Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Deandre Ayton Headline 2019 NBA All-Rookie Team

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 21, 2019

DALLAS, TX - APRIL 9: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks smiles against the Phoenix Suns on April 9, 2019 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
Glenn James/Getty Images

It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who watched basketball this season that Luka Doncic, Trae Young and Deandre Ayton headline the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie team.

Doncic, Young and Ayton, along with Marvin Bagley III and Jaren Jackson Jr., were named to the first team.

One year after being traded for each other during the 2018 NBA draft, Doncic and Young became the faces of their respective teams. They were also the only unanimous selections for the All-Rookie team. 

Doncic gave the Dallas Mavericks a natural transition from the era of Dirk Nowitzki. The 20-year-old averaged 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists in 72 games. He had eight triple-doubles, by far the most among first-year players this season.

Per NBA.com, the only rookies with more triple-doubles in a season were Oscar Robertson in 1960-61 (26) and Ben Simmons in 2017-18 (12).

Young got off to a slow start but looked more comfortable after the All-Star break. He scored 16.9 points per game before the midseason break in 58 games, compared to 24.7 in 23 games after. He also increased his assists per game from 7.6 to 9.2.

While Ayton was the No. 1 overall pick to the Phoenix Suns, his season got lost in the shuffle because Doncic and Young are flashier. The center was the only rookie to average a double-double with 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, and he ranked second among first-year players with a 58.5 field-goal percentage.

Ayton's performance was hurt by playing for a Suns team that tied the Cleveland Cavaliers for the NBA's second-worst record (19-63).

Per ESPN.com, Ayton finished second among rookies with a 20.54 player efficiency rating. Only Mitchell Robinson of the New York Knicks had a higher mark (22.01).

As a key piece of the Sacramento Kings' surprise season, Bagley lived up to the hype as the No. 2 overall pick. The former Duke star finished his debut campaign with 14.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per game but was limited to 62 games by multiple knee injuries.

The Kings look like they have a nucleus capable of competing for a playoff spot very soon. Bagley, De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield led them to 39 wins, their most in a season since 2005-06.

Jackson made it to the first team despite playing just 58 games. The Memphis Grizzlies rookie missed the final 22 games because of a right quad injury, but he looked terrific prior to that setback. 

After being drafted fourth overall, Jackson averaged 13.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. He also showed impressive range for a 6'11" power forward with a 35.9 percentage from three-point range. 

All five players named to the All-Rookie first team were the top five picks in last year's draft. Even though the order which those players were selected could be debated, it's clear based on the early returns that teams certainly knew who the best players in the 2018 class were. 

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