The reviews are in, and the media believes Ben Simmons, Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum are in a rookie class of their own. Well, except for one voter.
The NBA revealed its 2017-18 All-Rookie squads Tuesday, and Simmons and Mitchell both were unanimous First-Team selections, receiving 100 out of a possible 100 first-team votes from a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
Tatum was right behind the Philadelphia 76ers guard and Utah Jazz guard, as the Boston Celtics forward received 99 first-team votes — and one second-team vote. Here’s the full list, via NBA PR:
Simmons, Mitchell and Tatum are the three finalists for NBA Rookie of the Year, so their spot alongside Kyle Kuzma and Lauri Markkanen on the first team should surprise no one.
Tatum had a stellar rookie campaign, stepping up in Gordon Hayward’s absence to average 13.9 points per game in 30.5 minutes per contest while missing only two games. The 20-year-old’s scoring output was the highest by a Celtics rookie since Paul Pierce (16.5 points per game), who, not surprisingly, was the last Celtic to make the First-Team All-Rookie squad.
Tatum was the only top-three pick in the 2018 NBA Draft to make the first team; No. 2 pick Lonzo Ball earned second-team honors, while No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz was nowhere to be found, having played just 14 games for the Sixers this season while dealing with a shoulder injury.
Interestingly enough, Tatum wasn’t the only Boston player on the ballot, as rookie forward Semi Ojeyele also received one vote despite averaging just 2.7 points in 15.8 minutes this season.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images