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NBA GMs pick Suns’ Josh Jackson to be best rookie five years from now

Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless loses the ball out of bounds as Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson and forward Marquese Chriss, right, defend during the first half of an NBA basketball preseason game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

Phoenix Suns rookie Josh Jackson didn’t earn a single vote to win the 2017-18 NBA Rookie of the Year award in an annual survey of league general managers.

That doesn’t mean the executives polled don’t think it’ll turn out well for Jackson and the Suns.

The fourth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft did earn the most votes when GMs were asked which rookie will be the best player five years down the road. He earned 24 percent of the vote, more than Sixers guard Markelle Fultz, Celtics forward Jayson Tatum and Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, all of whom were selected ahead of Jackson in the draft.

Jackson also earned more votes than Ben Simmons, who last season was predicted by 70 percent of general managers to be the best rookie of the 2016 class five years down the road. Simmons missed his rookie season with an injury and remained eligible for the poll.

In another poll question, Jackson earned a few votes as the biggest steal of the draft.


A year after earning 31 percent of the votes as the top choice to have a breakout season, third-year guard Devin Booker was left off that list this year.

Call those GMs’ predictions correct: The 20-year-old averaged 22.1 points, 3.4 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game.

This year, Booker earned the third-most votes (granted at just 4 percent) when executives were asked which player is the best pure shooter. Warriors teammates Stephen Curry (71 percent) and Klay Thompson (25 percent) earned all the other votes.

Booker also received some votes as the active player that executives believe will make the best head coach.

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