The NBA season is almost halfway through and it’s starting to look more and more like a two-man race between LaMelo Ball and Tyrese Haliburton for Rookie of the Year. Both players have been consistently putting up eye-popping stats while playing meaningful minutes for their respective teams.
I’m not saying the other rookies don’t have a chance of winning though. What I am saying is their chances are becoming very slim with the season almost finished. With that being said here With that being said, is my third look of the season at the top ten rookies of the NBA and where they rank in the race for the coveted Rookie of the Year award.
1. LaMelo Ball / Charlotte Hornets
Season Stats: 14.6 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 6.1 APG Last Rank (1)
LaMelo Ball starting has had a huge impact on his team. The Hornets are currently 7th place in the East and a big reason for that is LaMelo. He looks like one of the league’s best passers at times and is starting to gain more chemistry with his team. He is also an underrated rebounder and has a good eye for the ball. His on-ball defense still needs plenty of work but he skillfully plays the passing lanes looking for a bad pass.
LaMelo unfortunately has started to have turnover problems again. This comes at a bad time with Haliburton hot on his trails for Rookie of the Year. Luckily or not, LaMelo does get more media attention than Haliburton which definitely helps his chances of winning.
Nonetheless, he can’t get sloppy now because the media attention also magnifies the negative parts of his game. LaMelo Ball is currently ranked 1st among all rookies in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and efficiency.
2. Tyrese Haliburton / Sacramento Kings
Season Stats: 12.4 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 5.2 APG Last Rank (4)
The Sacramento Kings got a steal with the 12th pick in last year’s draft. Tyrese Haliburton has looked like a veteran on the court even though most of the time he is the youngest guy playing. Even with Haliburton having good games, the Kings find themselves within a four-game losing streak. That can’t be on his shoulders though because he is over his cold spell and has been hitting his shots much more consistently again.
He does need to work on getting to the foul line a bit more. He is currently second among all rookies in assists, steals, efficiency, and 3-pt percentage (44%).
3. Anthony Edwards / Minnesota Timberwolves
Season Stats: 14.3 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2.2 APG Last Rank (5)
Anthony Edwards has been playing big minutes and has shown us why the Timberwolves selected him with the first pick. With his combination of quickness and strength and a sneaky passing ability, Edwards is showing why scouts praised him so much. He is starting to get more and more comfortable playing in the NBA.
Edwards and KAT have to build good chemistry if the Timberwolves expect to move from the bottom of the standings. He is second in points per game among the rookies.
4. Immanuel Quickley / New York Knicks
Season Stats: 12.5 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 2.7 APG Last Rank (2)
The Quickley train quickly came to a halt with some truly ugly games from Immanuel Quickley. He has recently bounced back by scoring over 15 points in 22 minutes or less in his last three games. Many people assumed that the Knicks trading for Derrick Rose would hinder Quickley’s development, but I think Rose will be a great mentor for him and help to elevate his game.
5. James Wiseman / Golden State Warriors
Season Stats: 12.2 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1.3 BPG Last Rank (3)
Getting a sprained left wrist and being out for a couple of weeks throws a wrench in James Wiseman’s ROY campaign. Still, he should be back in a couple of days and will hopefully build upon his recent good games. Wiseman is still leading all rookies in blocks per game but has dropped to second in rebounds.
6. Jae’Sean Tate / Houston Rockets
Season Stats: 9.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.7 APG Last Rank (7)
Jae’Sean Tate has benefitted a ton from the Harden and has surprised many people with his skills. He has also started to turn heads with his positive defensive ability. Plays major minutes for his team and even logged 40 minutes against Washington on February 15th.
7. Cole Anthony / Orlando Magic
Season Stats: 11.0 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 3.8 APG Last Rank (6)
A fracture on his right rib will keep Cole Anthony off the court until sometime after the All-Star break. He Will most likely be off the top ten by the next list, but stays on for now due to the work he put in throughout the season.
8. Patrick Williams / Chicago Bulls
Season Stats: 9.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.0 APG Last Rank (8)
Absolutely atrocious shooting threatens to drop Patrick Williams off of the top ten. Still doesn’t seem exactly comfortable in an NBA game. Williams still contributes positively to the team with his defense and rebounding.
9. Desmond Bane / Memphis Grizzlies
Season Stats: 10.3 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 1.6 APG Last Rank (NR)
Shooting 48% from the three-point line. He would be higher on the rankings but has missed the past couple of games for personal reasons.
10. Saddiq Bey / Detroit Pistons
Season Stats: 9.1 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 0.9 APG Last Rank (NR)
Has been playing extremely well and has contributed greatly in games many felt the Pistons had no chance of winning. He won NBA Player of the Week for his play.
Honorable Mentions – Payton Pritchard, Kira Lewis Jr., Xavier Tillman, Devin Vassell, Precious Achiuwa
I’m just a guy who loves the NBA and would love to hear your opinions. Follow me on Twitter @MARStheMARS and tell me your thoughts about the NBA.