by RENALDO DORSETT
A recent NBA survey polling the league’s incoming rookie class suggests that the newcomers see Buddy Hield as the best shooter in their class.
The former Oklahoma Sooners guard, drafted No.6 overall by the New Orleans Pelicans, was considered the top shooter by a wide margin.
Hield got nearly two thirds of the vote, 65.7 percent, in response to the question. Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, finished in second place at 20 percent. Murray was also drafted one spot behind Hield at No.7 overall.
It was the most votes a player ever received for the best shooter question since Steph Curry won 79 percent of the vote in 2009.
It was the largest margin of victory for any category of the survey which also included Rookie of the Year, Best career, Biggest draft steal, Most athletic, Best defender, Best playmaker, Funniest rookie, Toughest adjustment to the NBA and Favourite NBA player.
Hield also finished third among the rookies projected to have the best career.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ Brandon Ingraham was first at 26.7 percent while Kris Dunn of the Minnesota Timberwolves was second at 16.7 percent and Hield third at 13.3 percent.
In July, Hield competed play in the Samsung NBA Summer League in Las, Vegas Nevada.
He averaged 16.8 points, 5.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds through five games but struggled shooting at just 34 per cent from the field and 24 per cent from three-point range.
The survey also suggested Dunn would win the Kia Rookie of the Year award ahead of Ingraham and No.1 overall pick Ben Simmons. Dunn was also voted best playmaker, best defender and the funniest rookie. Dejounte Murray of the San Antonio Spurs was voted the biggest steal at where he was selected ahead of Tyler Ulis of the Phoenix Suns. The Celtics’ Jaylen Brown was voted most athletic. The rookies voted their most difficult adjustment will be the speed of the game and the Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant as their favourite player.
Hield could have left Oklahoma after his junior season as a potential first-round pick, but he returned to school for his senior season. It turned out to be a wise decision, as he had a career year, averaging 25.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game while shooting 50.1 per cent overall and 45.7 per cent from three-point range.
Hield’s star-studded senior season for the Sooners concluded with a litany of awards, including the John R Wooden, Naismith and Oscar Robertson Player of the Year trophies.
He was also named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches first-team, a first-team All-American by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), Sports Illustrated and USA Today.
His list of honours also included the Sporting News Player of the Year, USBWA District VI Player of the Year, CBS Sports Player of the Year, Big 12 Player of the Year and the All-Big 12 first-team and the ESPY Award for “Best Male College Athlete”