With Rookie of the Year honors all but announced let’s project the all-rookie team selections. A place on this roster not only vindicates a players game but also gives credence to their draft selection. Front offices and players alike anticipate these choices with knots in their collective stomachs. The NBA’s 2018-2019 rookie class could be an all-time great class but only time will tell.

All-Rookie Second Team

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Los Angeles Lakers

Landry Shamet, Philadelphia 76ers

Kevin Knox, New York Knicks

Jaren Jackson, Memphis Grizzlies

Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks

Honorable Mention

Jalen Brunson, Kevin Huerter, and Rodions Kurucs

All-Rookie First Team

Dallas Mavericks v Atlanta Hawks

Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

The clear cut Rookie of the year is without question the class’s most dynamic player. In concert with his stats, the Slovenian native has accelerated a team rebuilds the Mavericks hope to soon benefit from. Building on such a stellar rookie season will be tough but his track record suggests he is ready for the challenge. After a historical season that compares with Jordan, Oscar, and Kareem his place on the first team roster is no brainier. He is one of ten players to average at least 19 PTS, 6 RB, 4 AST in their inaugural season.

Luka AllTime rookie top10

Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks

A surge in production during the second half of the season catapulted Trae into the first team. An initial shooting slump ignited whispers of disappointment but finishing the season at almost 20 ppg quickly put that narrative to bed. The Hawks point guard also ranked fourth overall in assist per game with 8.1.  The combination of lethal shooting and eagle-eyed passing almost makes last years draft day trade a push but I’m sure most MFFL’s would object.

Player Per Game Table
1Russell WestbrookPGOKC737310.74.5
2Kyle LowryPGTOR65658.72.8
3Chris PaulPGHOU58588.22.6
4Trae YoungPGATL81818.13.8
5Jrue HolidaySGNOP67677.73.1
6Ben SimmonsPGPHI79797.73.5
7James HardenPGHOU78787.55.0
8De’Aaron FoxPGSAC81817.32.8
9Nikola JokicCDEN80807.33.1
10D’Angelo RussellPGBRK81817.03.1
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/14/2019.

Colin Sexton, Cleveland Cavilers

The former Alabama point guard proved to be the Cavs workhorse tallying the most minutes by any rookie (2605). Although the club was relatively unsuccessful the steady progression Sexton showed made him my final selection for the first team. After overcoming a rough start to the season he has recovered and ends the season ranked third among rookies in scoring. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the second team either. The scoring point guard has stiff competition for the last spot.

Rookies Table
1Luka DoncicOct 17, ’18, DAL @ PHO191231821.27.86.0
2Trae YoungOct 17, ’18, ATL @ NYK201250319.13.78.1
3Collin SextonOct 17, ’18, CLE @ TOR201260516.72.93.0
4Deandre AytonOct 17, ’18, PHO vs. DAL201218316.310.31.8
5Marvin BagleyOct 17, ’18, SAC vs. UTA191156714.97.61.0
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/14/2019.

Marvin Bagley III, Sacramento Kings

Consistent bench production for a young and talented Kings squad was Bagley’s calling card this year. Throughout the season it was legitimate to predict the Kings as an eight seed in the western conference and he was a significant role in that. The former Tarheel has been quietly impressive leading the team in blocks from the bench in addition to ranking top three in rebounds, blocks, and points for the club. The potential was obvious but the matched production from the bench secured his place on the roster.

Per Game Table
1Buddy Hield265.00.420.7
2De’Aaron Fox213.80.617.3
3Marvin Bagley197.61.014.9
4Harrison Barnes265.50.114.3
5Bogdan Bogdanovic263.50.214.1
6Willie Cauley-Stein258.40.611.9
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/14/2019.

DeAndre Ayton, Phoenix Suns

As the season began many believed Ayton would challenge Doncic for the rookie crown however he cooled off as the season progressed. Many times throughout the season he could disappear making the holes in his game even more visible but averaging a double-double (16 pts & 10 rebs) as a rook can overshadow that. It’s legitimate to expect All-Star appearances from the big man in the future. Rebounding is sure to be essential to his game as he leads all rookies in rebounding in addition to finishing 13th overall rebounding production. A number like these make a first-team selection inevitable.

Player Per Game Table
1Andre DrummondC25DET5.410.215.6
2Joel EmbiidC24PHI2.511.113.6
3DeAndre JordanC30TOT3.39.813.1
4Rudy GobertC26UTA3.89.012.9
5Clint CapelaC24HOU4.48.212.7
6Giannis AntetokounmpoPF24MIL2.210.312.5
7Karl-Anthony TownsC23MIN3.49.012.4
8Nikola VucevicC28ORL2.89.212.0
9Hassan WhitesideC29MIA3.67.811.3
10Russell WestbrookPG30OKC1.59.611.1
11Nikola JokicC23DEN2.98.010.8
12Jusuf NurkicC24POR3.47.010.4
13Deandre AytonC20PHO3.17.110.3
14John CollinsPF21ATL3.66.29.8
15Enes KanterC26TOT3.86.09.8
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/14/2019.

Photo:  Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images
Stats:  www.basketball-reference.com


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