The Year of the Rookie: Part One
The 2017 draft is already one of the most exciting in years. The race for the rookie of the year award is going to be great but one guy already has a clear advantage.
Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers already has one year of NBA bench experience under his belt. The self proclaimed point guard spent last season injured and surely took advantage of his time around the team. Learning how to cope with NBA life is a huge part of the rookie experience. Coming from college these young players have to adapt to the travel, playing many more games and essentially managing basketball as a new job with bosses, coworkers and a demanding schedule. Simmons has come out of the gate flying, showing great length and the ability to take it to the hoops, his court vision as a rookie is rivalled only by Lonzo Ball who's struggled in most other areas of his game. The 6'9 guard has impressed early, wracking up a triple double in just his third game. So far he's shown that he's the most complete young gun but behind him are some truly amazing talents.
Jayson Tatum of the Boston celtics is one of them. At just 19 years old this kid shows real NBA maturity. Already averaging over 14 points and 7 rebounds a game the foreward finds himself playing many meaningful minutes for the fast improving celtics. Look for him to improve and become one of the leagues best in a few years.
Lonzo Ball, possibly the most hyped rookie since Lebron's first year, Lonzo has shown promise with eyes that see all. Watching him throw quarterback like bombs on the fast break is a delight but he has looked soft on defence allowing himself to get pushed around by much stronger guards. He is yet to find his scoring due to a timid demeanour which many blame on his awkward shooting motion but as he feels the pace and spacing of the league his percentages are sure to improve.
Markelle Fultz has been, well, he hasn't looked lik
e a number one pick. Fultz has struggled and the focus has been on his shot which he reportedly changed in the off season which has been alarming for Philly fans. Mixed messages have been sent between Markelle's agent and the 76ers front office with conflicting stories of injury and treatment taking place while the prospect was playing steady minutes. Maybe its jitters or maybe he's hurt, whatever the case they need to figure it out quick, until then, sit the kid.