Top-five picks are expected to contribute right away, even if there are some growing pains along the way in a challenging league full of elite talent at every position. NBA.com’s Matthew Blum recently made note of some well-known (and lesser-known) rookies that are in ideal situations to make an immediate impact during the 2018-19 season.
Blum points to No. 3 overall pick Luka Doncic and No. 5 overall pick Trae Young, who will likely be linked throughout their careers after they were traded for one another on draft night. Both rookies already serve as the young faces of franchises looking to return to high levels of success experienced earlier in the decade.
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According to Blum, Doncic’s unique skill set makes for an ideal fit with the Mavericks:
“He’s not the best athlete in the 2018 class, but Doncic is a tall, fluid playmaker with a great feel for the game who should fill out the perimeter perfectly with Dennis Smith Jr. and Harrison Barnes.
“He’ll also have a potentially devastating pick-and-roll partner in the newly acquired DeAndre Jordan, an excellent rim runner with the ability to take full advantage of Doncic’s penchant for sniffing out easy looks for teammates.”
Blum also mentions No. 9 overall pick Kevin Knox (Knicks), No. 12 pick Miles Bridges (Hornets) and No. 20 pick Josh Okogie (Timberwolves). Knox has a more direct path to the court than Bridges and Okogie, but all three will be expected to contribute.
Ben Simmons, Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum gave NBA fans plenty of fuel for debates with terrific performances all season long. The promising 2018 draft class should make for another memorable Rookie of the Year race this time around.