Welcome back to our weekly rookie rankings. A new player has emerged into our top-five and if he keeps playing like he has, he can climb even higher. Given where we are in the NBA season, we now have a vision of who the top rookies will be more or less. Remember to check back with us every week as when rank this year’s rookie class.
1. Joel Embiid, Center, Philadelphia 76ers
Embiid is clearly this year’s best rookie. He is averaging 19.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, and the amazing part is he posting those numbers without playing more than 30 minutes per game. Against the Portland Trail Blazers last Friday he finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists. His play has the Sixers fighting for a playoff spot in the East. With the return of Ben Simmons becoming more of a possibility, Sixers fan can only imagine how good their team can be moving forward.
2. Malcolm Brogdon, Guard, Milwaukee Bucks
Brogdon is looking to be the biggest steal of the 2016 NBA Draft. Being picked 36th overall, not many expected for him to play this well during his rookie campaign. He is currently averaging 9.3 points per game, including a 16-point, five assist effort against the Orlando Magic last Friday. He ranks first among rookies in assists (4.0 apg) and is number one in the rookie class in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.64). He looks to be a solid foundation piece for the Bucks who already have good young players in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker.
3. Dario Saric, Forward, Philadelphia 76ers
Saric’s production has dipped in recent games but that is still not enough for him to drop in our rankings. He is averaging a 9.4 points per game, which is pretty solid for a rookie. Despite his back-to-back three point outings against the Trail Blazers and Atlanta Hawks last week, he found other ways to help his team. If the Sixers want to make a push for the playoffs this season, they need Saric to play at a high level in order to reach their goal.
4. Brandon Ingram, Forward, Los Angeles Lakers
Last week, Ingram finished with back-to-back 15-point games against the Denver Nuggets and Indiana Pacers. Inconsistency is his biggest issue, but he has proven he can be a major contributor for his young age. In his last 10 games he is shooting 43.5 percent from the field, which is above his season average of 36.9 percent. He ranks fifth in scoring, fourth in rebounding, and plays the most minutes among rookies. His ceiling seems sky high and Lakers fans are hopeful he can turn the franchise around around and lead them to success.
5. Marquese Chriss, Forward, Phoenix Suns
Chriss is establishing himself as one of the better rookies this year. After beginning the season slow, his production is increasing game-by-game. He is currently averaging 7.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. He had a 15-point, five rebound effort in a win over the New York Knicks last Saturday. As the Suns start to play more of the younger players in favor of veterans, expect Chriss’ stats to improve as the season moves along.
Honorable Mention: Pascal Siakam (Toronto), Andrew Harrison (Memphis), and Buddy Hield (New Orleans)