This rookie class has been impressive, to say the least.
In each rookie class, there would eventually be future greats and superstars, future award winners, and future Hall of Famers. With the departure of greats such as Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki from the league, rookie classes are depended upon to be the future of the NBA. The 2018 Draft Class features promising young talent from all over the world, and this article would focus on the best of the best. Here are the rookies who I think deserve to win some hardware.
Rookie Of The Year: Luka Dončić
Luka entered the season with high expectations, and it’s safe to say he’s fulfilled them all. He led the rookie class in scoring as the primary ball handler for the Dallas Mavericks, and dazzled all season long with his incredible play style. He can dribble, create plays for his teammates, and score from nearly anywhere on the court. Having recorded one of the greatest rookie campaigns in the last decade, Dončić will surely be entertaining fans of the NBA for the rest of his career.
All-Rookie First Team:
G: Trae Young – 19.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 8.1 apg, 0.9 spg, 41.8% FG
G: Luka Dončić – 21.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 6.0 apg, 1.1 spg, 42.7% FG
F: Jaren Jackson Jr. – 13.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 0.9 spg, 1.4 spg, 50.6% FG
F: Marvin Bagley III – 14.9 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.0 bpg, 50.4% FG
C: DeAndre Ayton – 16.3 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 0.9 spg, 0.9 bpg, 58.5% FG
Joining Luka Dončić on my All-NBA Rookie Team prediction are essentially the rest of the 2018 Draft Class’ Top 5 draft picks. Young started off the season slowly, but eventually put up an impressive 2nd half with improved efficiency and playmaking.
Moreover, we also have three extremely promising bigs in JJJ, Bagley and Ayton. JJJ was injured for most of the 2nd half, but showed great skill on both ends of the floor. Bagley flipped the switch for the 2nd half of the season, becoming a double-double machine. In contrast, Ayton started off the season strong, and cooled down during the second half, as he started to take less shots.
All-Rookie Second Team:
G: Collin Sexton – 16.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.0 apg, 0.5 spg, 43.0% FG
G: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – 10.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.2 spg, 47.6% FG
G: Landry Shamet – 9.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.5 apg, 0.5 spg, 43.1% FG
G: Allonzo Trier – 10.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.9 apg, 0.4 spg, 44.8% FG
C: Mitchell Robinson – 7.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 0.8 spg, 2.4 bpg, 69.4% FG
Much like Trae Young, Sexton began the season with high expectations, with some expecting him to take home the ROTY award. He started off the season slowly, but eventually became a beacon of hope for the Cavaliers franchise. His playmaking could use some improvement, but he has shown his capabilities as a scorer.
Shai was a great draft pick by the Clippers, as he has proven his skill as a playmaker and defender. He started a lot of games and contributed to the Clippers’ recent success. Another Clipper rookie makes the list in Shamet, one of the trade returns from the Tobias Harris trade earlier in the year, who is showing flashes of becoming an excellent shooter that every team needs.
Lastly, we have two Knicks making the team, with the undrafted Allonzo Trier and 2nd-Round Pick Mitchell Robinson. Rumored locker room issues aside, “Iso Zo” had himself a pretty good rookie season as he showed continuous promise of developing into a scoring machine, especially in isolation situations (hence the nickname). On the other hand, Mitchell Robinson looks like a future DPOY, with his rim protecting ability and defensive IQ. His scoring looks pretty decent, his rebounding is impressive, and he has proven himself as a solid bright spot for the young Knicks.
Kevin Huerter (ATL), Josh Okogie (MIN), Jalen Brunson (DAL), Kevin Knox (NYK), Wendell Carter Jr. (CHI)
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed and stay tuned for more!