Throughout the NBA season, a number of national analysts have called this year's rookie class (with the inclusion of Philadelphia's Ben Simmons) among the best ever, and even LeBron James offered his praise Monday night, calling the group the best since 2003, his own class.
Before James' remark Monday, ESPN published a piece with Kevin Pelton and Mike Schmitz debating which rookies have the highest potential for future success.
Schmitz ranked Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell No. 1 and Simmons No. 2.
"Mitchell was my preseason choice for (Rookie of the Year) and, in my view, is the rookie with the most star potential because of his mentality and rate of improvement over the past 3-4 years," Schmitz wrote.
Pelton had the two in reverse order.
"Going forward, I love the flexibility Simmons will offer the 76ers as a point guard on offense and a 6-foot-10 defender capable of matching up with basically any spot 1-4," he wrote.
Former Utah Runnin' Ute Kyle Kuzma, who had a strong first season with the Los Angeles Lakers, landed at No. 10 on Schmitz's list of rookies with the most potential, while he didn't make Pelton's Top 10.
Kuzma certainly had a strong reaction on Twitter.
Donovan Mitchell's draft workout with Jazz revisited by The Washington Post
By now the story of Mitchell's impressive pre-draft workout with the Jazz last May has often been told, which was a key factor in Utah deciding to try to acquire him.
On Monday, the day was revisited in a piece by The Washington Post's Tim Bontemps.
“I’m not even sure the kid knew that he was performing to the degree that he was performing," Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey is quoted as saying. "Look, workouts are workouts. Three-on-three is not the same basketball as five-on-five . . . [but] I think as much as anything it gave us some confirmation that a few things that we were picking up live and on video and statistically, you know he showed that not only was he a good player but that he was almost growing by the day.”
- Sports Illustrated features Donovan Mitchell, Alec Burks
- Kyle Kuzma breaks down film with Mike Fratello
- SB Nation captures another frightening shot of Quin Snyder
During Game 1 of the playoff series between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, former BYU star and current Celtics general manager and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was caught on camera protesting a call and throwing the ball from his place in the stands back to the referee.
ESPN took the footage and combined it with footage of an incident during the 1994 playoffs in which Ainge, then playing for the Phoenix Suns, threw the ball, which started a little skirmish against the Houston Rockets.