The 2017-2018 NBA season is finally upon us. With that, this year's rookie class will also take center stage. From Kuzmainia, to Lonzo Ball, to De'Aaron Fox as well as, Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons, the 2017-2018 rookie class is absolutely stacked. We at Fadeaway World have decided to make a weekly Rookie Power Ranking. Our Ranking system is based overall performance and win-loss records. Each week will feature our list of 12 rookies as well as, the biggest rise and the largest fall on the rankings. Since this week is “Week One,” we will highlight the best and worst performances from the first year NBA Pro’s.
Lauri Markkanen a bright spot for a weak Bulls team
The expectations thrust upon Lauri Markkanen have been huge. Many doubted the Finland native’s ability to make the jump to the NBA but Markkanen seems to be proving the doubters wrong early on. Through two games thus far, the former Arizona standout is averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds per game. In his debut Thursday against Toronto, Markkanen scored 17 points and added 8 rebounds in 33 minutes of play.
In the Bulls loss to the Spurs on Saturday, Markkanen scored 13 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for his first career double-double in 37 minutes of play. If one thing is clear, it is that Lauri Markkanen is going to get a lot of minutes. This should do wonders for his confidence however, the large amount of playing time could lead to fatigue down the road. The 2017 seventh overall pick has been impressive early on and could be in for bigger performances as the season progresses.
Rookie to watch: Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies
Dillon Brooks burst onto the scene with 19 points in his debut. Brooks’ 19 points were the most scored by a Canadian in their NBA debut. Drafted, 45th overall in the 2017 draft, Brooks was arguably one of the biggest sleepers in the class. During his time at Oregon, Brooks was a key member of their team, hitting big shots and making great plays along the way.
What may be even more surprising about Brooks’ play so far is that he is yet to play under 28 minutes in a game. The Memphis Grizzlies clearly have a lot of faith in their young Small Forward. Keep an eye on Brooks as he could pan out to be one of the biggest steals in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Big Bounce Back for the Big Baller
It is safe to say that Lonzo Ball did not have a very successful NBA debut. This gave many people the opportunity to jump all over Ball even calling him a bust. However, the NBA season is a long 82 game marathon and one bad performance should not define a player. On Friday night the Los Angeles Lakers took on the Phoenix Suns. Whether it was the fact that the Lakers were on the road or not, something clicked for Lonzo Ball.
The 2017 Second Overall pick finished the night with 29 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists. Ball was one assist shy of becoming the youngest player ever to record a triple-double. Nonetheless, Ball put the NBA and his haters on notice, showing that one bad performance would not hinder his promising future. Moving forward, the “Big Baller” likely wants to replicate his thrilling performance in front of the Lakers faithful. Keep your eyes on the rise of Lonzo Ball.
Simmons Opens as Number One
2016 First Overall pick Ben Simmons has gotten off to a terrific start. In Philadelphia's first game of the season at Washington, Simmons scored 18 points and 10 rebounds to complete the double-double in his debut. The 76ers would fall to 0-2 against the Celtics however on Friday October 20th however, Simmons would notch another double-double with 11 points as well as, 11 rebounds. Not only has the former first overall pick seemingly been a double-double machine, his passing has also been superb.
Averaging 6.0 assists thus far, Simmons is extremely crafty with the ball and can see the court very well. Although Philadelphia is 0-3, Ben Simmons is already proving to be a huge piece of the 76ers bright future. A double-double in three straight games is not too bad.
The List (All stats are per game averages)
1. Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers: 15.7 pts, 6.0 ast, 10.3 reb
2. Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers: 16.0 pts, 6.5 ast, 10.0 reb
3. De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings: 13.7 pts, 5.3 ast, 5.0 reb
4. Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics: 12.3 pts, 1.7 ast, 9.0 reb
5. Dennis Smith. Jr, Dallas Mavericks: 16.0 pts, 10 ast, 3.0 reb
6. Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls: 15.0 pts, 0.0 ast, 10.0 reb
7. Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies: 14.0 pts, 2.0 ast, 3.5 reb
8. Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers: 11.5 pts, 1.5 ast, 3.5 reb
9. Josh Jackson, Phoenix Suns: 11.7 pts, 0.3 ast, 1.0 reb
10. Mike James, Phoenix Suns: 11.7 pts, 2.7 pts, 1.7 reb
11. John Collins, Atlanta Hawks: 9.5 pts, 0.5 ast, 3.5 reb
12. Markelle Fultz, Philadelphia 76ers: 7.3 points, 1.3 ast, 2.3 reb