Kennedy on 2013 ROY candidates - early, I know ------- Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers – Lillard exploded onto the scene in Las Vegas, averaging a league-high 26.5 points along with 5.3 assists and four rebounds. He was by far the most impressive rookie and showed how he was able to climb draft boards and make executives fall in love with his game over the last year. Lillard was able to score at will in college and summer league despite the fact that defenses were sending double teams at him and gameplanning to slow him down. In Portland, he’ll be playing alongside veterans like LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum, which should shift attention away from him and allow him to be more of a facilitator. The Blazers have made it clear that Lillard will start for them and they see him as their point guard of the future. Sometimes this award goes to the player who gets the most minutes and has the ball in his hands the most. This year, that player is Lillard and if his performance in Las Vegas was any indication, he’ll make the Rookie of the Year race interesting.