2018-19 rookies predict Wendell Carter Jr. will have best NBA career
Basketball By Louis Spencer JR | August 22, 2018
Chicago Bulls rookie Wendell Carter Jr. was selected at No. 7 overall in the 2018 NBA Draft. The big man is highly regarded by his peers.
According to the annual Rookie Survey, the upcoming class of the first-year prospects predicted that Carter will have the best overall career among all the players set to enter the league. Carter, 19, earned 13 percent of the votes from those who participated in the survey.
As noted by John Schumann, the decision should be no surprise considering previous results that favored fellow Duke Blue Devils (via NBA.com):
“This is the fifth straight year that a Duke guy has earned the most votes on this question, with Carter joining Jabari Parker (2014), Jahlil Okafor (2015), Brandon Ingram (2016) and Jayson Tatum (2017).”
The trend seems likely to continue next year, too, considering there are three Blue Devil freshmen that could earn the nod in 2019. RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson and Cameron Reddish are all projected Top 5 picks in our first aggregate mock draft for next season.
Carter, who measured at 6-foot-10 with a wingspan more than 7-foot-4 at the 2018 NBA Draft Combine, averaged 13.5 points with 9.1 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game during his sole collegiate season. He had the second-best Player Efficiency Rating (PER) and the second-most win shares in the ACC.
The big man led his conference in Box Plus-Minus and was No. 3 overall in the NCAA in this statistical measurement last season. Carter averaged 18.2 points and 11.7 rebounds with 3.2 blocks per 36 minutes when playing NBA Summer League for the Bulls.
Here is how Jonathan Tjarks recently described the 19-year-old prospect (via The Ringer):
“He’s capable of being a primary option: He can score with his back to the basket, face up and shoot over defenders, and find the open man when he’s doubled. Carter also answered some of the questions about his defense. He was slimmer and lighter on his feet … Carter has a high floor. How close he gets to his ceiling depends on his teammates.”
Only one qualified rookie (New York’s Mitchell Robinson) had a higher Floor Impact Counter than Carter did during summer league, per RealGM. He also finished Top 10 in block percentage as well as PER while finishing just outside in total rebound percentage.
Carter had his hand on the ball for one-quarter of scoring possessions for the Knicks while he was on the court during summer league, by far the best mark of all qualified centers during summer league.
He may not get a ton of minutes or touches next season for Chicago but it’s certainly possible he develops into one of the league’s finer talents if he has a chance to show what he’s capable of as a post-up threat and as a very strong interior defender.