Considering the fact that Hyland was drafted 26th overall, not much was expected of him this season. It’s easy to see why he’s one of (if not the) biggest steals from the 2021 NBA Draft. Even though many assumed that it would take a while for Bones to integrate himself into a crowded Denver Nuggets backcourt, he quickly emerged as Denver’s go-to scoring option off the bench.
Sure, he’s had his trouble with consistency, and turnovers, but what rookie hasn’t. The truth is that he played a pivotal role on a team that needed an offensive spark following the losses of two of their three best players.
But let’s compare him for a minute to other rookies who also exceeded expectations this season.
Florida’s Tre Man averaged similar scoring numbers for OKC, albeit with fewer assists and shooting a worse percentage in all facets of the game. Plus, it was for the Thunder, who couldn’t even crack 25 wins.
Herbert Jones played admirably for the Pelicans in place of Zion Williamson. Averaging just under 10 points per game to go along with 3.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals. As did Ayo Dosunmu, who also displayed a strong defensive showing, and averaged 8.8 points per game for a competitive Bulls squad.
However, perhaps none were as big of a shock as Bones Hyland. Who not only finished the season with comparable numbers but did so while playing a major role for a team that remained competitive for the majority of the NBA season.
With the uncertainty surrounding the future of Monte Morris, and the electric scoring ability of Hyland. The VCU product could easily mould into the starting point guard for a team that’s likely to contend for an NBA championship in the near future.
If this is the case, and Hyland does overtake Monte’s duties as the franchise’s starting playmaker. It’s hard to argue that Bones Hyland isn’t the biggest steal from the 2021 NBA Draft.