Wednesday, October 27 2021

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham enters the season as the favorite to be named the NBA Rookie of the Year by most sportsbooks, but it is Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green that one former champion believes will win the award.

Cunningham and Green were both named to the All-Summer League second team after strong performances with their respective teams in Las Vegas. The two faced off against each other in one contest, and put on an absolute show on the court.

While the two players each performed like the top two picks in the draft, former 14-year NBA veteran Kendrick Perkins on Thursday picked Green to win Rookie of the Year on “The Jump” with Richard Jefferson and Clinton Yates.

Jalen Green is going to be the clear-cut Rookie of the Year and it’s not even close. We’re talking about a guy that went to the G League last year and averaged 19 points per game and, by the way, his last playoff game in the G League, he had a 30-piece wing dinner. This guy is NBA-ready at the max, OK?

Detroit was willing to take him No. 1. The only reason I felt Detroit didn’t take him No. 1 was everybody in the world was saying that Cade needed to go No. 1 because it was the safest for the Detroit Pistons. But, at the end of the day, (you’re talking) about a guy that is a walking bucket who can come into this league and average 20.

Cunningham averaged 18.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists in three contests during the Las Vegas Summer League, while Green averaged 20.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and two assists. Green was limited to just three games after suffering a hamstring injury that isn’t believed to be serious.

The two players each project to see plenty of playing time this season, but Perkins feels as though Green will have the advantage because of his scoring ability. He also believes Green is more exciting to watch compared to Cunningham, something that could influence voters.

The Rookie of the Year award has been decided in convincing fashion in recent memory but the incoming group looks to make for a competitive race with Cunningham and Green likely battling it out all season long.

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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Source: Yahoo Sports

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