Who’s A Top Of The Rookie Leaderboard in Mid-November?
We are 3 full weeks into the NBA season and so far the rookie class has given us a some solid moments and glimpses into the future. In this mid-month edition, there has been a lot of new faces added and a new number on the list. Remember this is based upon how a player is playing currently and not the projected outlook of a player. So that’s why Ben Simmons is not on this list and he won’t be until he sees the court hopefully in January.
1. Joel Embiid- Philadelphia 76ers- Center (Last Ranking- N/R)
Embiid was not on the list because he was drafted 2 years ago and to be honest no one knew what to expect from him. After 8 games and countless moments of social media greatness, Embiid is far and away the best rookie in this class. In limited minutes, he’s averaging 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. Those number are way ahead of every other player in the class. It’s safe to say that unless he’s gets seriously hurt again, everyone else in this class is playing catch-up.
2. Dario Saric- Philadelphia 76ers- Power Forward- (LR- 3)
The only 76ers rookie that isn’t either hurt or on a minutes restriction, Saric has lived up to his pre-season hype. He has averaged over 28.9 minutes a game so far this season and has produced 10.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. He’s shown a solid inside-out game and is not afraid to play defense. He scored a career-high 21 against the Magic and posted his 1st career double-double (14 points and 12 rebounds) against Indiana.
3. Buddy Hield- New Orleans Pelicans- Shooting Guard (LR- 1)
I had Buddy as my pre-season number one, only because he was in the best position to make the biggest impact, not counting Embiid. Like most shooters he’s had an up and down start to his career. There have been solid games (He’s scored 18 points in two games this year) and there have been some he would rather forget (His 1st 2 games where he shot 3-16 from the floor). But he has had double figures in scoring in 5 of his last 8 games and looks to be getting more comfortable.
4. Domatas Sabonis- Oklahoma City Thunder- Power Forward (LR-N/R)
The son of a one of the greatest international basketball players of all-time should fall somewhere on this list. For those who followed him in college knew how good he was, but it has translated better than most would have thought so early. Even though he has struggled with his shot the last 2 games, he has knocked down an average of 1.4 3-pointers a game. Not to mention he’s stepped into a starters role on a team full of veterans.
5. Malcolm Brogdon- Milwaukee Bucks- Shooting Guard (LR- NR)
Brogdon was the Bucks 2nd round pick in this years NBA Draft and has been put in a very good position to contribute for the Bucks so far. A college defensive specialist, Brogdon has shown a solid offensive game thus far. He’s averaging 7.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists a game in 20.8 minutes.
Honorable Mention: (Order is by city name not ranking)
- Malcolm Delaney- Atlanta Hawks- Point Guard
- Jaylen Brown- Boston Celtics- Small Forward
- Brandon Ingram- Los Angeles Lakers- Small Forward
- Kris Dunn- Minnesota Timberwolves- Point Guard
- Pascal Siakam- Toronto Raptors- Power Forward