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Juicy Fruit Rookies

NBA Rookie Ladder presented by Juicy Fruit: Trae Young and Luka Doncic are back on top

Juicy Fruit Rookie Ladder FTR.jpg
NBA Rookie Ladder (NBA.com Illustration)

To keep tabs on this season's rookie class, we've been showcasing the NBA Rookie Ladder presented by Juicy Fruit throughout the season.

Rather than taking a season-long approach, however, our rankings are based on who has performed the best over the most recent two-week period. We want to open opportunities for other first-year players to shine.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the five rookies who have impressed the most since March 19.

1. Trae Young, PG, Atlanta Hawks

Stats since March 19: 23.1 points, 10.7 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 0.9 steals per game

Young scored 20 points in five of the seven games he's appeared in since we last checked in on him.

His numbers in one of those non 20-point games? A measly 12 points on 5-for-19 shooting from the field.

However, two of those five makes helped win the game for the Hawks. Young first drained a baseline floater to put them ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks, 134-133, with a handful of seconds remaining in overtime. Bucks guard Sterling Brown responded with a layup to put Milwaukee back up by one, but Young had the last laugh, making a wild shot at the buzzer for the win.

Young also handed out 16 assists against the Bucks. He now has four games in which he has dished out 15 or more assists this season.

The rest of this rookie class has combined for ... none.

2. Luka Doncic, G/F, Dallas Mavericks

Stats since March 19: 21.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 7.6 assists and 0.6 steals per game

The shooting percentages still aren't great and the Mavericks still aren't winning, but there isn't another first-year player - not even Young - who pads a stat sheet quite like Doncic.

Consider: Doncic recorded back-to-back triple-doubles against the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings. According to Basketball-Reference, he joined David Robinson, Ben Simmons, Jason Kidd, Elfrid Payton and Antoine Walker in the process as the only rookies since 1983-84 to post consecutive triple-doubles.

Not only that, Doncic now has seven triple-doubles on the season, tying him with Magic Johnson for the third-most all-time by a rookie. And four of those came before Doncic's 20th birthday, making him the only teenager to ever have multiple triple-doubles.

Triple-doubles obviously aren't everything, but it goes to show how well-rounded Doncic's game already is and how much potential he has.

3. Collin Sexton, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers

Stats since March 19: 21.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 0.3 steals per game

Sexton is coming off of the best month of his young career. In the 15 games he played in March, he averaged 22.4 points on 51.0 percent shooting from the field and 44.7 percent shooting from the perimeter.

That put him second to only Young (23.4) in scoring for the month among rookies, though Sexton had Young beat when it came to overall shooting efficiency.

Sexton scored 20 or more points in nine consecutive games during that stretch, which set a record for the most by a rookie this season which has since been tied by Young.

The Cavaliers even picked up a few wins in those nine games, beating the Raptors, Pistons and Bucks.

While the Cavaliers are back to their losing ways - they're currently riding a six-game losing streak - Sexton has started another streak by scoring 20-plus points in his last four outings.

4. Marvin Bagley III, F/C, Sacramento Kings

Stats since March 19: 19.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.5 steals per game

Bagley has been a double-double machine lately. After scoring 28 points in a loss to the Nets on March 19, he recorded three straight double-doubles with 22 points and 12 rebounds against the Mavericks, 16 points and 11 rebounds against the Suns and 25 points and 11 rebounds against the Lakers.

Bagley then went for 20 points and 12 rebounds against the Rockets a few days later, on March 30.

It might not be the most memorable game from Bagley's rookie season - it took him 20 shots to get there and coincided with another 50-point triple-double from Harden that officially ended Sacramento's hopes of making the playoffs - but it helped him make some history:

That bodes well for the future, when Bagley is a staple in Sacramento's starting lineup.

5. Mitchell Robinson, C, New York Knicks

Stats since March 19: 12.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and 1.2 steals per game

Robinson has made the most of his increased playing time to end the season. Logging 30 minutes in each of his last three games, he had a monster 19-point, 21-rebound double-double against the Toronto Raptors last week, followed by a pair of all-around showings against the Heat and Bulls.

Against the Heat, Robinson scored only nine points but pulled down 14 rebounds, blocked four shots and came up with three steals. Two days later against the Bulls, he had his 10th double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds, plus a career-high four assists and three blocks.

Robinson is now averaging 12.9 points, 11.2 rebounds, 4.5 blocks, 1.4 steals and 1.1 assists per 36 minutes on the season. He still has a long way to go in terms of development, but those numbers put him in some interesting company historically alongside the likes of David Robinson, Bill Walton, Rudy Gobert, Marcus Camby and JaVale McGee.

It's going to be fascinating to see what end of that spectrum Robinson ends up on in the years to come.

Honourable Mention

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, G, LA Clippers - 14.6 points, 4.7 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 1.7 steals per game

Deandre Ayton, C, Phoenix Suns - 15.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, 0.6 assists per game

Miles Bridges, F, Charlotte Hornets - 11.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.4 steals per game

Josh Okogie, F, Minnesota Timberwolves - 12.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.7 steals per game

Kevin Knox, F, New York Knicks - 16.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.6 steals per game

Jalen Brunson, G, Dallas Mavericks - 13.7 points, 4.0 assists, 2.0 rebounds, 0.6 steals per game

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