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2017-18 NBA Rookie of the Year rankings

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2017-18 NBA Rookie of the Year rankings

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

 

 

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Carmelo Anthony traded to Hawks, who will buy him out, in three-team deal involving Dennis Schroder

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Carmelo Anthony traded to Hawks, who will buy him out, in three-team deal involving Dennis Schroder

The stage has been set for Carmelo Anthony to hit free agency, as the 10-time All-Star was traded to the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday in a three-team deal, one that will lead to a subsequent buyout of his contract. ESPN first reported the news and noted that the Rockets are the favorites to sign him.

The full deal sends Dennis Schroder from the Hawks to the Thunder in exchange for Anthony and a protected first round pick, and sends Mike Muscala from Atlanta to Philly. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will go to the Thunder from Phily and Justin Anderson will go from the Sixers to the Hawks.

That's a complicated deal, but it ultimately frees Anthony up to choose a new team. He was set to make $27.9 million from the Thunder next season, but the Hawks are footing the bill to let him walk.

Anthony's skills have declined now that he's 34 years old. Last season, he averaged 16.2 points on 40.4 percent shooting, way down from the 22.4 points he averaged the season before with the Knicks.

Still, Anthony could help a team looking for a scoring punch and the Rockets would like some more help in their quest to take down the Warriors. If he signs there, he will join friend Chris Paul and the 2017-18 MVP, James Harden. 

Houston has been the logical landing spot for Anthony ever since news broke that the Thunder were looking for a way out of his contract. If he doesn't go there, perhaps the Lakers would make sense. LeBron James is going to need a lot more help than the roster he currently has around him to make some noise in the crowded Western Conference.

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Fallout from the Kawhi/DeRozan trade; Kevin Love questions

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Fallout from the Kawhi/DeRozan trade; Kevin Love questions

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hugheswas joined by Nick Ashooh to break down the fallout from the trade involving Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan.

They looked at what it means for the Wizards and the East, as well as the Lakers and LeBron. Plus, they took fan questions, many of which centered on Kevin Love and the possibility of a trade to Washington.

You can listen to the episode right here: