After a week’s worth of action, the rookie class of 2017 is looking like it will live up to all of the predraft hype. Check out the best games so far.
As soon as the 2016 NBA Draft ended, the talk switched to just how special the 2017 crop of rookies had a chance to be. Just over a week into the 2017-18 NBA season, this class has more than backed up the hype.
Players drafted all over the board are making noise in this season’s rookie class so far. The immediate production has been a sight to behold across the league. We had players post double-doubles in their debuts, we’ve seen triple-doubles, 20-plus point games, highlight plays and anything else you can think of already from this year’s group.
The 2016 class was surely a letdown, but this class’ talent and readiness — as well as the addition of 2016 No. 1 pick Ben Simmons among its ranks — has it shaping up to be an all-time great group of rookies.
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With these cast of characters oozing potential, the premiere of The Step Back’s Rookie Ladder will focus on the five best performances through the opening stretch of games. Notice it says “performances” and not “stats;” gaudy numbers were surely a consideration for making this list, but a little pizzazz can go a long way in these rankings.
The Rookie Ladder will evolve over the course of the season and the criteria for climbing up the rungs will differ, too. One week it could be “5 rookies most likely to land an obscure endorsement deal,” the next could see a list of “5 rookies capable of shutting LaVar Ball up” or “5 rookies who aren’t holding up their end.” (Please let Malik Monk break out of this shooting slump, Basketball Gods!) And, of course, there’s potential for the basic five best rookies or most likely Rookie of the Year award lists as well.
Without further ado, let’s get the maiden voyage off to sea with the five best opening week performances this season.