NBA Rookie Meter 2 | Scottie Barnes Is A Walking Triple-Double In Training

Once again it’s time to rank our top rookies as we enter Week 3 of the NBA season.

1. Evan Mobley | Cleveland Cavaliers (13.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.6 apg)

Cleveland Cavaliers rookie center Evan Mobley looks the part. The skinny, athletic specimen has been a real presence on both ends for the Cavs. He’s playing 32 minutes a night, but what’s most impressive is the 1.4 blocks and the way he and fellow post player Jarrett Allen are affecting opposing shots around the rim. Mobley is another cornerstone of the Cavs’ future, along with Allen, Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Isaac Okoro.

2. Chris Duarte | Indiana Pacers (17.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 42.3 % on 3-PT) 

Chris Duarte is the 24-year-old sharpshooter via the Oregon Ducks that teams thought was too old to draft. He’s easily the most NBA-ready player in the draft. Duarte’s been a blessing for the snakebitten Pacers, who’ve lost three games by one possession. His three triples a night lead all rookies. He and point guard Malcolm Brogdon form an impactful backcourt of the future in “Naptown.”

3. Scottie Barnes | Toronto Raptors (18.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg) 

The Toronto Raptors have a nice group of wing players, and Scottie Barnes may have the highest ceiling of all of them. Barnes looks like a five-year vet with his savvy play on both ends. A 6-foot-9 point-forward capable of setting guys up and defending positions 1 to 5. Barnes’ skill set translates well to the NBA game. Just wait until the Raptors are healthy and he can play distributor more. Barnes has nightly triple-double ability.

4. Jalen Green | Houston Rockets (13.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3 apg) 

Jalen Green believes he’s the best prospect from the 2021 NBA draft even though he was picked No. 2 overall. At times he’s been erratic with his shot and his decision-making, but what jumps off the screen is the elite athleticism and confidence. Green’s a bona fide walking bucket who needs to slow down and allow the game to come to him more.

As bad as the Rockets are, he should have many a big scoring night if he’s willing to play both ends for head coach Stephen Silas. His scoring average will increase as he gets more comfortable carrying the load for an NBA team and continues making 2.5 triples per night.

5. Josh Giddey | Oklanhoma City Thunder (10.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 5.7 apg)

Giddey is a stat sheet stuffer for the Oklahoma City Thunder, a nice complementary piece to star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Giddey has a swagger and bravado that seems to be infectious among the young Thunder squad, as evidenced by their energetic 26-point comeback win over the Lakers last week. This team will take its lumps, but they do have some talent.

Honorable Mention:

Franz Wagner, 13.9 ppg (Magic) — Solid stretch 3-4 with a smooth shooting stroke who’s also shown he capable of making plays for others.

Jalen Suggs, 12.7 ppg  (Magic) — The big combo guard seems to be settling into his role opposite Cole Anthony. Averaging 12 points, four rebounds and four assists shows the entire skill set he showed at Gonzaga. Orlando has a funky roster makeup with some strange pieces that don’t fit, but Suggs looks like he’s at the Magic Kingdom for the long haul.

Davion Mitchell, 7.7 ppg (Kings) — Nicknamed “Off Night” for his defensive prowess, he hasn’t disappointed at all on that end. And he’s also shown an ability to score the ball out in SacTown.

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