NBA Rookie Rankings: 11/02-11/08

NBA Rookie Rankings: 11/02-11/08

by November 9, 2021 0 comments

At the beginning of the year, there was talk about how this rookie draft class could be one of the best, even drawing comparisons to the 2003 draft class. Through three weeks, they have lived up to expectations. Evan Mobley and Scottie Barnes are taking the league by storm, becoming leaders on their respective teams. No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham finally getting minutes after coming off an injury. Jalen Green and the young Houston team are electric. This class is a good one. Who comes in this week in the top five rankings after three weeks?

5. Franz Wagner, SF, Orlando Magic

After moving up a spot in the rankings last week, Wagner will take one spot back this three. Wagner is off to a great start with the Magic this season, only moving back after a rather slower week. The 6’10” Michigan Wolverine product has been lights out this season. Unfortunately this past week, the lights have come back on. In three games over the time, Wagner shot 2-13 from beyond the arc, a poor 15.4 percent.

While he may be struggling on his three-ball, he stays in the rankings for the rest of his toolset. He has great off-ball movement, setting screens and freeing open teammates for easy shots. As well, with his length and versatility, he does a great job cutting to the rim allowing for easy layups in the paint. He currently averages 13.7 points per game on a 46.8 percent clip. While he had a down week, he still proves to be one of the top rookies this season.

4. Josh Giddey, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder

The Melbourne, Australia native earns his highest spot so far in the rankings. Similar to Wagner, Giddey did not play his best brand of basketball, especially on the scoring end. In 59 combined minutes against the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, Giddey put up a combined 12 points, shooting 5-19, a mere 26 percent from the field. His contribution this week, however, was being a team player. The 6’8” small forward had eight rebounds and assists in a huge comeback win against the Lakers. He also contributed seven rebounds in the win against the Spurs. While nothing flashy this week, Giddey is finding a way to contribute without the ball in his hands.

3. Chris Duarte, SG, Indiana Pacers

While the first two on the rankings had poor scoring performances, Duarte keeps his name high in the rankings. Duarte has made his shooting one to watch out for, averaging 42.2 percent from beyond the arc. Duarte, unlike some of his rookie counterparts, isn’t looked to as a lead scorer. It’s impressive he’s able to average 16 points a game, when teammates Malcolm Brogdon, Domantas Sabonis, and Caris LeVert are all in front of him on leading in points. The Pacers are playing great team basketball, and Duarte is doing his part.

2. Scottie Barnes, SF, Toronto Raptors

Barnes is everything and more on what the Raptors could’ve wanted. The Raptors clearly knew the kid was going to be special after taking him with the fourth pick as opposed to the consensus favorite Jalen Suggs. Barnes leads the rookies in points per game at 16.6 and is becoming one of the primary guys on the Raptors. After missing out against the New York Knicks and Washington Wizards, Barnes went head to head with Mobley and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Barnes posted a 14 point, nine-rebound stat line in the close loss. He’s developing as a great point forward for Toronto and is right behind Mobley for current favorites in the rookie of the year race.

1. Evan Mobley, C, Cleveland Cavaliers

It’s hard to ask for much more than what Mobley is already producing for the Cavaliers. While the Cavaliers have been an early shocker to the year starting out 6-4 through 10 games, rookie standout Mobley is continuing his dominance from his time with USC directly into the NBA. The Cavalier’s current four-game winning streak can be looked upon by Mobley for his contributions. He started the week with a double-double performance with 11 points and rebounds in the win against the Portland Trailblazers.

Two days later, he battled against Barnes and the Raptors, as both his team and himself won the matchup. He posted 18 points in the win, shooting an effective 50 percent from the field. He wasn’t done yet as he followed up with a career-high 26 points in the win over the Knicks Sunday. Even more impressive doing it while shooting 73 percent from the field and making two three-pointers for the first time. Mobley could be a huge factor in the Cavaliers returning to the playoffs.

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Main Image Credit: Image from Cavaliers Nation

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