Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant had injury-marred seasons to forget in 2014-15, but this year’s class of rookies still count the stars of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers as their favorite players.
Durant at 21.2 percent won the vote, edging out Bryant (18.2 percent) in an annual survey of rookies conducted by NBA.com.
LeBron James finished third at 15.2 percent to complete a top three that was identical to the choices of the 2014 rookie class. Reigning league MVP and NBA champion Stephen Curry finished tied with Dwyane Wade in fourth earning 9.1 percent of the vote.
The voting was conducted at the Panini Rookie Photo Shoot at the New York Knicks‘ practice facility earlier this month.
In addition to being asked questions about their expectations entering the league, the rookies were also asked to evaluate their fellow 2015 draftees.
According to the rookies, No. 3 overall pick Jahlil Okafor is No. 1 when it comes to this year’s class as the Philadelphia 76ers center was voted both most likely to be named rookie of the year and most likely to have the best career.
Okafor, who was drafted behind Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves) and D’Angelo Russell (Lakers), earned 41.9 percent of the vote for rookie of the year predictions. The vote for best overall career was closer, with Okafor (24.1 percent) winning by just 6.9 percentage points over Towns (17.2 percent).
Among the other survey winners, Russell was voted the best playmaker in the draft while Brooklyn‘s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (44.3 percent) was considered the funniest by a wide margin over Charlotte‘s Frank Kaminsky (25.7 percent).
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