1. Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers) – The rookie was running away with the ROY award early in the season, but has fallen back to the pack a bit. He continues, however, to play like a men among boys when it comes to his counterparts. Hes among the top three rookies in scoring (17.1 ppg) and in his last 10 games is averaging about 15 points, 9 assists and 8.2 rebounds per game.
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2. Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics) — The Celtics newjack is a top 3 Rookie on the Kia Ladder and ESPN Insider’s new rookie rankings. The 6-foot-8 forward who says he patterns his game after Paul George and Carmelo Anthony is having a strong season, averaging 13.9 points and 5.4 boards and providing the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics will length, youth and a guy who can score inside and shoot threes at a near 50 percent clip.
Jayson Tatum, this is just not even fair. https://t.co/cMdTzdZBn0
3. Kyle Kuzma (LA Lakers) — The steal of the 2017 Draft has proven to be the surprising top rookie on a young Lakers squad this season. The No. 27 overall pick has the highest per game scoring average (17.7 ppg) among the rookies playing on Christmas. Kuzma scored a career-high 38 points in a win over the Rockets on Dec 20 becoming just the fifth rookie in the Lakers’ illustrious history to score at least 35 points. On Friday night he dropped 27 and pulled 14 boards to elevate himself into more lofty company.
25 38 25 (and counting) Kyle Kuzma is the first rookie Laker with three straight 25-point games since Jerry West 56 years ago.
4. Lonzo Ball (LA Lakers) — LaVar’s Ball’s weekly game-changing announcements keep Lonzo in the media storm, but he’s finally getting props for his basketball prowess. After a miserable shooting start, Lonzo is averaging 12.7 points per game on 43.5 % shooting from the field which enhances the value of his all-around skills, which have been evident (6.1 rpg, 6.7 apg).
Lonzo Ball with the alley! https://t.co/v5oKdcxNIa
5. Frank Ntilikina (NY Knicks) — The Knicks rookie has already endured draft bust predictions, had a dust up with LeBron and developed a reputation as one of the league’s best pure defenders. If anything, he will be all up on the 76ers guards like white on rice. He’s already earned Kyrie Irving’s respect.
High praise from @KyrieIrving on the rook. https://t.co/aFWykE3McE