Welcome back to our weekly rookie rankings. In this week’s edition, Brandon Ingram makes his return after a one week absence. Rookies have one last push to earn a spot as one this season’s best first-year players. Remember to check back with us every week as when rank this year’s rookie class.
1. Joel Embiid, Center, Philadelphia 76ers
With the way Embiid has played, he arguably deserved an All-Star spot this year. He is averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game and is playing like a seasoned veteran. The only bad thing is he is currently dealing with some left knee soreness, which has caused him to miss some games. All that matters is what he is doing on the court, and so far he hasn’t disappointed.
2. Malcolm Brogdon, Guard, Milwaukee Bucks
Brogdon continues to hold on the second spot in our rankings. Against the Phoenix Suns last Saturday he finished with 13 points, five rebounds, and eight assists. He continues to be a solid foundation piece for a young Bucks team. For a player who came into the league known for his perimeter shooting, he has been very good as a facilitator. He is averaging 4.2 assists per game, which is very good for a first year player.
3. Dario Saric, Guard, Philadelphia 76ers
Saric is closing in on Brogdon for the second spot. In his last 10 games he is averaging 10.2 points, which brings his season average to 9.8 points per game and is second-best among rookies. He is one of the most reliable rookies as he also ranks second in rebounding and fifth in assists. The Sixers should be awfully excited about their future with Saric, Embiid, and Ben Simmons, who has yet to play this season.
4. Marquese Chriss, Forward, Phoenix Suns
Chriss’ steady climb as one of the best rookies in this year’s class is continuing. Last Saturday against the Milwaukee Bucks he finished with 27 points and six rebounds. He currently ranks fourth in blocks and 10th in rebounding among rookies. His playing time should increase as the season moves along, which should get him more comfortable with the Suns offense.
5. Brandon Ingram, Forward, Los Angeles Lakers
While Ingram hasn’t been the most consistent rookie, most people in this class have had the same struggles. Against the Boston Celtics last Friday night he finished with 14 points and six rebounds and he followed that up with a 14 point, seven rebound performance against the Knicks. He still doesn’t possess the strength to consistently work his way toward the basket, but as he gets older and stronger he will find ways to score using his body. Hopefully he can finish the season playing well.
Honorable Mention: Buddy Hield, Andrew Harrison, and Pascal Siakam