Wizards

Wizards

We came into the 2017-18 NBA season with a rookie class dripping with hype. 

After last year's group, that saw second-round pick Malcolm Brogdon win Rookie of the Year in surprising fashion, most NBA fans were ready to see more of the "instant NBA star" type of rookie this year.

The problem is, they're just that, rookies.

Far too often we forget it takes time for even the most talented players to adjust to life at this level. 

Some early on have shown they have potential to be stars, others, have a lot to learn. 

Then there's the few, who weren't part of the hype train, that have taken the casual NBA fan by surprise so far this season.

Here's our NBA Rookie of the Year Rankings:

 

5. Kyle Kuzma, Lakers

Most expected a different name to be the best rookie on the Lakers in 2017. Kuzma though, has been the one to stand out so far.

Early in player's careers, shooting can be a major issue (*as you immediately think of Lonzo Ball*). 

Kuzma is shooting 50 percent from the field and 38 percent from three, on over four attempts per game. 

He's also leading the Lakers in scoring, and competing with his teammate Ball as to who's better with the media.

 

4. Lauri Markkanen, Bulls

The early production from Markkanen can certainly help ease the pain of the Jimmy Butler trade this offseason.

The 7-footer out of Arizona, naturally, draws comparisons to Dirk Nowitzki  and Kristaps Porzinigis, with his size and ability to stretch the floor. 

Markkanen has shown an early knack for rebounding, along with an ability to put the ball on the floor. 

Yes the Bulls are terrible, but at least they seem to have one player they can build a future around.

 

3. Donovan Mitchell, Jazz

During the draft, there was a sort of cult-following for Mitchell, mainly because of his ability to get you to click on every YouTube dunk video with his name on it. 

So far though, Mitchell has proven to be vital to the post-Gordon Hayward Jazz. 

More than just a high-flying 3-and-D guy, Mitchell is second in scoring for Utah, and is showing the rest of the league how deep this draft class just might end up being.

 

RELATED: THE GOOD AND BAD OF THE WIZARDS SO FAR

 

2. Jayson Tatum, Celtics

Tatum has a chance to end up being the most complete player in this draft down the road. 

The biggest thing about him is the amount of improvement we've seen since his one year at Duke. 

He's shooting nearly 50 percent overall, and 48 percent from three, which is a massive improvement from college.

Add that to the fact that he can get you 14 points a game on just nine shots, far and away the fewest attempts out of any player on this list. 

Just think, the Celtics traded DOWN to get this kid. 

 

1. Ben Simmons, Sixers

The amazing part about Simmons has been that he's made himself such a threat offensively without making a single three-pointer yet this year.

 

In fact, he doesn't even try. Almost 73 percent of his shot attempts are inside 10 feet. 

He's the size of a center, playing point guard, and is a triple-double threat almost every night. 

You do wonder though, how teams will use his lack of outside shooting against him as time goes on.

For now though, it's more fun to just sit back and watch him make the Sixers worth our attention again. 

 

"Guys to keep an eye on" tier: Dennis Smith Jr., De'Aaron Fox, John Collins, Frank Ntilikina, Mike James

The "where have they been?" tier: Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, Markelle Fultz 

 

RELATED: MORRIS SEES SIMMONS AND EMBIID AS NEXT SHAQ AND PENNY