Scottie Barnes (forward) — Toronto Raptors
The former Montverde Academy and Florida State star is averaging 20 points, eight rebounds and three assists per game. He’s been shooting 50 percent from the floor overall. Every week he is placing in the top three of our Rookie Meter and appears to be on his way to NBA Rookie of the Year honors.
His ability to run the offense allows veteran guard Fred Vanvleet to play off the ball and to use his strengths as a penetrator and three-point weapon. Barnes’ ability to guard multiple positions is what seperates him from the pack. Many questioned him being picked at No. 4, but Masai Ujiri has a nose for talent.
Jalen Green & Cade Cunningham Both Show Out In Clash Of The Top Two Picks In NBA Draft | Jalen Wanted The Smoke, Cade Wanted The Win
Barnes is averaging 15.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists on the season as of Christmas. His 49 percent shooting percentage shows just how much how often he gets to his spots on the floor.
CLEAN UP ON AISLE 4 pic.twitter.com/XBvxL11JzO
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) December 19, 2021
Cade Cunningham (guard) — Detroit Pistons
The No. 1 overall pick has looked every bit the part as of late, as he seems to have found his footing. Head coach Dwayne Casey seems comfortable having Cunningham play on or off the ball.
His overall field goal shooting is a work in development 38 percent, but he’s picked it up from three as of late, shooting 47 percent from deep over his past five games. Cunningham’s recent sharp-shooting has made it easier for him to do what he does best, which is drive to the rim. Dave Bing has his doubts, but Cade is proving that he;s a capable cornerstone to to build around in the Motor City.
His season averages of 15.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.4 steals and over two made threes a night is just the tip of the iceberg for a player capable of making All-Defensive teams in the future.
Here's to a long career, @CadeCunningham_.
We'll be cheering along the whole way, @DetroitPistons. #NewEra I #GoPokes pic.twitter.com/3C869gkMY0
— OSU Cowboy Basketball (@OSUMBB) October 31, 2021
Josh Giddey (guard) — Oklahoma City Thunder
The 6-foot-8 floor leader has really hit his stride for the Thunder. His innate passing ability and quality decision-making were reasons why the Thunder drafted him so high. But what they didn’t expect was his offense to be as good as it has been lately.
Shooting is still a weakness, but it’s improving. The past three games he’s averaged 17 points, five rebounds and five assists while shooting 45 percent from the floor. The Thunder are in tank mode, but watching the Aussie and Shay Gilgeous-Alexander entertain gives fans something to come to the arena for with anticipartion of the years to come.
Giddey is averaging 11.2 points, 6.0 assists and 7.0 rebound per game. He’ll need to improve on his 39.7 shooting percentage. But the intangibles are undeniable.
— josh giddey (@joshgiddey) October 5, 2021
Franz Wagner (guard) — Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic are in rebuild mode, and Franz Wagner is definitely a key piece to their future. The smooth-shooting former Michigan Wolverine has shown an ability to get his own shot and play off the catch and shoot.
His past three games he’s been really solid, averaging 20 points, seven rebounds and three assists. His 25-point outing in win at Atlanta really opened some eyes around the league. The underrated rookie has outplayed highly touted newbie Jalen Suggs. He’s also the better of the Wagner brothers.
Wagner is also the only rookie this season to post 15 consecutive games of at least 10 points scored. He averages 15.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists. He’s no slouch.
Franz Wagner last night:
It marked his fourth 20+ point game in his last six 🔥 pic.twitter.com/JxNwst2XUq
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) December 24, 2021
Aleperen Sengun (forward/center) — Houston Rockets
The 6-foor-10 multi-skilled Turk continues to impress with his all-around skill set. The Rockets recently had a seven-game winning streak after losing 15 straight. During that streak Sengun was a real catalyst for Stephen Silas’ bunch.
His numbers weren’t great this past week, but his defense never slumps. His passing ability and three-point shooting (40 percent) are also welcome sights for the Rockets. He’s a cornerstone piece for the Rockets in the future.
This season he’s averaging 9.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists in limited minutes.
Evan Mobley (center, Cleveland Cavaliers) — Missed most of last week due to COVID-19 protocols, but when he’s playing he’s at the head of this list with Barnes and Cunningham.
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