HomeSportsNBA Rookie Leaderboard: Some of the Best Rookies from the Draft

NBA Rookie Leaderboard: Some of the Best Rookies from the Draft

An overview of the best performing rookies in the NBA who can make the cut for the All-Star Games 

The young rookies from the class of 2021-22 are putting up quite a performance in the regular season. It feels as if every year the quality of talent coming into the league just keeps on getting better.

With their skillset and the ability to shoot rooks come in unfazed and ready to challenge anyone. Along with the top picks, some of the low first-round and second-round picks are performing very well.

They have found their way into the top 10 rankings and this year’s draft may end up having some surprises for us. With the All-Star voting going on let’s have a look at the top rookies in the NBA.

1) Evan Mobley (Cleveland Cavaliers, 3rd pick ) 

Season Average- 15.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 2.7 APG

Position – Power Forward/Centre  

Evan Mobley has been a revelation for the Cavs team this season. Mobley has that feel about him and does not look like a first-year player at all. He is an excellent one-on-one player on offense as well as defense.

He is a good 2 way forward who knows how to score too. The Cavs may have found a gem in the Draft Class. He and Garland have become the cornerstones for the Cavs and the team can explode after the return of Collin Sexton.

2) Cade Cunningham (Detroit Pistons, 1st pick) 

Season Average- 15.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 5.3 APG

Position – Shooting Guard

Cade Cunningham is living up to the expectations from the first pick of the draft. It was a slow start for the Pistons as Cunningham was injured at the beginning of the season. But recently he has caught fire and has led the team to a couple of victories.

The Pistons are on the rebuild and Cunningham will be one of the key players for the future. He can score in abundance as shown by his 18 points in the 3rd quarter against the Jazz. Although the one thing he needs to improve is his consistency and his turnover per game.

3) Scottie Barnes (Toronto Raptors, 4th pick) 

Season Average- 14.5 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 3.5 APG

Position – Shooting Guard/Small Forward

Scottie Barnes is quickly adapting to life in the NBA with the Raptors pushing the player into the first team rotation. He averages 33.7 minutes per game, pretty high numbers for a Rookie.

Although he is giving the Raptors good returns for his minutes. Barnes has quickly improved his game and his jumper looks a lot more smooth now than when he came into the league. His defensive skills gel well with the Raptors mentality and he is certainly one with a high ceiling for the future.

4) Franz Wagner (Orlando Magic, 8th pick)

Season Average- 15.5 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.9 APG

Position – Small Forward 

Franz Wagner has perhaps been the one good thing for the Magic who are struggling in the season. After the Magic traded most of their key players the club is looking to build a younger core.

Franz Wagner along with Wendell Carter and Cole Anthony will play a big role for the club. Franz can certainly score, that much is clear as he has 35 double-digit scoring games in the season. The key thing for his growth would be to work on his playmaking and defense.

5) Josh Giddey (Oklahoma City Thunder, 6th pick) 

Season Average- 11.5 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 6.3 APG

Position – Shooting Guard 

Josh Giddey said in an interview that one of his best skills is passing the ball. From his play, you can see that he is a pass-first guy and keeps the whole team involved. Although Giddey has shown glimpses of his offensive game too and carries a triple-double threat.

He is among the company of NBA greats like Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson, and Ben Simmons as rookies to average at least 11 points, seven rebounds, and six assists per game.

6) Herbert Jones (New Orleans Pelicans, 35th pick) 

Season Average- 8.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.9 APG

Position – Small Forward

Herb Jones has been one of the surprises of the draft. Jones has moved up the ladder from the 8th position. He has done well to catch his opportunity with the Pelicans. Zion’s absence means Ingram plays as a Power Forward and Jones has filled the Small Forward position.

Jones is growing into his first-team spot and will be a good piece once Williamson returns. Jones’s consistency will be of importance if the Pelicans are to make a push for the Play-in spots by the end of the season.

7) Jalen Green (Houston Rockets, 2nd pick)

Season Average- 15. PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.2 APG

Position – Point Guard

Jalen Green had a very exciting start to the season with the Rockets. The Rookie has a crazy vertical for a point guard in the league. His ability to climb in the air makes him a dangerous scorer.

Although he does have a bad plus-minus rating (-18.3) and can be a little careless with the ball. Surely is he stays fit his game will mature and one could expect him to move up a couple of spots in the Rookie Leaderboard.

8) Chris Duarte (Indiana Pacers, 13th pick) 

Season Average- 12.9 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.1APG

Position – Shooting Guard

The best thing about Chris Duarte’s game is his confidence in his ability to score. The guy’s game spells “natural scorer”. In the early part of the season, he went up against Lebron James, and when others would probably hesitate Duarte didn’t let the pressure get to him.

Instead, he pulled up over the King and cashed it in. Although it is a pretty normal thing in the NBA now, it does say a lot about the guy’s confidence in himself. He can be a streaky shooter and having a consistent Field Goal % will be a challenge for him.

9) Omer Yurtseven (Miami Heat, Undrafted (2020)) 

Season Average- 5.6 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 2.1APG

Position – Centre

Yurtseven got an opportunity with the Heat and he has held tightly to that chance. He is more of a Traditional Centre, plays physically, and likes to go strong to the rim. Omer also has a good vision of seeing how the play is developing and executing it.

He recently exploded for a 22 point game against the Sixers who have one of the toughest defenses in the league. Miami would be very happy with his progress and surely he will be in the rotation even after Adebayo returns.

10) Cam Thomas (Brooklyn Nets, 27th pick) 

Season Average- 7.7 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.1 APG

Position – Shooting Guard 

In a star-studded Nets Line up, Cam Thomas has emerged as the leader for the second unit. He has cemented his place in the Brooklyn Squad which is in desperate need of key pieces.

In a bid to achieve a star-studded line up the Nets had to sacrifice a major chunk of their team. Cam Thomas’s emergence has kept the pressure off the stars a little bit as he gives consistent scoring coming off the bench.

These are some of the top Rookies in the NBA this season. Do vote for your Favorite Rookies for a seat in this year’s All-Star Festivities.

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