John Collins enjoyed a tremendous rookie season for the Atlanta Hawks and, at this point, it is safe to proclaim GM Travis Schlenk’s first draft pick as a success. To that end, the NBA announced its 2017-2018 All-Rookie teams on Tuesday afternoon and, unsurprisingly, the first-year big man from Wake Forest made the cut.
Collins fell short of the first team but finished eighth overall in total voting, joining Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr., Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, Kings wing Bogdan Bogdanovic and Suns wing Josh Jackson on the second team. The impressive big man received five first-team votes and 66 second team votes.
Collins set a franchise rookie record for field goal percentage and became the sixth rookie in Hawks history to average at least 10.0 points and 7.0 rebounds. He finished the season with team bests in PER (18.3), true shooting (62.0 percent), block rate (3.8 percent), win shares (5.4) and several additional categories.
Three members of the first team — Donovan Mitchell, Ben Simmons and Jayson Tatum — were virtually no-brainers, but the inclusion of Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma and Bulls big man Lauri Markkanen ahead of Collins will certainly turn some heads in Atlanta. Regardless, this result was expected and it is definitely encouraging to see the No. 19 overall pick land on the All-Rookie second team, even if an easy argument could be made that he deserved a better fate in the voting.