The 2017 draft class has played incredible basketball so far this NBA season. Some of the players may have had slow developments, but it doesn’t seem to be a big problem. Their emergence has played a huge part in their team’s success this season.
The 2017 draft class currently has three players on the MVP ladder, leading their team through their brilliant play. Players in this draft class may have hit the jackpot in terms of their development as they’re starting to emerge as the faces of their franchises.
With that said, here are the five best players from the 2017 draft class who have played great basketball this season.
Lauri Markkanen surprised everyone with his play this season, as he awakened his “inner Dirk Nowitzki.” He started off the season leading the Utah Jazz to the top seed in the Western Conference. However, they’ve slowed down and have fallen to seventh.
The seventh pick in the 2017 draft is one of the favorites to win the Most Improved Player award this season. He’s averaging 22.2 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Markkanen is also shooting a career-high 53.1%, including 39.5% from 3-point range.
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#4, Bam Adebayo
The defensive-minded center has been playing his heart out this season. Bam Adebayo has been more aggressive on the offensive end and is slowly carrying the Miami Heat up the Eastern Conference standings. The 6-foot-9 center is wreaking havoc under the basket.
Adebayo is averaging 20.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists. The Heat recently lost to the Boston Celtics despite a 23-point performance from the big man. Still, it’s hard not to give credit for the efforts of the former14th pick in 2017 this season.
#3, De’Aaron Fox
De’Aaron Fox finally knows how it feels to be a winner with the Sacramento Kings. The fifth pick in 2017 has played unbelievable basketball, enough to put the Kings sixth. Sacramento is winning again after 16 long years of struggling to be relevant.
Fox’s play has been one of the main reasons for the team’s success. The 25-year old is averaging 24.0 points, 4.9 rebounds and 6.0 assists for the Beam Team. The swift guard could be on his way to his first postseason action this season.
Also read: De’Aaron Fox rejoices being a part of the Sacramento Kings after their surprising start – “It’s not L.A., Miami, but we don’t do those things anyway”
#2, Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell is one of three players in this draft who are in the MVP race. Now with his new squad, the Cleveland Cavaliers, he’s been posting incredible numbers that have helped his team’s success. With Mitchell’s leadership, Cleveland is 14-8, good enough for third in the East.
The 13th overall pick in 2017 was traded by the Utah Jazz over the summer, which involved Markkanen. Mitchell is averaging 28.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 5.1 assists. In the NBA’s latest update, he’s sixth on the MVP ladder and could enter the top five in future weeks.
#1, Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum has carried the Boston Celtics as the best team in the East this season. The third pick in 2017 has taken his game to a whole different level. His play has given the Celtics a chance to become the No. 1 seed in their conference, with a record of 18-4.
Tatum is averaging 31.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists. In last week’s MVP update, the three-time All-Star was second on the MVP ladder, right behind the Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic. Tatum’s play has helped the team overcome the odds of being under a new coach.
Also read: NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) race featuring Jayson Tatum, Joel Embiid and more: November 18, 2022 | Latest Power Rankings by Sportskeeda