Ranking the 2017 NBA Rookie Class

Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

1) Ben Simmons: 16.9 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 7.5 apg
While Tatum is consistent improving his game and being more efficient than Simmons, Simmons is still playing better right now.  Averaging 3 more points, 3 more rebounds, and 6 more assists per game will lead to that result.  He has improved his free throw shooting recently, and is up to 55% on the year, which is an improvement over the 50% he was shooting earlier this year.  He has averaged about 70% from the line his past few games, covering up a big hole in his game.   Now if only he could shoot outside of 15 feet…

2) Jayson Tatum: 13.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.3 apg
Tatum is the most efficient rookie in recent memory, averaging 50% from the field, 46% from 3, and 83% on free throws. He is starting for the first seed in the east and playing a major role. The only way for Tatum to climb any higher would be for the Celtics to allow him an even bigger role.

3) Donovan Mitchell: 18.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.4 apg
Mitchell has softened the blow of losing Gordon Hayward by blossoming into a go to option on offense, becoming the steal of the draft (sorry Kyle Kuzma).  He is shooting 44% from the field, 35% from 3, and 85% on free throws.  He is leading the Jazz in scoring and doing his best to poke his head into Rookie of the year conversation.

4) Kyle Kuzma: 16.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.8 apg
The best Laker rookie has not been the one drafted 2nd in the past draft.  Kuzma loses out only to Donovan Mitchell for steal of the draft honors, and he has done that by shooting 46/38/74 in the year and leading the Lakers in scoring.

5) Lonzo Ball: 10.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 7.1 apg
Lonzo leads the Lakers in both rebounds and assists per game, but his shot (although it has improved recently) still holds him back. He is shooting just 35% from the field, 30% from 3, and 48% on free throws.

6) Lauri Markkanen: 14.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.3 apg
Markkanen is showing more than what people thought he had before the draft, leading the Bulls in rebounds per game and is second on the team in scoring, behind only the soon to be traded Nikola Mirotic. He is shooting a 42/35/84 slash, playing with decent efficiency.

7) Dennis Smith Jr.: 14.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.5 apg
Smith has shown off impressive athleticism and a game that doesn’t have many holes. He drives well, he can shoot, he passes decently and rebounds well for a rookie point.  He isn’t outstanding in any one category and that holds him back from climbing any higher.

8) John Collins: 10.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.1 apg
Collins is one of the hawks featured young players, along with Taurean Prince and Dennis Schroeder, and is getting plenty of playing time to show for it. 11 and 7 on a  58/20/72 slash is good for 8th in these rankings

9) De’Aaron Fox: 10.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.0 apg
Fox has been injured, and been in a more weird than it should be timeshare with George Hill, which causes him to fall a little down these rankings.  If he can fix his 29% 3 point percentage, and add some more volume in his stats, he could climb up these rankings.

10) OG Anunoby: 6.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg, .8 apg
Anunoby’s stats don’t tell the whole picture.  Much like Tatum, he is starting for a team near the top of the conference, playing alongside other ball dominant players. His competition for this spot was Josh Jackson, and while Jackson has the better counting stats, OG wins by a mile in efficiency. His slash of 47/39/65 is much better than Jackson’s 39/27/56.  OG ends up with the final spot in the top 10 of this years rookies.

Honorable mentions: Josh Jackson, Frank Ntilikina

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