By Max Liebel
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y.- Last season we saw something we have not seen since 2004. A group of rookies come in and make an immediate impact on their teams, and have legitimate star power in the league. While it is still too early in the season to compare the likes of Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum, or Ben Simmons to anyone in this rookie class, the class of 2018 has still been impressive. Players like Trae Young, Luka Doncic, and Deandre Ayton have all came in and played very well for their respected teams.
He was touted as the biggest hit or miss prospect of this years draft but so far in the season, it seems like the Atlanta Hawks definitely have a hit. Young has posted 18.5 points and 8.2 assists on the season, including a game in which he had 24 points to go with 15 assists. Questions surrounded this Hawks team and whether or not anyone could provide a spark for this team coming into the season. So far, Young has been that player. It will be interesting to see what the Hawks are able to do moving forward with young at the helm.
When you take a player from overseas, it can be hard to really judge how that talent will compare to that of the NBA. So far, Luka Dončić has dispelled any questions about whether he matches up to NBA talent. The Mavericks first round pick leads the team in scoring and all rookies this season averaging 20.0 PPG. With Dirk Nowitzki rehabbing from injury, Dončić has filled in as the scoring presence and will be a great compliment when Nowitzki returns.
Ayton may have the most to live up to in this draft class. The first overall pick has been what the Suns drafted him to do, provide a preassance down low to complement their perimeter star Devin Booker. While he has struggled at times on the defensive side, he has been the offensive force in the paint the suns lacked a year ago. Ayton is currently averaging a double double and shows promise as the top rookie big man in the league.
Stats as of 11/12/18.