He has a lot of worked to do to catch up to Embiid.