Welcome back to our weekly rookie rankings. Malcolm Brogdon had a good week for the Milwaukee Bucks and Brandon Ingram has showed more aggressiveness in recent games. These five players are looking to be the cream of the crop of this year’s draft class. Remember to check back with us every week to see where we rank this year’s rookies.
1. Joel Embiid, Center, Philadelphia 76ers
Even though he has had an inconsistent month of December due to Philly’s struggle to find a big-man rotation between him, Jahlil Okafor, and Nerlens Noel, he still has been the best rookie to date. He is averaging 18.7 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. While the Sixers struggle to find niches for Okafor and Noel, Embiid will remain the most constant presence of the three.
2. Dario Saric, Forward, Philadelphia 76ers
Saric has had to spend a little more time at the small-forward position because of the crowded power-forward and center positions in Philly. The position change could see him fall down our rankings as he adjusts, but for now he stays in the second spot. Against the Sacramento Kings on Monday night he finished with 12 points and nine rebounds. If he can find a little more consistency Sixers coach, Brett Brown, will have no choice to leave him on the floor.
3. Jamal Murray, Guard, Denver Nuggets
Murray ranks second in the rookie class in scoring, averaging 8.7 points per game. Even though he has struggled his last few games, his shooting percentage has decreased from 34.9 percent in the month of December, no other rookie has outplayed him..
4. Malcolm Brogdon, Guard, Milwaukee Bucks
In a game against the Washington Wizards last Friday night he scored 17 points and had seven assists. From being second round pick, he has emerged as one of the better rookies this season. Despite a recent shooting slump he is still among the top-seven in scoring and third in assists among rookies. The Bucks might have found another young player to build the future with.
5. Brandon Ingram, Forward, Los Angeles Lakers
Ingram has noticeably been a bit more aggressive on the offensive end. It has served him well as he finished with 10 points and six rebounds against the Los Angeles Clippers on Christmas night. He has the tools to be an elite player; length, agility, and high basketball IQ, it is just a matter of putting it all together. Once he does so, the rest of the NBA should be on watch.
Honorable Mention: Pascal Siakam, Isaiah Whitehead, and Buddy Hield