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How the NBA Draft Will Affect Your Upcoming Season

Kyle DeSantis

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The 2017 NBA Draft Class is a class that will be remembered for some time. This draft had a great number of players whose collective talent the NBA is currently showcasing, going up against the best basketball players that the world has to offer. The top five players who got drafted this year were as follows: Markelle Fultz (G), 6’4”, 195 lbs (from the University of Washington) to the Philadelphia 76ers; Lonzo Ball (G) 6’6”, 190 lbs (from the University of California, Los Angeles) to the Los Angeles Lakers (Oh, how very surprising. Maybe Lavar had something to do with this…); Jayson Tatum (F), 6’8”, 205 lbs (from Duke University) to the Boston Celtics; Josh Jackson (F) 6’8”, 205 lbs (from the University of Kansas) to the Phoenix Suns; and De’Aaron Fox (G), 6’4”, 175 lbs (from the University of Kentucky) to the Sacramento Kings. The next five picks (also in order) included Jonathan Isaac (F), 6,10”, 210 lbs (from Florida State University); Lauri Markkanen (yes with 2 k’s) (F), 7’0”, 230 lbs (from the University of Arizona); Frank Ntilikana (cough he’s injured now cough) (G), 6’5”, 190 lbs (from SIG Strasbourg, France); Dennis Smith Jr. (G), 6’3”, 195 lbs (from North Carolina State University); and Zach Collins (C) , 7’0”, 230 lbs (from Gonzaga University).

The Summer League, which showcased many of the rookies drafted, also gave us some players from lower in the draft who exceeded expectations, such as #19 pick John Collins of the Hawks, “Averaging 15.4 points and 9.2 rebounds over five games in Las Vegas would be a case for the top five no matter what. Collins, though, did it while playing just 23 minutes per, and while shooting 59.3 percent” (via Scott Howard-Cooper NBA.com). Another was #27 pick Kyle Kuzma (F), 6’9”, 220 lbs (from the University of Utah) to the Los Angeles Lakers “who finishing sixth in scoring among all players there at 21.9 points an outing while shooting 51.4 percent and also contributing 6.4 rebounds in 32 minutes” (via Scott Howard-Cooper NBA.com). We also got to see Ben Simmons in Summer League action, as well as Joel Embiid (you could argue with me that he isn’t a rookie, but I’m including him in this because he played 31 games last season, and this would be his first full NBA season). Both Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid did not actually participate in the Summer League this year, because of injuries (cough Trust the Process cough).

The focus on all of these rookies has now moved to the NBA 2017-18 Regular Season (which by now has already started). Questions have been asked by the media such as, which rookie will be the best player in five years? This question also goes together with, which rookie was the biggest steal at where he was selected in the draft? (I personally think it’s Kyle Kuzma but that’s just my opinion). Also, who will win the 2017-18 Rookie of the Year (via John Schuhmann NBA.com)?

My prediction for the ROY for the 2017-18 NBA season is Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers. Again, people can argue over this choice saying “He missed a full NBA season” or “He’ll be a bust,” but so far, after what we’ve seen from him in the first couple of games of the NBA season, Simmons looks like he may actually resemble what everybody said he was back in the 2016 draft, where he was the #1 overall pick. Time will definitely tell.

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