Welcome back to our weekly NBA rookie rankings. In this week’s edition, Dario Saric’s suburb play moves him up one spot. Rookies have one last push to earn a spot as one this season’s best. Remember to check back with us every week as when rank this year’s rookie class.
1. Joel Embiid, Center, Philadelphia 76ers
Embiid has missed the Sixers last eight games due to left knee soreness. Sixers general manager, Bryan Colangelo, recently made public that Embiid has a slight meniscus tear. That is devastating news because the Sixers were enjoying their best season in years. Even though he is out indefinitely, the gap between him and the second-best rookie remains sizable.
2. Dario Saric, Forward, Philadelphia 76ers
Saric has erupted offensively lately. He scored in double-digits in four games last week highlighted by a 24-point outing against the Orlando Magic. He is averaging 10.7 points, which ranks him as second-best among rookies. With Embiid out for the time being he will be able to take control of the offense a little more. After beginning the season a little uneasy he has definitely found his groove heading into the All-Star break.
3. Malcolm Brogdon, Guard, Milwaukee Bucks
Brogdon continues to play well for the Bucks. In games last week against the Los Angeles Lakers and the Indiana Pacers he finished with 35 points combined. He is a nice presence off the bench because he provides playmaking and scoring prowess. If he can continue to develop he will be a very good foundational piece for the Bucks. With Jabari Parker out for the remainder of the season, he will be counted on take on a heavier offensive load.
4. Marquese Chriss, Forward, Phoenix Suns
Chriss has been productive for the Suns when he has been on the court. Because of that, Suns head coach Earl Watson has rewarded him with more playing time. As his minutes increase so should his production. He has come a long way since the beginning of the season and is averaging 7.5 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. The Suns look like they have found another foundational piece to build on for the future.
5. Brandon Ingram, Forward, Los Angeles Lakers
Since being inserted into the starting lineup he has played very well. In three of the five games the Lakers played on their annual Grammy road trip, Ingram finished in double figures. Being in a starting position he will gain the experience and knowledge that will help him develop into a superstar that Lakers fans are hoping for. He also continues to play well on the defensive end, which is where the Lakers need all the help they can get.
Honorable Mention: Buddy Hield, Andrew Harrison, and Pascal Siakam