Probably Okafor, on the grounds that he's done the most with the least amount of talent around him.
However, Gordon will be the first one out of this bunch to make the leap up to Big-Stardom, since he'll get better as his teammates keep getting better. It was a great pickup for Chicago, and gives the Bulls what they haven't had since He left: a fully-loaded weapon in the backcourt.
(edited by Blanket Jackson on 31.3.05 1320) "Meet the kite-eating tree you son of a bitch!"
My vote goes to Gordon. Biases aside, he just about single-handedly won the game for the Bulls against Okafor's Bobcats last night. He scored 22 of his 35 pointsin the fourth quarter, including all 16 of the Bulls' final points.
This may be a homer pick, but I have watched J.R. Smith all year, and he has been amazing. He was getting his bearings in November and the early part of December, but since then he has been out of his mind. He had 33 the other night. I would also nominate Ben Gordon, as he has also been having a good year.
Gotta go with Gordon too...not just because it's a homer pick...but the dude leads the league in 4th Qtr scoring as a rookie, and is one of the key pieces to the Bulls resurgance, and a reason why they are in the playoffs..
Okafor, solid year, and I don't wanna take anything away from him, but the numbers he's putting up don't hold nearly as much weight as Gordon's, who's actually contribute to the team's playoff push.
I wouldn't be surprised if Gordon or Chandler walk away with 6th man too...but we'll se..
Okafor... not that I'm a homer or anything (which I am), but Emeka has been asked to do a ton more than Gordon this year. He's been asked to be a #1 scoring option (which he isn't), their top interior presence defensively, and arguably a team leader. Gordon has been great when he's played, but Skiles is able to just bring him off the bench in the 2nd half for the sole purpose of scoring (which he does very well, mind you). Still, Okafor has done as good, if not better, as Gordon under a lot more pressure teamwise.
I do, thank you very much - and I'd wager to say you would if Maryland were in it as well Actually, this was a tremendous tournament for both Michigan and Rutgers. Both teams have a lot of young talent and both programs are on the rise.