NBA Rookie Meter 1 | Orlando Magic Frosh Paolo Banchero Proving Why He Was The Top Overall Pick

(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

It’s that time again where we rank the top NBA rookies so far in the 2022 NBA season. After the first week of games, Orlando Magic rookie Paolo Banchero has looked like a man amongst boys.

1. Paolo Banchero — Orlando Magic, Forward

The talented former Duke Blue Devils star who wowed us regularly during his one year in Durham, is showing that he had much more in his repertoire than Coach K allowed him to display. In his first four games Banchero scored at least 20 points in each outing. The feat made him the first to do so since Grant Hill with the Detroit Pistons. He already looks like the Magic’s franchise player, something they haven’t had since Dwight Howard left in 2012.

For the season PB is averaging 22 points, eight, rebounds, three assists and almost two blocks per game. The Magic haven’t won a game just yet at 0-5, but he’s been stellar.

2. Bennedict Mathurin — Indiana Pacers, Forward

The former Arizona Wildcats star has been a ray of sunshine for a rebuilding Pacers team. The two-way elite athlete has shown his ability by averaging 22 points, six rebounds, two assists. His 48 percent shooting from the floor and 42 percent from three are what jumps off the screen. On the defensive end he’s holding opponents to 34 percent shooting when he’s the primary defender. He has cornerstone player written all over him.

3. Jabari Smith — Houston Rockets, Forward

The sweet shooting two-way big has looked the part in H-Town. While his shooting splits are not what we saw at Auburn, he’s still averaging nearly 18 points, seven rebounds and two blocks per night for a young and entertaining Rockets team that won’t win many games. His 35 percent from three will only improve with repetition and better spacing by the Rockets guards of Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr.

Smith is a young elite defender capable of switching onto guards on the perimeter.

4. Jaden Ivey — Detroit Pistons, Guard

Arguably the most athletic player in the draft class, Ivey has an amazing skill set. Capable of thriving at either guard position allows him to fit seamlessly with 2021 No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham, the face of the Pistons franchise.

The duo has looked great together in head coach Dwayne Casey’s offense. Ivey is averaging 18 points, five rebounds and six assists this season. He’s also shooting 50 percent from the field and 45 from three. The shooting percentage from the field is an indication of how he attacks the rim.

Casey loves his motor. 

“With his speed, he’s going to get there. What he’s got to do now is recognize gaps — how quickly those gaps close up, how long guys are. They close up a lot quicker now than they did in college.”

5. Keegan Murray — Sacramento Kings, Forward

Murray, the late-blooming former Iowa star hasn’t started a game this season, but head coach Mike Brown has him playing more minutes than anyone else. And he’s rewarded the Kings with 18 points, five rebounds, and a block per game. He’s scorching the nets from the floor at 54 percent shooting from the field and 44 percent from three. He’s an all-around talent, and the Kings know they got a steal with him at the No. 4 pick.

Murray, De’Aaron Fox and Domantis Sabonis are a trio that will hopefully end the Kings’ playoff drought that dates back to 2006.