The 2017-18 NBA season is nearly three-quarters of the over. While Ben Simmons has been atop of the Rookie of the Year rankings throughout, Donovan Mitchell could still steal the award from the LSU product. Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen is looking to make it a three-man race.
Here is the fourth edition of my Rookie of the Year Power Rankings.
All stats are current as of Feb. 27.
Dropped out: Tyler Cavanaugh, CJ Williams, Juwan Evans, Tyler Dorsey, Cedi Osman, Luke Kennard, Tyrone Wallace, Zach Collins, Justin Jackson, Max Kleber (down from No. 19)
20. Frank Mason III (-4 spots), 19. Daniel Theis (+1 spot), 18. Milos Teodosic (no movement), 17. Jordan Bell (-4 spots), 16. Frank Ntilikina (-1 spot)
15. OG Anunoby, -6 spots
Anunoby’s production has dropped off dramatically over the last two months. The ace defender is averaging 11.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists per 40 minutes while recording a 56.7 true shooting percentage.
14. Jarrett Allen, +3 spots
Allen has improved each month of the season. The 6-11 center is producing 16.9 points, 11.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists while also posting a 63.2 true shooting percentage.
13. Dillon Brooks, +1 spot
Prior to his last two games, where he tallied a total of 14 points, Brooks had reached double-figures in 14 of 16 games. The 6-6 small forward is producing 12.7 points along with 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists while compiling a 52.9 true shooting percentage.
12. De’Aaron Fox, +5 spots
Fox has picked up his production over the last two months. The 6-3 point guard has produced 16.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists per 40 minutes while also posting a 48.3 true shooting percentage.
11. Lonzo Ball, -6 spots
Ball has fallen out of the top-10 mainly due to the fact that he missed a month of the season and is still working his way back from injury. Ball is producing 12.4 points along with 8.6 caroms and 8.4 assists per 40 minutes while posting a 44.8 true shooting percentage.
Top 10 Candidates for Rookie of the Year
10. Bam Adebayo, +1 spot
7.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.6 APG, 55.1% FG
Adebayo has really upped his production this month, averaging 10.0 points along with 7.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in nine games. He has three double-doubles and five games of double-figure scoring games in February.
The 6-10 center is producing 14.4 points along with 10.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per 40 minutes.
9. Josh Jackson, +3 spots
11.4 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.2 APG, 40.7% FG, 26.2% 3PT
Jackson has been on an outstanding stretch, since Jan. 14, and as a result he has increased his scoring production over the last two months.
Jackson, who is fourth among rookies in scoring since January, picked up his third double-double of the season with 20 points and 12 rebounds against New Orleans on Monday. He has topped the 20-point mark on nine occasions in 2018.
The 21-year-old is producing 19.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per 40 minutes.
8. Bogdan Bogdanovic, no movement
11.5 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 3.2 APG, 46.0% FG, 40.1% 3PT
Bogdanovic has been fantastic over the last two months. Bogdanovic, who has dumped in 36 points while draining five treys in three post all-star break games, is averaging 13.2 points and 4.1 assists in 2018. He has reached double-figures 20 times, including four games of 20-plus points, during this time period.
The 6-8 Serbian is producing 16.8 points along with 4.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists per 40 minutes.
7. Jayson Tatum, -4 spots
13.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.4 APG, 47.5% FG, 42.7% 3PT
Tatum has struggled in 2018. The 6-8 small forward is producing 12.3 points along with 4.1 caroms while shooting 42.5% percent from the field and 34.4% from beyond the arc during this time frame. He has scored in double-figures on 19 occasions, including one game of 20-plus games.
The 19-year-old is averaging 17.6 points along with 6.6 caroms and 1.9 assists per 40 minutes.
6. Kyle Kuzma, -3 spots
15.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.7 APG, 44.8% FG, 35.8% 3PT
Kuzma’s numbers have dropped across the board over the last two months, with the exception of assists — which has increased a measly 0.1. Kuzma, who is averaging 12.3 points in 2018, has made just 40.6% of his shots from the field as well as 31.1% from beyond the arc and 56.4% from the charity stripe since Jan. 1.
Kuzma ranks second among all rookies with 21.1 points per 40 minutes while also averaging 7.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists. He also ranks third among all first-year players with 11 double-doubles.
Kuzma, who struggles on the defensive end, is in the top 40 among rookies in offensive rating.
5. Dennis Smith Jr., +5 spots
14.6 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 4.8 APG, 38.9% FG, 30.7% 3PT
Smith had a great January and while he is having a productive February, he has seen his shooting percentage dip from his 40.0% clip in January. The 6-3 point guard is averaging 15.6 points and 5.5 assists in 2018, both stats ranks third among rookies during this time span. He has compiled two double-doubles and has reached double-figures in 22 of his last 23 contests.
Smith is producing 20.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 6.6 assists per 40 minutes.
4. John Collins, +3 spots
10.1 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.2 BPG, 57.7% FG
Collins has seen a dip in his scoring over the last two months, and while he has struggled recently with his shot accuracy, some of the reason for the drop of production has been that he has taken fewer shots.
Collins, who is shooting 54.6% from the field in 2018, has failed to reach double-figures in 17 of his last 25 games. He has tallied 15 points in his two post all-star break games.
The good news is that Collins is still providing rebounding and rim-protection. Since Jan. 1, the 6-10 big man has produced one double-double and five games of 10 or more rebounds. He is also averaging 1.3 blocks during this time period.
The 20-year-old has compiled 17.9 points, 12.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists per 40 minutes.
3. Lauri Markkanen, +3 spots
14.9 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.2 APG, 42.3% FG, 34.7% 3PT
Markkanen has improved his scoring and shooting a tad bit over the last two months. Prior to the all-star break, Markkanen scored in double-figures in 21 straight games (Dec. 27-Feb.14).
The 20-year-old Finland native struggled in his first two post-break games, compiling just six points as he made only 2-of-16 shots from the field and was 0-of-7 from beyond the arc.
However, Markkanen seemed to break out of the funk against the Nets (Monday). The 7-footer connected on 8 of 18 shots, including 1 of 3 from long-distance, to finish with 19 points.
He has also contributed 21 rebounds and three blocks in these three games.
Markkanen is producing 19.7 points, 10.8 caroms and 1.6 assists per 40 minutes.
2. Donovan Mitchell, no movement
19.7 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.5 SPG, 43.7% FG, 35.8% 3PT
Mitchell has increased his scoring by over 1.5 games since the last rankings. The 2018 Slam Dunk champion has averaged 21 or more points a game in each of the last three months. He has tallied at least 20 points (23 times), 30 points (six) and 40 points or more (twice) since Dec. 1.
The 6-3 combo guard leads all rookies in scoring per game, field goal makes, three-point makes and free throws made per game (tied). He is averaging 24.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists per 40 minutes.
Despite his scoring prowess, Mitchell is only in the top-25 in offensive rating. He has also struggled on the defensive end.
1. Ben Simmons, no movement
16.7 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 7.4 APG, 1.8 SPG, 53.3% FG
Simmons has seen his numbers dip across the board since the end of December, with the lone exception being field goal percentage. Still, Simmons has been productive as he has been highly efficient, particularly recently. Over the last 10 games, the 6-10 point guard has shot above over 50% from the field on eight occasions and is shooting 55.7% from the field overall during this stretch. He also has produced four double-doubles and two triple-doubles in 22 games since the calendar turned to 2018. Overall, he has compiled 16 double-doubles and six triple-doubles which ranks 16th and third in the league, respectively.
Simmons, who leads all rookies in minutes played, is producing 19.2 points along with 8.8 rebounds and 8.5 assists per 40 minutes. Simmons leads all rookies in assists, turnovers and steals on a 40-minute basis. He has scored in double-figures (51), hauled in double-figure rebounds (17), as well as collected 10 or more assists on 13 occasions.
Simmons also ranks among the 25 rookies in offensive rating and top-10 in defensive rating.