Zion Williamson has been heralded as the best NBA prospect this decade ever since his first game at Duke, boasting Hall of Fame potential front offices haven’t seen since LeBron James.
Apparently the other members of his rookie class didn’t get the memo.
Every year, NBA.com surveys its incoming rookies on a variety of basketball topics, from their favorite player to which member of their class will go on to have the best career. The most popular answer to the first question wasn’t a shocker—LeBron. But in the latter, it was former Blue Devil Cam Reddish—not Williamson—who came out on top with 19 percent of the vote.
Not only that, but the No. 1 overall selection didn’t even place second, or third. Those titles belong to Ja Morant and DeAndre Hunter at 16 percent and 11 percent, respectively. Williamson only garnered five percent of the total vote, tied with Jaxson Hayes, Coby White and former teammate R.J. Barrett.
To be fair, last season’s National Player of the Year was the most popular choice regarding who will win Rookie of the Year this upcoming campaign, collecting a resounding 35 percent of that vote. But either the majority of the rookie class completely missed Zion’s name on the ballot for “Which rookie will have the best career?”, or they know something that we don’t.
Lamenting on the fact that Williamson was robbed, however, ignores the potential that Reddish does have. While the former No. 3 overall prospect slipped to 10th in June’s NBA Draft, many scouts say he has one of the highest ceilings in his class and is this year’s biggest boom or bust candidate. NBA Draft guru Rashad Phillips—known for his long list of spot on draft predictions, from C.J. McCollum to Trae Young—even says Reddish could end up being the second coming of Tracy McGrady:
And while the rest of basketball media labeled the survey results as “disrespectful”, Phillips stood by his season-long take:
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No matter who ends up having the better career, one thing remains certain—the Duke name continues to dominate the NBA landscape.