A rookie is a first-year newcomer in the league, who tries to have an impact on the team. Rookies nowadays, especially the ones who are drafted higher, have immense pressure to perform for their new teams.
Here’s our ranking of the top rookies from this NBA season, from 5-1.
5. Tyrese Haliburton – Sacramento Kings
2020-2021 Statistics: 10.5 PPG, 5.3 APG, 2 RPG (4 games)
The 12th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, out of Iowa State, Tyrese Haliburton is the left-handed point guard for the Kings. Many analysts will say that the Kings were lucky that Haliburton was even still available till the 12th pick. He showed signs of being an excellent floor general and team leader in his college. In his 4 games in the NBA, Haliburton has not disappointed yet. He’s even shooting the ball exceptionally these 4 games- 100% from free throw line and 50% from the 3-point line. He could be the dark horse for winning the NBA Rookie of the Year this season.
4. Obi Toppin – New York Knicks
2020-2021 Statistics: 9 PPG, 3 RPG, 1 APG (1 game)
Obi Toppin is a right handed power forward out of Dayton. He was drafted by the New York Knicks at the 8th pick. Many analysts were sure that Toppin wouldn’t be available after the 5th pick. For the Knicks, luckily, they had the option of drafting Toppin at the 8th spot. In the one game he has played till now, he has proven to be a decent player in the 24 minutes he got. The former National Player of the Year, at Dayton Flyers, has good weight and size for a rookie power forward. He can give the struggling New York Knicks the break they desperately need. He is definitely one of the strong candidates for the NBA Rookie of the Year this season.
3. Anthony Edwards – Minnesota Timberwolves
2020-2021 Statistics: 15 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.8 APG (4 games)
Edwards was the number 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. The former Georgia player has a lot of high-school and college accolades in his name. He has been selected to play for the Timberwolves who are led by two dynamic young players – Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell. Edwards can shoot the ball, handle the ball well and even play the small forward position once a while. Surrounded by a lot of young potentials can help him play his best game. Being the number 1 pick, he will be having many expectations to fulfil, which will definitely be fun to watch. Again, he is a tough contender for the NBA Rookie of the Year award.
2. James Wiseman – Golden State Warriors
2020-2021 Statistics: 12.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.5 BPG (4 games)
Out of Memphis Tigers, left-handed center James Wiseman was the number 2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, picked by the Warriors. According to me, he is the perfect fit for the Warriors as Golden State does need a good and young center who will be a game-changer not only now, but for many years to come. At 7’1″, he will be provided with the ball quite some times. With the experienced players around him – Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson – he’ll have the perfect guidance. According to me, he is the second-best player in the Draft Class.
1. LaMelo Ball – Charlotte Hornets
2020-2021 Statistics: 10.3 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 3.5 APG (4 games)
The most talented player, according to me, in this year’s Draft has to be LaMelo Ball. Ball was drafted by the Hornets as the third pick in the Draft. LaMelo Ball has one thing which no player in the whole class has – Experience. LaMelo Ball played professional basketball at the tender age of 16 at Lithuania. He also played at Australia’s NBL for the Illawarra Hawks last year, where he had won the Rookie of the Year and proved his worth to the NBA scouts. Ball is the most entertaining player too. His passing abilities stand out the most, not taking any credits from his shooting and rebounding skills. At the Hornets’ young team, Ball will be able to prove his worth and help lift the team. He is my candidate for the NBA Rookie of the Year.
Other than these rookies, Killian Hayes, Deni Avdija, Onyeka Okongwu and Isaac Okoro do deserve a mention on this list.