Nov
04

Seattle’s RoY

As early as it is into the 2007-2008 NBA season I’m going to ‘go out on a limb’ and make my pick for this season’s Rookie of the Year. I know the title of this post sort of gives things away; and while I’d love to be controversial and say that Jeff Green would edge out his rookie teammate for the honors, I have little doubt that Kevin Durant is going to end the season as this year’s RoY. Last year’s winner Brandon Roy didn’t have particularly awe inspiring numbers with 16.8 points, 4 assists and about 4.5 rebounds per game but they were solid for a rookie and were apparently enough for him to claim the trophy. Durant shouldn’t have any problem matching and surpassing those numbers and letting the league know that things are looking up for his Sonics (now if they could only get a big man).

Three games into his rookie campaign Durant is at 22.5 points and 5 rebounds per game. Never mind the fact that there aren’t truly any other rookies who could vie for the Rookie of the Year honors, with Greg Oden out for the season; but as Durant gets used to the rigors of the NBA lifestyle and the speed and physical nature of the pro game I’m predicting that the 22.5 ppg we see now will end up around 24 or 25. If (once?) that happens, be sure to keep an eye out for Durant as I’m sure he’ll begin to earn that estimated $50 million paycheck from Nike and make some commercial appearances; if those aren’t already in the works. It’s also likely that his star power and marketability will surpass Oden’s just by virtue of the fact that he’s played and proven his worth on the court and on the professional stage.

As early as it is though; there’s very little that can be said for certain and we’ll just have to wait and see how things play out. Still, it’s pretty good to see exciting new players entering the league on a yearly basis to add to the list of big name player. Now if only we could keep the boring Spurs out of the NBA Finals and get some rivalries to develop and perhaps we’d see the NBA begin to return to the league it was.

-Samyr Laine

  • http://sportsbusinessdigest.com Emmett Jones

    Durant is going to be a marketing dream. He seems like he’s genuinely nice, he’s humble, and he’s talented. As you mentioned, he already has the Nike endorsement deal, and he’s also the first rookie to ever endorse Gatorade…and lets not forget the NBA Live video game commercials.

    He seems to have a very bright future ahead of him.

  • http://sportsagentblog.com Samyr Laine

    I agree and I think it will all come together in due time since it’s very rare for a rookie to explode onto the marketing scene like Lebron did. He also does have an Upper Deck endorsement which surprised me since I was unaware that trading cards were still a big thing but perhaps they see Durant as a means of regaining popularity.

    Let’s hope he continues to impress on the court and remain humble.

  • http://Jonesonthenba.blogspot.com Nate Jones

    Upper Deck deals are generally for more than just trading cards. They usually encompass all memorabilia. Durant will likely be asked to sign trading cards, jerseys, shoes, and basketball for upper deck to market to the public. There is still a huge market for all of those items, especially when it comes to potential hall of fame type players such as Durant.

    http://www.upperdeck.com/

  • http://sportsagentblog.com Samyr Laine

    Very true.

  • zak

    Sure everybody wants KD to be a superstar. And if the NBA had its way then they would announce the award now so everyone could bask in the glory of their newfound star. Maybe it would help bring more fans to watch the Sonics, perhaps enough to keep them from moving to Oklahoma City.Ahh in the perfect world a star would be born and all would be solved!
    But lets take an honest look at KD. He is a 6’9 shooting guard scoring 20 a game on 38% shooting from the field. He is stick thin and durability is going to be an issue. The only other position he can play is the small forward. He’s not fast enough to stay with a PG and not even close to being able to bang down low with the power forwards in the west, i dont think the east either. He needs to grow significantly to be a game changer. He does not deserve the marketing consideration of Lebron. LeBron was a new breed of player the moment he stepped into the league. He is a matchup nightmare, to fast for guys his size, too strong for guys that are as fast as him. Virtually unguardable. Durant needs to prove that he can be more than just another version of T-Mac. Everyone wants him to be a money making machine so they can prosper from him. And we saw what happened when the magic tried to build a team around him. they traded him and had to start over again.
    Al horford is averaging close to 10 and 10 with a steal,block, and as assist per night while shooting 50% from the Field. Yi Jianlian could prove to be a unique player. And Since David Stern wants oo so bad to make a dent on those 200 million chinese basketball fans, what a better way then to give them the RoY trophy w/ Yi. One thing we all know, is that Stern will do anything for the next great star to carry his league.

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