Rookie Cards is a weekly column tracking the performance and development of the 2018 rookie class, focusing on three players every week. This week features Deandre Ayton, Trae Young and Josh Okogie.
The 2018 NBA Draft was looked at as one of the deeper groups in recent memory, with a handful of potential superstars, several players with incredibly high ceilings and another 10+ players who projected to be solid NBA starters or rotation players.
Eight rookies are averaging double figures. Most of the players picked 1 through 10 are playing up to or exceeding expectations at this point. A handful of late first/early second round players have already worked their way into rotations and made significant impacts on their teams.
At least five nights a week, there is an NBA League Pass game worth watching solely on seeing the rookie(s) in the game. It doesn’t always pan out but most of the teams that tanked the last half-season (or more) are in a better spot because of it. Mark Cuban is the only owner who made the $600,000 mistake of acknowledging that his team should be trying to lose but a $600,000 gain or loss is like one episode of Shark Tank and I’m sure Cuban would pay that amount several times over to get Luka Doncic in the top five again.
Of the three players we’re highlighting this week, two Deandre Ayton and Trae Young, are the rewards for losing 60 games in 2017-18 and the third, Josh Okogie, is a surprise player whose already making a mark on his team.