Rookie ladder 1.0
- Ben Simmons – Sixers
Averaging 17ppg, 8rpg, and 7apg, this guy is just dominant. Even though he can’t shoot from outside of 5 feet from the basket, he doesn’t really have to. With his size and strength, he can get to the bucket at will and finish through contact. If the defense collapses on him, he can kick it out to guys for easy buckets. When him and Embiid are on the floor, their offense can run on a high cylinder.
2. Donovan Mitchell – Jazz
When Donovan Mitchell was drafted, he was projected as a high energy guy and a high upside defender. With him averaging over 18ppg, he is exceeding all expectations on his scoring. Adding 3 rpg and 3apg as well, he is doing it all and at a high level too.
3. Jayson Tatum – Celtics
When watching Tatum, it is so easy to forget he is only 19 years old. He looks like a polished vet and does not look lost on either side of the ball. He is highly efficient and does whatever the team needs on offense.
4. Kyle Kuzma – Lakers
Is he the best rookie on the Lakers? Pf’s who can shoot at range and still grab rebounds are a premium, especially when they can be chosen at the end of the first round. Averaging 17ppg and 6rpg, the only thing that is stopping him is lack of opportunity. The Lakers need to move some of their big man to give Kuzma more time with the ball in his hands.
5. Lauri Markannen – Bulls
Speaking of Pf’s who can shoot at range and still grab rebounds, here is another one, but he was chosen just a little bit higher in the draft. Averaging 15ppg, and 7rpg, he has given the Bulls a lift on the offensive end. He is in a bit of a shooting slump after his blazing start but I have no doubt shots will start falling for him again soon.
6. Lonzo Ball
The hype train just got to fast for poor Lonzo Ball. While his brothers are playing in their first overseas games, Lonzo is putting up 10, 7 and 7 on a horrendous Lakers team. His three point shot is looking much more clean, and it appears he is climbing out of the funk that he had in the early part of the season. I would not be surprised for him to take a step up after the all-star break.
7. John Collins – Hawks
Putting up numbers on a terrible Hawks team, but he is doing it efficiently. 10ppg and 7rpg, and shooting 58% from the floor.
8. Dennis Smith – Mavericks
This guy can throw down a dunk. Just coming back from injury, he is starting to find his stride. Getting control the offense, he is averaging 14ppg, and 4 rebounds and assists. He needs to up his shooting percentages, as he is under 40% in both 2’s and 3’s but it looks like he starting to figure it out.
9. De’Aaron Fox – Kings
Why did the Kings sign George Hill? Fox looks like he could be a monster, but he needs more time with the ball. Averaging 10 3 and 4, with acceptable percentages, the only thing holding him back is his three ball.
10. Josh Jackson – Suns
Josh Jackson has played well, but not great. He is shooting poorly, but that was to be expected. He has had moments on defense and is playing a good all around game. Around 10ppg, and almost 4 boards. He still looks raw, but the talent is there.