3. Bruno Fernando
If there is any player from the second round that is going to exceed expectations in their rookie season and steal the Rookie of the Year award like Malcolm Brogdon then the player that has the best chance it Atlanta’s Bruno Fernando.
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The one problem for Fernando is that Brogdon played in a year in which there really were not any other great options to win the award. Second place in voting that year was none other than Dario Saric.
Fernando does not have that same luxury as there are a lot of guys, included the two mentioned previously, that could piece together a good year. It would take a truly special year out of Fernando, which might not be possible as a center.
However, if he has an efficient and productive year as the Hawks’ center, and the other options really are not that good, then Fernando could absolutely sneak his way into the award.
Fernando should get plenty of playing time as he is competing with Alex Len for the starting job in Atlanta and could be on the receiving end of many lob passes from Trae Young to put together quite the rookie highlight tape.
Fernando is athletic as they come for a big man and proved to be a reliable scorer at the rim as well as a rebounder and shot protector. With Maryland last season, Fernando averaged 13.6 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.
If Fernando puts together a 10 and 10 season with two blocks per game in his rookie season then he absolutely would be in the conversation for Rookie of the Year. Throw in some exciting highlights alongside Young and there really could be a narrative going for Fernando.