The stacked 2017 NBA Draft class has been hanging out in the Northeast, enjoying their rookie photoshoot while also attending rookie seminars. One of the annual traditions over on NBA.com is surveying the rookies who make the trip, and the results are in thanks to John Schumann of NBA.com.
This crop of talent voted on Rookie of the Year, best career, best playmaker, biggest draft steal, favorite player in the league and much more. Lonzo Ball may not have gotten the Rookie of the Year nod, but he got the one that really matters from his peers.
Ball came in tied with Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics as the incoming rookies who will have the best careers, each earning 18.4 percent of the vote. Josh Jackson (10.5%), Dennis Smith, Jr. (10.5%) and De’Aaron Fox (7.9%) round out the top-five. Brandon Ingram earned the top mark in this category last season, so the Los Angeles Lakers’ long-term outlook seems to be in good hands.
Lonzo absolutely crushed the “best playmaker” category, running away with the top spot with 71.8 percent of the vote. There’s absolutely no doubt from the incoming rookie class that Ball is going to ball the “right way” when it comes to passing right out of the gates.
Smith, Jr. may not have gotten the career nod, but he did get a co-sign from his fellow rookies on their upcoming season. He clinched the Rookie of the Year vote (25.7%), followed by Ball (20%), Markelle Fultz (17.1%) and a three-way tie between Kyle Kuzma, Donovan Mitchell and Ben Simmons (5.7%).
That’s not the only place Kuzma popped up, either. Kuzma had the fifth-most votes in the “biggest steal” category (9.5%), led by Utah’s Mitchell (18.9%). He also got on the board in the “best shooter” category with 5.4 percent of the vote.
What does it mean? A whole lotta’ nothing, but it’s always interesting to see what NBA players think about other NBA players, and it seems Ball and Kuzma left a strong impression on their draft mates.