Welcome back to our 2020-21 NBA Rookie Ladder!
As a follow up to my 2020 NBA Draft coverage, I will be providing an in-depth look at how this year's rookie class has performed to start their NBA career by ranking the leading candidates for Rookie of the Year every other Friday.
For comparison, here you can find the first, second and third editions of the 2020-21 NBA Rookie Ladder.
Below you'll find the top five rankings so far this season, a group of rookies who are on the outside looking in, a rookie leaderboard to see which first-year players are leading the major statistical categories and an injury report to keep you updated on the latest ailments of the rookie class.
So without further ado... who has been the best rookie through the first quarter of the 2020-21 season?
2020-21 NBA Rookie Ladder
5. Saddiq Bey, Detroit Pistons
Stats: 9.2 PTS, 3.7 REB, 1.0 AST, 41.8% FG, 41.3% 3PT
Best game: Feb. 12 vs. BOS: 30 points (10-12 FG, 7-7 3PT), 12 rebounds
Something to know: After averaging 17.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game while shooting 69.9 percent from three last week, Bey was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week. He became the first rookie to earn Player of the Week honours since Michael Carter-Williams did it back in November of 2013.
⭐️ Your Eastern Conference Player of the Week! ⭐️ #DetroitUp- Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) February 15, 2021
🔥17.8 PPG 🔥5.5 RPG 🔥69.9 3FG%
Congratulations, @_Beyyy15 x #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/LCgkaqyjU2
4. James Wiseman, Golden State Warriors
Stats: 12.2 PTS, 6.1 REB, 1.3 BLK, 50.3% FG, 40.9% 3PT
Best game: Jan. 20 vs. SAS: 18 points (8-11 FG), 6 rebounds, 4 assists
Something to know: Wiseman's 1.3 blocks per game leads all rookies and he has blocked at least two shots in 11 of his first 20 games as a pro. The Warriors' young rim protector has missed the last nine games while recovering from a sprained wrist.
3. Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves
Stats: 14.6 PTS, 3.7 REB, 2.4 AST
Best game: Jan. 31 vs. CLE: 23 points (9-15 FG, 4-7 3PT), 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block
Something to know: Edwards has really turned a corner after a slower start to the season. Since being named a starter, the No. 1 overall pick is averaging 16.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists while shooting a much-improved 41.8 percent from the field and 33.8% from three over the 11 games.
😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳- Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) February 18, 2021
BUSINESS DECISIONS BEING MADE pic.twitter.com/RpIMof4AZq
2. Tyrese Haliburton, Sacramento Kings
Stats: 12.4 PTS, 5.2 AST, 3.6 REB, 1.2 STL, 49.8% FG, 44.3% 3PT
Best game: Feb. 6 vs. DEN: 23 points (8-12 FG, 4-7 3PT), 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block
Something to know: Rookies are typically inefficient, yet Haliburton has been the complete opposite of that. Shooting 49.8 percent from the field and 44.3 percent from 3-point range, the Kings' rookie has the third-highest effective field goal percentage (61.9%) among perimeter players in the entire NBA. The only two perimeter players that have a higher eFG% are Joe Harris (68.5%) and Paul George (62.1%), meaning Haliburton's clip is higher than the likes of Stephen Curry, Zach LaVine and Kyrie Irving.
1. LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets
Stats: 14.6 PTS, 6.2 REB, 6.1 AST, 1.5 STL, 43.7% FG, 35.4% 3PT
Best game: Jan. 30 vs. MIL: 27 points (8-10 FG, 2-3 3PT, 9-9 FT), 9 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 turnover
Something to know: While Anthony Edwards passed Ball in total points, Ball still ranks first among all rookies in rebounds, assists and steals. Since becoming the Hornets' starting point guard, Ball is looking like every bit of a superstar averaging 20.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.8 steals while shooting 44.6 percent from the field and 43.9 percent from deep.
Career-high 34 points for LaMelo! 🏀@MELOD1P x #NBARooks pic.twitter.com/AGYJ1LPQMa- NBA Draft (@NBADraft) February 6, 2021
Outside looking in
Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks: Although Quickley has fallen out of the top five on this ladder, the rookie has still maintained a high level of play. Over the Knicks' three-game win streak this past week, Quickley averaged 18.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists while shooting 47.6 percent from three in just 21.6 minutes per game off the bench.
Patrick Williams, Chicago Bulls: Williams has been as solid as can be as a starter for the Bulls, especially after coming off of the bench in every game of his college career at Florida State. In Chicago's past game, the rookie forward knocked down a clutch, game-sealing 3-pointer to complete a comeback win over the Pistons.
2020-21 NBA Rookie Leaderboard
|Points per game leader||Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball||Timberwolves, Hornets||14.6 PPG|
|Rebounds per game leader||LaMelo Ball||Hornets||6.2 RPG|
|Assists per game leader||LaMelo Ball||Hornets||6.1 APG|
|Steals per game leader||LaMelo Ball||Hornets||1.5 SPG|
|Blocks per game leader||James Wiseman||Warriors||1.3 BPG|
2020-21 NBA Rookie injury report
Killian Hayes, Detroit Pistons: Hayes suffered a labral tear in his hip but it will not require surgery. He will rest and rehab and be re-evaluated in eight weeks (as of Jan. 20).
James Wiseman, Golden State Warriors: Wiseman has a sprained wrist and will be re-evaluated in seven-to-10 days (as of Feb. 1).
Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic: Anthony has a non-displaced rib fracture and will not return to the Magic until after the All-Star break (as of Feb. 16).
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