Rookie Rankings: No One Is Catching Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid, Lakers, Sixers
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to our weekly rookie rankings. This week, Jamal Murray play his way back into our top-five, and Willy Hernangomez enjoys a strong week to make a one-spot jump. Remember to check back with us every week to see where we rank this year’s draft class.

1. Joel Embiid, Center, Philadelphia 76ers

In a win against the New Orleans Pelicans last week, Embiid finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. On the season he is averaging 18.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game. Last year when Karl-Anthony Towns unanimously won NBA Rookie of the Year, he posted similar numbers as Embiid has this season. The race for Rookie of the Year has been a one-man show since the season began, and that is unlikely to change going forward.

— Get 15% off everything in the Lakers Nation Store right now by using the promo code ‘Lakers’ —

Dario Saric, Philadelphia 76ers
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

2. Dario Saric, Forward, Philadelphia 76ers

Even though it has been an up-and-down kind of season for Saric, he still ranks second among rookies in scoring (9.9 points per game), rebounds (5.9 per game), and three-pointers made per game (1.4). In three games last week he scored in double figures twice. If he can find some consistency with his play, he would give the Sixers another player that can make an impact on a nightly basis.

Jamal Murray, Nuggets
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

3. Jamal Murray, Guard, Denver Nuggets

In a win over the Sixers last week, Murray busted out his fourth 20-point game if the season. He finished with 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting to help the Nuggets come out with a win. With Emmanuel Mudiay struggling mightily at the starting point guard spot, Murray has made a case for himself to at least be given an opportunity to run the first-team offense. If he keeps playing the way he has, the Nuggets may have no choice to give him a shot.

Willy Hernangomez, Knicks
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

4. Willy Hernangomez, Forward, New York Knicks

Hernangomez has been a force to be reckoned with rebounding the ball. In the Knicks win over the Lakers on Sunday, he posted 12 rebounds to go along with six points and in a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier last week he finished with nine points and seven rebounds. He has been a nice addition to an improved Knicks team, and if he can play consistently well, he might very well find a spot in the Knicks rotation.

Brandon Ingram, Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

5. Brandon Ingram, Forward, Los Angeles Lakers

We are still waiting for an Ingram offensive breakthrough. He has shown glimpses of what he can do on a night-to-night basis. In a game against the Houston Rockets last week, he scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds. He also played well defensively against Carmelo Anthony on Sunday night. Hopefully, he can find his offensive rhythm sooner rather than later.

Honorable Mentions: Malcolm Brogdon, Pascal Siakam, and Andrew Harrison

You May Also Like

Kobe Bryant’s Message To Devin Booker: ‘Be Legendary’

As a part of Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour around the country, the five-time NBA champion usually hands off a signed pair of his game-worn shoes to a lucky player on the other team…

Kyle Kuzma: Lakers Mindful Of Western Conference Standings

It was just over two weeks ago that the Los Angeles Lakers were celebrating a thumping of the Golden State Warriors and near the top of the Western Conference…

Lakers Vs. Heat Pre-Game Report: Defensive Intensity Remains The Key

The prevailing tone in response to the Lakers’ last two wins seemed…

Lakers News: Lonzo Ball Looking Forward To First Matchup With Russell Westbrook

A subplot to Paul George facing the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time since spurning them in free agency is that Wednesday’s game is also a homecoming for…