In ESPN’s Summer Forecast: Rookie of the Year article, they surveyed 52 experts as to who will be the tops new kid on the block. 42 picked Griffin. No one else got more than 3 votes. Here’s what they had to say about Our Man Blake:
While the Clippers’ trade of Zach Randolph cleared the way for Griffin to step right in and get minutes, their new power forward has some history working against him: (1) only two of the past 10 No. 1 picks have won Rookie of the Year, and (2) no Clipper has ever won the award, despite the franchise’s near-permanent residence in Lotteryland. (The Buffalo Braves, the original incarnation of the Clips, did have back-to-back winners in 1973 and 1974: Bob McAdoo and Ernie DiGregorio.)
Those tendencies notwithstanding, most of our voters believe Griffin’s dominance at Oklahoma will translate into success in L.A. Even the Clippers’ well-catalogued legacy of disaster was not enough to deter voters. In fact, as we’ll see later in our forecast series, Griffin’s arrival makes the Clippers one of our committee’s choices for the top turnaround team.