Ben Simmons, Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum occupied the rookie spotlight this season. Behind them were the likes of Kyle Kuzma and Lauri Markkanen, young players who compiled terrific seasons on bad teams. Josh Jackson and Dennis Smith Jr. were a couple of guys who stood out during the latter half of the year, and Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen (and his afro) is in that same tier.
Allen was the 22nd pick in the 2017 draft and slipped that far because of his rawness on both ends of the floor. Whoever drafted him needed the proper personnel to harvest his potential. After one season, the Nets’ staff has done a fantastic job. Allen’s physical attributes are awesome, allowing him to develop into the ideal new-school center. He’s a constant threat above the rim because he’s long and athletic, and those same attributes make him a stalwart rim protector. Allen’s season, however, featured a stark contrast.