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 and second 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. Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks
Stats: 12.4 PTS, 2.7 AST, 2.3 REB, 41.0% FG, 36.9% 3PT
Best game: Jan. 24 vs. POR: 31 points (9-18 FG, 5-8 3PT, 8-8 FT), 4 assists, 3 rebounds
Something to know: After averaging just 9.5 points per game through his first 13 contests, the Knicks' first-year guard has shot his way up the points per game leaderboard for rookies, averaging 18.7 points over his last six games. Scoring 31 points against the Trail Blazers and consecutive 25-point performances against the Cavaliers and Clippers has helped boost Quickley's scoring average to 12.4 points on the season.
Providing the spark ⚡️- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 30, 2021
Quick with 14 of his 25 points in the 4th. pic.twitter.com/XTcGzpDeXr
4. Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves
Stats: 13.6 PTS, 3.1 REB, 1.9 AST
Best game: Jan. 31 vs. MIN: 23 points (9-15 FG, 4-7 3PT), 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block
Something to know: Edwards is leading all rookies with 13.6 points per game. Since being inserted into the Timberwolves' starting lineup for the last four games, Edwards is averaging 16.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists while shooting a much-improved 46.3% from the field and 45.5% from 3.
3. 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 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game leads all rookies. He has blocked at least two shots in 11 of his first 20 games as a pro, an impressive feat for the young rim protector.
2. Tyrese Haliburton, Sacramento Kings
Stats: 11.2 PTS, 5.4 AST, 3.7 REB, 1.2 STL, 47.1% FG, 42.3% 3PT
Best game: Jan. 6 vs. CHI: 17 points (7-15 FG, 3-7 3PT), 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 0 turnovers
Something to know: Haliburton ranks second among rookies in assists per game with 5.4, trailing only LaMelo Ball. He has 102 assists on the season with just 30 turnovers, giving him an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.40 - the seventh-best mark in the entire NBA (not just for rookies) for any player that has at least 100 assists. He was also named as the first Western Conference Rookie of the Month.
Tyrese Haliburton is 𝗠 𝗢 𝗡 𝗘 𝗬- Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) February 4, 2021
💰 Career-High 21 Points
💰 FIVE three pointers
💰 Rookie of the Month
@TyHaliburton22 | @SMUDUpdates pic.twitter.com/N2ZHJAtJYN
1. LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets
Stats: 12.7 PTS, 6.0 AST, 5.9 REB, 1.4 STL, 42.8% FG, 32.0% 3PT
Best game: Jan. 30 vs. MIN: 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. Filling in for the injured Terry Rozier, Ball has proved worthy of full-time consideration as a starter, averaging 18.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.0 steals while shooting 40.7% from the field and 50.0% from 3 in his two games in the starting five. He was also named the first Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month.
A career-high 27 PTS on 8-10 shooting, several jaw-dropping dimes (9 AST) and 4 STL for LaMelo Ball (@MELOD1P) in the @hornets win! 🐝 pic.twitter.com/kEjZz93B8t- NBA (@NBA) January 31, 2021
Outside looking in
Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic: Anthony has been solid since taking over the Magic's starting point guard role, averaging 12.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists while shooting 37.0% from 3 over 14 starts. His game-winning buzzer-beater 3-pointer against the Timberwolves joins Celtics' guard Payton Pritchard as the only game-winners of the rookie class so far.
Desmond Bane, Memphis Grizzlies: Bane makes his first appearance on the Rookie Ladder after an impressive stretch during the Grizzlies' seven-game winning streak, averaging 9.6 points off the bench while shooting a blistering 57.9% from 3-point range. That sharp shooting isn't an outlier, as the No. 30 overall pick of the 2020 NBA Draft is making 50.8% of his 65 3-point attempts so far this season.
2020-21 NBA Rookie Leaderboard
|Points per game leader||Anthony Edwards||Timberwolves||13.6 PPG|
|Rebounds per game leader||James Wiseman||Warriors||6.1 RPG|
|Assists per game leader||LaMelo Ball||Hornets||6.0 APG|
|Steals per game leader||LaMelo Ball||Hornets||1.4 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).
Payton Pritchard, Boston Celtics: Pritchard has missed six consecutive games after suffering a sprained MCL. Head coach Brad Stevens says there is a chance he could return on the Celtics' upcoming west coast road swing.
James Wiseman, Golden State Warriors: Wiseman has a sprained wrist and will be re-evaluated in seven-to-10 days (as of Feb. 1).
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