The NBA announced its All-Rookie teams for the 2017-18 season on Tuesday, and Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball both earned honors, with the no. 27 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft making the first team, while the no. 2 pick made the second team.
Philadelphia's Ben Simmons and Utah's Donovan Mitchell, who are the two clear front runners for Rookie of the Year, were both unanimous selections to the first team. Boston's Jayson Tatum received 99 out of 100 first team votes to finish third in the voting.
Kuzma comfortably made the first team and received 93 first team votes and seven second team votes, meaning he was on every ballot. Ball, who missed 30 out of 82 games due to injury, understandably only received seven first team votes and 73 second team votes.
The former UCLA Bruin was a polarizing figure even before he made his NBA debut. Ball fell off the ballots of 20 of the 100 voters, comprised of NBA writers and broadcasters, despite becoming the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double and earning high praise from stars around the league, including LeBron James and Paul George.
Ball struggled with streaky shooting throughout the season and finished averaging 10.2 points per game on 30.5 percent shooting on three-pointers, 36.0 percent shooting from the field and 45.1 percent shooting from the foul line.
Ball's supporters pointed to the point guard's strong defense as an overlooked factor in the voting, but 20 NBA writers not counting Ball as one of the top 10 rookies seemed to raise eyebrows considering he still averaged 7.2 assists, 6.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals.
Kuzma, meanwhile, didn't need an argument of support after his historic season. Kuzma became the first rookie in NBA history to score over 1,000+ points, make 150+ three-pointers and grab 400+ rebounds in a debut NBA season. He embodied the modern court stretching power forward.
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Kuzma eventually finished the year with 1,242 points, 159 made three-pointers and 483 rebounds in 77 games played. Kuzma recorded 17 double-doubles, shot 36.6 percent from beyond the three-point arc, 45.0 percent from the field and 70.7 percent from the foul line.
Another notable Lakers' rookie that curiously did not receive a single vote was Josh Hart. The rookie out of Villanova proved to be one of the Lakers' best defenders, rebounders and three-point shooters. Hart finished with eight double-doubles despite only averaging 23.2 minutes per game in his rookie year. The 23-year-old also shot 39.6 percent from beyond the three-point line, which was good enough for team-high honors, excluding the Andre Ingram miracle cameo at the end of the season.
Though these postseason awards don't mean all that much in the grand scheme of player development, they are sure to provide more trash talking material for Hart, Ball and Kuzma, all three of whom are notorious for ribbing one another on social media.