As a weeks worth of NBA games winds down and we are officially off to the races for the 2017-18 season, what many people proclaimed would be a runaway Rookie of the Year campaign for Lonzo Ball has actually turned into a coming out party for one of the more talented and multifaceted rookie classes we have seen in years.
While Ball is slowly but more-than-adequately adjusting to the ferocity and tempo of the NBA (averaging 10 ppg, 7.5 rebounds and 7.7 dimes per game), Sixers all-purpose prodigy Ben Simmons is finally healthy and establishing himself as the premier rookie in the NBA. Hes tied with Ball for the rookie lead in assists and leads all rookies in scoring at 18.4 ppg.
Ben Simmons tonight: 24 Points 7 Rebounds 9 Assists 10-15 FG (67%) In a win against Houston. ROY easily.
Simmons is second to Bulls killer rookie Lauri Markkanen, the 20-year-old 7-footer from Finland, in rebounds at 9.1 per game. Markkanen is averaging 15.6 ppg and pulling 9.6 boards a game over his first five NBA contests. Playing for a dreadful Bulls team, the rookie has held his own and represented his country to the fullest.
Lauri Markkanen BANG BANG BANG! Same play this time Grant passed him the ball https://t.co/Xc1ZAOAOy5
Bostons Jayson Tatum is averaging a respectable 14 points and seven rebounds per contest for a Celtics team that sits atop the Eastern Conference at 5-2. The Duke product has proven to be up to the task.
Become my patron! https://www.patreon.com/Timi093 Jayson Tatum Highlights vs New York Knicks (22 pts, 4 reb, 4 stl, 2 blk) Statline: 22 pts (9/15 FG, 4/6 3PT), 4 reb, 2 ast, 4 stl, 2 blk in 31 minutes NBA 2017/18: Game 4 (2-2)
Dennis Smith Jr. is being mentored in Dallas by former NBA point guard Darrell Armstrong and he is in the middle of a transition. As the career of legend Dirk Nowitzki and an era of perennial playoff success gives way to young talents like Smith Jr. and a 1-7 record to start 2017, the 19 year-old out of NC state has handled the pressure well averaging 11.3 points per game and 5.7 assists
Dennis Smith Jr. is burning brightly in his rookie season (by @dramil13 – @The_Step_Back) https://t.co/sebCd5HBgc
Rounding out the Top 5 rookie scorers is Kyle Kuzma of the Lakers (13.7 ppg) and Sacramentos De’Aaron Fox (12.7 ppg). John Collins, the 19th pick of the draft by Atlanta, has also distinguished himself through seven games averaging 11.4 ppg and 7.3 rebounds as an effective power forward for a struggling Hawks franchise.
Overall, there are 11 rookies averaging double figures in points so far this season. While the OG talents still run the playoff parade, the young bloods are running wild and asserting their presence early in the NBA season. When No.1 pick Markelle Fultz returns from a shoulder issue that has him sidelined indefinitely, he will be another talent joining a Rookie Race that has enhanced the NBA.