Preseason prediction: Durant for Rookie of the Year

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Editor's note: We asked our panel of NBA experts, "Who will win Rookie of the Year?"

1. Kevin Durant (16 votes)

Henry Abbott, ESPN.com's TrueHoop: I'm dying to say something fun like Rodney Stuckey, Al Horford, or Mike Conley, but in my heart I believe it will be Kevin Durant.

J.A. Adande, ESPN.com: Has shown he can get his shots; now he needs to make them.

Jon Barry, ESPN: Forget the "frail" talk. I'll take size and length every time. Think Tayshaun Prince. Durant has a knack for scoring. His team will struggle, so his numbers will be inflated.

Chris Broussard, ESPN Mag

Ric Bucher, ESPN Mag: Though I could see Al Thornton giving Durant some comp.

Chad Ford, ESPN.com: If he stays healthy, this is a no-brainer. Durant is the best rookie to enter the NBA since LeBron James.

Jemele Hill, ESPN.com: He's got the green light and an impressive skill set. His thin frame, however, is still a concern.

John Hollinger, ESPN.com: Does this really require an explanation?

Mark Jackson, ESPN: A guy who can flat-out score. He's only going to get better; he wants to be great.

Keith Lipscomb, ESPN.com Fantasy:
Plenty of opportunity, massive game and underwhelming competition for this honor.

Jack Ramsay, ESPN Radio: A player with great offensive skills who's virtually unstoppable.

Chris Palmer, ESPN Mag: Will jack the highest rookie scoring average since Jordan in 1985. What does that make Greg Oden?

Chris Sheridan, ESPN.com: Gotta go chalk here, although Luis Scola of Houston and Marco Belinelli of Golden State tempted me.

Marc Stein, ESPN.com: With Greg Oden out for the season, Al Horford, Al Thornton and Luis Scola are the only rookies who could stop Durant. But they really can't, because Durant is going to get so many shots, touches, minutes, etc.

David Thorpe, Scouts Inc.: He'll score 20-plus ppg and make lots of important shots, while improving on the glass and on defense as the season progresses. The odds-on favorite to win, whether Oden got hurt or not.

Kiki Vandeweghe, ESPN: He's going to get some good competition from teammate Jeff Green and from Al Thornton, who will get a lot of minutes for the Clips.


Mike Conley Jr. (1 vote)

Scoop Jackson, ESPN.com: He's like my nephew, so it's a personal choice. Plus, he's a left-handed version of Chris Paul.

Al Thornton (1 vote)

Jalen Rose, ESPN:
Thornton is a scorer and a brute. He plays hard all the time and is going to a team for which he'll often have to be No. 1 option. Luis Scola, who is going to get a lot of minutes, is my No. 2 pick.