(Number in parentheses is age at the beginning of the 2017-18 season.)
Toughest omissions: Jaylen Brown, Justise Winslow
Rookies who have best chance to potentially play their way onto the list over the course of the season: Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Dennis Smith Jr., Josh Jackson
To see the All-30-And-Older Team, click here.
To see the All-23-To-29-Years Old Team, click here.
DOB: 2/23/96 (21)
The second overall pick in 2015 didn’t necessarily exceed expectations with the Lakers in his two seasons, but he showed enough improvements in his second year where the Nets are more than happy to have him join their team. An All-Rookie Second Team Member for the 2015-16 season, Russell posted per game averages of 15.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.4 steals in 2016-17.
DOB: 2/23/97 (20)
The seventh overall selection in 2016 by the Nuggets had enough success as a rookie that he was named to the All-Rookie Second Team last season. He is expected to be the team’s starting point guard after only starting 10 of 82 games in 2016-17 while switching his time between point and shooting guard. He saw an uptake in minutes post-All-Star break, and improved on his shooting across the board. On the year, he finished averaging 9.9 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game.
DOB: 10/30/96 (20)
Booker shocked the basketball world when he put together a 70-point effort against the Celtics last season. It came in a loss, and the team needed to foul and constantly feed him the ball when the game was out of reach, but only five players have ever scored more in a game. The 13th overall pick in 2015 averaged 22.1 points per game last season in 78 appearances along with 3.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists.
DOB: 3/10/95 (22)
LaVine was having a breakout offensive year in his third season before a torn ACL after just 47 games. The Timberwolves traded him to the Bulls in the offseason, where he likely won’t be fully recovered for the start of the season. In 2016-17, the 2016 Slam Dunk Contest Champion averaged 18.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game.
DOB: 12/6/94 (22)
Antetokounmpo took a huge step forward in 2016-17, and won Most Improved Player, was named to the All-NBA and All-Defensive Second Teams, and finished seventh in MVP voting. In 80 games, he had per game averages of 22.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.9 blocks. He led the Bucks in every one of those categories, becoming the fifth player to ever do so along with Dave Cowens, Scottie Pippen, Kevin Garnett, and LeBron James.
DOB: 2/23/95 (22)
The 2014-15 Rookie of the Year has seen his scoring average steadily rise in his three seasons from 16.9 to 20.7 to 23.6. He has only missed one game in his career, and was third in the NBA last season averaging 37.2 minutes per game. His slight frame doesn’t allow him to be a great rebounder (4.0 per game in 2016-17), but he can continue to evolve into one of the best scorers in the league.
DOB: 9/2/97 (20)
Ingram has admitted himself that he had a disappointing rookie year after the Lakers took him with the second overall pick in 2016, but was still good enough to earn him a spot on the All-Rookie Second Team. In 79 games, he averaged 9.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.1 assists on 40.2% shooting. While that field goal percentage is very low, he averaged 13.2 points per game on 47.5% shooting after the All-Star break.
DOB: 9/16/95 (22)
The fourth overall selection in 2014 is heading into his fourth season with the Magic. Last season in 80 games, he averaged 12.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game on 45.4% shooting. Those numbers went up to 16.4 and 6.2 respectively on 50.3% shooting after the All-Star break. Gordon has loads of potential and athleticism, he just hasn’t truly found his niche on ill-fitting Magic teams.
DOB: 8/2/95 (22)
The 7’3 Latvian continued to display some of the limitless potential he has during his second season. Last season, he went on to average 18.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game while connecting on 35.7% of his threes. He was fifth in the NBA in blocks per game in 2016-17, after finishing seventh in his rookie season.
DOB: 3/15/95 (22)
Parker has shown glimpses of stardom, but went just went through his second injury-plagued year in three seasons. A torn ACL ended last season after 51 appearances, and is not expected back until around the All-Star break. He averaged 20.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game last season while also developing a somewhat trustworthy three-point shot.
DOB: 11/29/94 (22)
Randle became more of a triple-double threat in his third season, finishing with three in 2016-17. The seventh overall selection in 2014 really upped his shooting last season, shooting 48.8% from the field, compared to just 42.9% in 2015-16. In 74 games, he finished with per game averages of 13.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists.
DOB: 7/2/97 (20)
The eighth overall selection in 2016 appeared in all 82 games during his rookie season, and was named to the All-Rookie Second Team as well as January’s Western Conference Rookie of the Month. On the year, he averaged 9.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks per game, but those numbers improved to 12.7, 5.9, and 1.4 respectively after the All-Star break. His field goal and three-point shooting also were much improved after the break, so he will look to continue that positive momentum heading into his second season with the Suns.
DOB: 11/15/95 (21)
The 2015-16 Rookie of the Year made a surge in his second season towards being one of the best big men in the game. He appeared in all 82 games in 2016-17, averaging 25.1 points, 12.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.3 blocks per game on 54.2% field goal shooting, 36.7% on threes, and 83.2% from the foul line. He played even better after the All-Star break, averaging 28.4 points and 13.4 rebounds per game on 59.7% field goal shooting and 43.4% on threes in 25 games.
DOB: 2/19/95 (22)
Jokic helped lead Denver to the best offense from when he was inserted into the starting lineup for good last season on December 5. His uncanny passing for his size was part of the reason that he had six triple doubles in 2016-17. In 73 games, he had per game averages of 16.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 4.9 assists while shooting 57.8% from the field.
DOB: 3/24/96 (21)
The 11th overall selection in 2015 could become the best player on the Pacers this season with Paul George being traded. In 81 games in 2016-17, he went on to average 14.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game on 51.1% shooting. He finished third in the NBA in blocks per game.