Too many sleeper candidates came to mind under the Rookie of the Year umbrella.
Kyle Kuzma would be a spectacular pick if his emergence with the Los Angeles Lakers wasn't officially the exact opposite of a secret. Donovan Mitchell no longer qualifies either. He stole Marshawn Lynch's Beast Mode during summer-league play, and the Utah Jazz are desperate for the very shot creation he's used to shed the relative-unknown label.
John Collins is the dare-to-be-great pick. He's also the stop-drinking-on-the-job dice roll. The Atlanta Hawks have the rebuilding timeline to run out their toddlers in volume, but they'll be hard-pressed to chisel out enough spin for the 20-year-old jack-in-the-box.
They seem intent on using him at power forward, where Luke Babbitt, Ersan Ilyasova and Taurean Prince will all scrap for minutes. Ticket him for time at the 5, and he'll still have to jostle for participation with Dewayne Dedmon and Mike Muscala.
Markelle Fultz might cede enough status to Ben Simmons at the moment to be considered an underdog, but earmarking No. 1 picks as long shots is questionable practice. He is closer to Dennis Smith Jr. and Lonzo Ball territory.
Consider this a roundabout way of saying: You're up, Milos Teodosic.
Older rookies usually hold an edge over their younger counterparts, and Teodosic, 30, has a decade on some of the higher-profile candidates. His passing is as advertised: crafty and improvisational, mixed with general sorcery. His Los Angeles Clippers teammates already know to cut and find the corners when he has the ball; he should rack up more assists than any rookie not named Lonzo or Benny.
Adapting to the NBA's three-point line has been a non-issue. He's canning 45-plus percent of his treys for the preseason on more than six attempts per 36 minutes. All the preseason caveats apply, but his off-ball work renders him a nice complement to Blake Griffin.
Teodosic doesn't add anything beyond opportunistic steal-chasing on defense, but the Clippers can cover up his suboptimal foot speed with minutes beside Patrick Beverley and by stashing his 6'5" frame on plodding weak links.
Playing time could become a hiccup. Playoff aspirants tend not to lean heavily on beginners. But the Clippers need the additional playmaking around Griffin, and the trio of Beverley, Austin Rivers and Lou Williams won't cut it. Teodosic should get enough reps to keep his dark-horse hopes intact.
Source : http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2738539-dark-horse-candidates-for-every-nba-award-in-2017-18