Coming to a close in November, the rookies have established who is going to be on the list going forward. Evan Mobley and Scottie Barnes continue to impress while Detroit’s Cade Cunningham is starting to come into his own. All the rookies on this list have shown they can produce on offense without always having the ball in their hands. Let’s see if anyone new can crack the list before the end of 2021.
5. Josh Giddey, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder
Giddey had one of his best weeks since joining the league which included a career-high 19 points against the Utah Jazz. He shot a strong 53 % from the field in the game including 3/4 from deep. Giddey is growing more confident with the ball and his hands but also does a great job off-ball. All season he’s been a great rebounder using his 6’8” height to effectively pull in the rebounds. He’s averaging 7.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists on the season, proving to be one of the better draft picks in the lottery class.
4. Franz Wagner, SF, Orlando Magic
After starting the week slow with a poor performance against the Milwaukee Bucks, Wagner bounced back with solid performances in his next three games. The Berlin, Germany native, averaged 14.3 points over the next three games while averaging just shy of six rebounds. Wagner continues to be an efficient scorer from the field for this young Magic team while continuing to serve as one of the better defenders in this rookie class.
3. Cade Cunningham, PG, Detroit Pistons
Generating offense is nothing foreign to the No. 1 pick. While not always shooting effectively, Cunningham knows how to get points on the board. Although shooting 28 % from the field, the former Oklahoma State forward is great at attacking the rim, using his height to finish over defenders. When driving to the lane, defenders love to crash to try and hold up the elusive defender, allowing for open teammates on the wings. The more experience he gets, the dangerous playmaker Cunningham will become as his career goes on.
2. Scottie Barnes, PF, Toronto Raptors
Similar to Giddey, Barnes had one of the best weeks in his young NBA career, averaging 18 points through three games. It’s hard not to watch Barnes and not be in awe of his high-level IQ. He acts like an NBA veteran on the court with his decision-making on offense and how handles himself on the defensive end.
1. Evan Mobley, C, Cleveland Cavaliers
After missing the past four games due to injury, Mobley had a two-game week where he returned to his form prior, scoring points down low and rebounding the ball effectively. Now that he’s back in the rotation, Mobley will now be considered in dropping from his current ranking. While Jarrett Allen has been a success for the Cavaliers, they’ve missed Mobley’s defensive presence down low.
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