NBA Rookies: NBA Rookie Watch
NBA rookies are players in their first season as an active NBA player.
Most NBA rookies play very limited minutes, and therefore usually have limited impact. The average rookie comes off the bench. Some rookies do wind up as starters, but they are in the minority. If an NBA rookie looks like a star, that's extremely impressive, and a good sign that the player has begun a very long pro career.
Therefore, our NBA Rookie Watch, created to monitor leading candidates for the NBA Rookie of the Year award, is mostly about opportunity. Rookies that play big minutes (and on a bad team) often rise up in the NBA Rookie Watch. When a rookie on a really good team beats the odds and becomes a star even while playing alongside established veterans with years of experience, that's something special.
On May 22, 2018, the NBA announced the official 2017-18 All-Rookie teams. The results:
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell and Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons were unanimously selected to the 2017-18 NBA All-Rookie First Team after receiving first-place votes on all 100 ballots from a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (99 First Team votes) fell one vote shy of joining Mitchell and Simmons as a unanimous selection to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. The First Team also features Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (93 First Team votes) and Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen (76).
Mitchell, Simmons and Tatum are the three finalists for the 2017-18 NBA Rookie of the Year award. The winner will be revealed at the 2018 NBA Awards on Monday, June 25 on TNT (9 p.m. ET). The second annual NBA Awards, honoring this seasonís top performers, will take place at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif.
The NBA All-Rookie Second Team consists of Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, Sacramento Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, Atlanta Hawks forward/center John Collins, Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson and Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr.
The voting panel selected five players for the First Team and five players for the Second Team at any position. Players received two points for a First Team vote and one point for a Second Team vote.
Official 2017-18 NBA All-Rookie First Team
Kyle Kuzma, Lakers (16.1 ppg/6.3 rpg/45.0 FG%/36.6 3FG%): Kuzma, the second-leading rookie scorer behind Mitchell, became the first rookie ever to record at least 1,200 points, 450 rebounds and 150 three-pointers in a season. He joined Kobe Bryant (2007-08) as the only Lakers players to reach those marks.
Lauri Markkanen, Bulls (15.2 ppg/7.5 rpg/36.2 3FG%/84.3 FT%): Markkanen became the fastest player in NBA history to make 100 three-pointers, hitting the mark in his 41st game. The 7-footer from Finland tied for fourth among rookies in scoring average and ranked second in rebounding average and free throw percentage.
Donovan Mitchell, Jazz (20.5 ppg/3.7 rpg/3.7 apg/1.49 spg): Mitchell became the first rookie to lead a 45-plus-win team (48-34) in scoring since the San Antonio Spursí David Robinson in 1989-90. The four-time Kia NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month set the NBA rookie record for three-pointers made with 187.
Ben Simmons, 76ers (15.8 ppg/8.2 apg/8.1 rpg/1.73 spg): Simmons joined Oscar Robertson (1960-61) as the only rookies in NBA history to average at least 15.0 points, 8.0 assists and 8.0 rebounds per game. A four-time Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month, the Australian native led rookies in rebounding, assists and steals average while helping the 76ers (52-30) finish with the third-best record in the East.
Jayson Tatum, Celtics (13.9 ppg/5.0 rpg/47.5 FG%/43.4 3FG%): Tatum led rookies and ranked eighth among all NBA players in three-point field goal percentage. The Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for December started in all 80 of his appearances for the No. 2 team in the East (55-27).
Official 2017-18 NBA All-Rookie Second Team
Lonzo Ball, Lakers (10.2 ppg/7.2 apg/6.9 rpg/1.69 spg): Ball ranked second among rookies in assists and steals average and fourth in rebounding average while playing a rookie-leading 34.2 minutes per game.
Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kings (11.8 ppg/3.3 apg/44.6 FG%/39.2 3FG%): The Serbian guard was the fourth-leading rookie in both three-point field goal percentage and three-pointers made (129).
John Collins, Hawks (10.5 ppg/7.3 rpg/1.08 bpg/57.6 FG%): Collins set a franchise rookie record for field goal percentage and became the sixth rookie in Hawks history to average at least 10.0 points and 7.0 rebounds.
Josh Jackson, Suns (13.1 ppg/4.6 rpg/1.04 spg/25.4 mpg): Jackson averaged 18.5 points and 6.1 rebounds in his final 29 games of the season, and he scored at least 15 points in each of his last 12 games.
Dennis Smith Jr., Mavericks (15.2 ppg/5.2 apg/3.8 rpg/1.03 spg): Smith, the first Dallas rookie to post a triple-double since Jason Kidd (1994-95), tied for fourth among rookies in scoring average and was third in assists average.