1. Memphis Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant without a doubt dominated college ball at Murray State with his impressive numbers of points, rebounds, and assists and it has translated quite well over to the NBA. Morant keeps making cases on why he should be Rookie Of The Year averaging a solid 19.2 points and 6.6 assists (most amongst all rookies). But that isn’t even the most impressive part about Morant game. Ja averages 8.6 points in just the fourth quarter on 51% shooting from the field. Only 5 more than him average more in the fourth quarter: James Harden, Damien Lillard, Kawhi Leonard, Bradley Beal, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Those are some pretty big names which makes it pretty impressive for the first round draft pick. Morant is best known for his flashy passes and hard fought drives to the rim… and coming up in big moments.
2. Miami Heat rookie Tyler Herro has shocked allot of people in the NBA thus far. Coming in as not a shoe in candidate for Rookie Of The Year he has turned heads of many as number 14 has had an amazing stretch of games averaging 17.4 points on 41% from the field. Herro said in a recent interview “Obviously, the hard work is beginning to pay off. Just gotta continue to get those reps in and continue to get more efficient.” If he keeps doing so, expect big minutes for the rookie guard.
3. Tyler Herro isn’t the only Miami Heat rookie turning heads. His teammate, Kendrick Nunn is excelling big in his first NBA season. It’s still early and he’s had his struggles like he did vs the Houston Rockets but he has been the driving force for this Miami Heat team averaging 16.1 points and 1.2 steals. Like I said its still early so expect allot of improvement for Nunn throughout the 2019-2020 season.
4. Golden State Warriors rookie Eric Paschall didn’t start making a case till as of lately when he scored a whopping 25 points in a big 104-90 win vs the Chicago Bulls. On top of his big 25 point performance, the Golden State Rookie grabbed seven rebounds. Having his sixth game of 20+ points, that puts him as the third rookie doing so behind Ja Morant and Kendrick Nunn.
5. New York Knicks rookie RJ Barrett makes his case averaging a pretty solid 15.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.3 assists. Not the stat line we thought Barrett was going to have at the start of the season, but as it being still early on in the season… Barrett still has time to grow with his team and make a whole lot of improvement as he is one of the youngest rookies in this class (19 years old).
We’re only 20 games into the season so look for these rankings to change as there are players doing work under the radar such as Brandon Clarke for the Memphis Grizzlies who is leading all rookies in field goal percentage at 62%. Another rookie showing out is DeAndre Hunter who is having big nights as well, Hunter put up 26 on 10-for-17 shooting, hitting 6 of 10 three point shots while also handing out four assists vs the Toronto Raptors. You can also add Golden States KyKy Bowman, Charlotte Hornets PJ Washington, and Chicago Bulls rookie Coby White… so look for these names to climb their way up on the rookie leaderboard..