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2018 NBA Playoffs: 5 Best Players on Rookie Contracts so far

Top 5 / Top 10
1.13K   //    20 Apr 2018, 11:28 IST

Is one of Donovan Mitchell or Ben Simmons No. 1?

We are a week into the NBA Playoffs. With 19 games played between various playoff teams of both the Eastern and Western Conference, we have seen some refreshingly good performances by young players in these playoffs.

The likes of the Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers have much to thank their youngsters for their advantageous position in their ongoing playoff series thus far. Without the players that we'll talk about in a short while, it's possible that they'd be way worse off than they currently are.

While there are a number of young'ns in contention for our top 5 picks, the following players narrowly missed out featuring on our list.

Honorable Mentions: Jayson Tatum, Joel Embiid (played only one game so far), Dejounte Murray, Shabazz Napier, Justise Winslow

Note: Our list of top 5 players in the playoffs currently on rookie-scale contracts is as follows:

#5 OG Anunoby

Washington Wizards v Toronto Raptors - Game Two
Anunoby troubled Bradley Beal in the first 2 games of the Raptors-Wizards series

In order to gauge OG Anunoby's true impact on a really deep Raptors rotation, while his box scores would certainly help, what would truly shape our picture is the stat line of an opponent. Bradley Beal, guarded closely by Anunoby in Game 2 of the first round playoff series between Toronto and Washington, was able to score just 9 points on 3-of-11 shooting from the field and 1-of-5 attempts from 3-point range.

Anunoby has emerged as one of the best 3-and-D players among the rookie class of 2017-18. Playing on a stacked Raptors roster has prevented him from improving his points tally in the regular season. He is, however, averaging 18.4 points per 36 minutes on 50% shooting from 3-point territory in the playoffs so far.

Expect him to be a big part of the Raptors' rotation later on in the playoffs as well.

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Started as an Arsenal fan at the age of 6. Became a Ronaldo and a Real Madrid fan after the 2002 World Cup. Bandwagon Celtics fan this season, though I've watched the NBA with increasing frequency over the past 14 years or so. Played both games with my high school team at some of the highest levels there are in India. Played against East Bengal u-17s in college. A member of Mercurial FC, 1st division Amateur League team in Bangalore.
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