Welcome to the NBA All-Rookie First Team
Early this afternoon the NBA All-Rookie First Team was announced. The 2017-18, NBA All-Rookie First Team consists of Ben Simmons, Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell, Lauri Markkanen and Kyle Kuzma.
Simmons and Mitchell were unanimously selected to the first team with 100 ballots. Ironically both players are the finalist in this year’s Rookie of the Year race. Celtics forward Tatum is also a finalist in the Rookie of the Year race. However, the award will most likely go to Simmons. For the city of Philadelphia, this is huge considering the 76ers have had a player selected on the NBA All-Rookie First Team for the last five seasons.
— NBA (@NBA) May 22, 2018
It’s always been about assists: Ben Simmons
Although the 76ers were bounced in the second-round of the playoffs, the franchise has a lot to look forward to in the offseason. This summer the team has six draft picks in this June’s draft. However, the world will be looking to see what the upcoming team does with the 10th overall pick. Simmons finished his rookie season by leading his team to the second round of the playoffs. The 6-foot-10 guard/forward averaged 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 8.2 assists this season, according to stats.nba.com.
Throughout the 2017-18 season, the Austrailian native broke the rookie assist record held by Allen Iverson and became the third player to accumulate 1000 points, 500 assists and 500 rebounds as a rookie. (Previously done by Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson) Being selected to the NBA All-Rookie First Team is well deserved by the 21-year-old point/forward. By being selected to the first team means that the future is bright in the City of Brotherly Love. In the offseason, the lefty needs to work on developing a mid-range game.
What does making the first team mean for the other four players mentioned?
Boston Celtic rookie sensation: Jayson Tatum
Tatum finished with 99 votes for this years NBA All-Rookie First Team. Although the rookie did not finish with a unanimous vote he is still blowing the minds of the basketball world. The former Duke Blue Devil is part of the future for the Celtics. Boston is currently battling it out with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals and the series is tied at (2-2). Tatum will be in the NBA for a long time as long as he continues to improve on his shooting, ball handling, and on-ball defense. The young Celtic finished the regular season averaging 13.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.6 assists, according to stats.nba.com.
Congrats to the 2017-18 NBA All-Rookie First Team! 👏
Lauri Markkanen pic.twitter.com/EaWNmXGCio
— NBA TV (@NBATV) May 22, 2018
Smooth operator: Donovan Mitchell
Mitchell was drafted out of Lousiville and was overlooked, to say the least. The Utah rookie helped lead the Jazz to a playoff birth after the team watched Gordon Hayward take his talents to Boston last summer. Mitchell had an impressive year as he won the dunk contest, led his team in scoring and to the second round of the playoffs. Not to mention he probably broke up the core of the Oklahoma City Thunder by sending them home in the first round. The slam dunk champion finished the season averaging 20.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists, according to stats.nba.com. Look for the Jazz to build around this young stud. In order to improve for next season, the 6-foot-3 guard needs to learn how to get his teammates involved and play better on-ball defense.
Auditioning for the starting role: Kyle Kuzma
Kuzma was a diamond in the rough for the Los Angeles Lakers. Throughout the season the organization had to deal with the overbearing voice of Lavar Ball, who said what he wanted to say at any time. Kuzma deserves to be on the NBA All-Rookie First Team because of his level of maturity as a rookie, his scoring and impact off the bench. I am going to go ahead and say it here first. Kuzma will be a better player than Lonzo Ball and he will have a better career.
The young small forward just has that swag to him and he doesn’t get flustered in pressure situations. The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 16.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and had a 10.4 player estimated impact, per stats.nba.com. Head Coach Luke Walton should consider adding this young talent to the starting lineup. In the offseason, Kuzma needs to continue to sharpen his ball handling skills.
.@BenSimmons25 was unanimously selected to the 2017-18 NBA All-Rookie First Team after only receiving first place votes, according to @NBAPR. @spidadmitchell was also unanimously selected.#HereTheyCome pic.twitter.com/n8Cqf8LIo6
— Pro Sports Notes: Sixers (@PSN_Sixers) May 22, 2018
The bright spot in the windy city: Lauri Markkanen
Finally, the Chicago Bulls received some future potential as their team fell apart in the last two seasons. Markkanen is one of the pieces to the Rubix cube known as the Bulls. The 7-foot big man can shoot from three on an average basis when called upon. However, the Finland native is more effective in the 12-15 foot range. With an influx of guards, the Bulls need to figure out what to do on the wing. However, drafting the 21-year-old center is a start to turning this franchise around. Markkanen averaged 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.2 assists while shooting .43.4 percent from the field, according to stats.nba.com .
Even though the league is filled with superteams the NBA is in good hands when you look at this years NBA All-Rookie Team.
What did you think about this year’s first team?