First, let me make something clear for everyone. For these lists, I use recent games, season stats, and the role a rookie holds for his team to determine the rankings. I only say that because some fans suffer from recency bias and will disagree with this ranking. Rookie of the year is for a rookie’s whole body of work throughout the season. With that being said, here is my second look 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: 12.2 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 6.1 APG Last Rank (1)
The opportunity for LaMelo Ball to play as a starter has coincided with his increase in scoring and his decrease in rebounds. He does need to work on scoring more efficiently from the three-point line. LaMelo needs to cut down on turnovers and work on his decision making. The Ball-Bridges connection is top tier.
His place at number one is very shaky even with the increase in minutes, unlike the first ranking earlier this season. He’s still having a great season and is still one of the main contributors for a Hornets team who are holding on to the eighth seed in the east. He’s first among rookies in assists, steals, and efficiency and second among rookies in rebounds and third in points.
2. Immanuel Quickley / New York Knicks
Season Stats: 12.6 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 2.8 APG Last Rank (NR)
Immanuel Quickly has quickly shot up in the rankings with his tremendous offensive play recently. He has shone flashes of his stellar offensive skills earlier in the season and also with his repeated use of an amazing floater. The Knicks have fully bought into giving Quickly major minutes and watching him do what he does best, get buckets.
He is averaging 20.6 PPG in his last five games. He’s a non-factor defensively, but I believe he has the right coach to help him with that. If Quickly keeps up the level of play he has been showing recently, then the number one spot is his for the taking.
3. James Wiseman
Season Stats: 12.2 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1.3 BPG Last Rank (3)
James Wiseman has benefitted so far from his move to the bench. Normally rookies wouldn’t want to get moved to the bench, but Wiseman has shown an increased involvement on both sides of the floor. Leads all rookies in rebound per game and blocks. He is fourth in points per game, efficiency, and field goal percentage.
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4. Tyrese Haliburton / Sacramento Kings
Season Stats: 10.7 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 5.4 APG Last Rank (2)
Haliburton is currently in a shooting slump, which explains his drop in the rankings. Fortunately for the Kings, he is still involved everywhere else offensively and defensively. Haliburton is ranked second among rookies in assists per game and efficiency. He is also ranked fifth in steals and three-point percentage.
5. Anthony Edwards / Minnesota Timberwolves
Season Stats: 13.6 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.9 APG Last Rank (6)
Edwards has been moved to the starting lineup recently and has increased his scoring and efficiency. He still has work to do on other parts of his game but has shown improvement. He is also starting to get to the line more and ranks third among rookies in free throw percentage. Anthony Edwards is also ranked number one in points per game among the rookies.
6. Cole Anthony / Orlando Magic
Season Stats: 10.8 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 3.7 APG Last Rank (8)
Anthony has definitely taken advantage of becoming a starter while Fultz is injured and has even hit a game-winner over the Timberwolves earlier. His season stats haven’t changed much since we last did the ranking, but he does seem to be more comfortable in an NBA game.
7. Jae’Sean Tate / Houston Rockets
Season Stats: 8.4 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 1.6 APG Last Rank (10)
Not only is Tate a positive surprise for the Houston Rockets, but he has also averaged a 10.6 +/- in the last five games. He does a lot of the little things needed on the court.
8. Patrick Williams / Chicago Bulls
Season Stats: 9.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.1 APG Last Rank (4)
Indecisiveness on the offensive end is the reason Williams drops in ranking and has seen an irregular amount of minutes on the court.
9. Xavier Tillman / Memphis Grizzlies
Season Stats: 8.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.7 APG Last Rank (NR)
The second-round pick is taking advantage of the opportunity of more minutes on a surprisingly good and young Grizzlies team.
10. Isaac Okoro / Cleveland Cavaliers
Season Stats: 8.3 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 2.1 APG Last Rank (NR)
He’s showing great defensive ability while playing big minutes for the Cavaliers.
Honorable Mentions – Precious Achiuwa, Tyrese Maxey, Desmond Bane, Payton Pritchard, Deni Avdija
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