The National Basketball League’s newest faces are making their presence known, with a number of standout performances to start off the season. Although Ben Simmons appears to have an early lead in the Rookie of the Year contest, there is some serious competition for him to deal with!
Frank Ntilikina: The New York Knicks
Even punters who usually eschew these games in favour of the online roulette Canada has to offer have noticed Ntilikina. He seems a monster on the defensive end, ahead of all the rookies as far as steals are concerned, with 1.9 per game. That is a good enough score for third in the whole of the NBA! The so-called French Prince is starting to show up in more fourth quarters for his team, and the squad is feeding off of the impact of his defence.
John Collins: The Atlanta Hawks
Collins has most definitely made the most of the limited minutes he has been granted -2.1 per game- and has averaged 10.6 points as well as 7.3 rebounds, whilst also shooting the ball 54.5% from the field, giving him the best mark of all of the rookies.
De’Aaron Fox: The Sacramento Kings
Although the Kings have not being doing very well, Fox has been a major contributor whenever they were holding their own. Fox has been superb in transition, putting his incredible speed to use pushing the team’s offense, and the flashes of potential he has shown has everyone on the edge of their seat.
Lonzo Ball: The Los Angeles Lakers
Although Ball has had an erratic start, the UCLA man has definitely hinted at what he is capable of as far as being a distributor is concerned. Although his shot definitely has a very long way to go he has managed to affect the game in other aspects of play. The triple-double he managed against the Nuggets in his last game will see him ending a turbulent week on a confident note.
Lauri Markkanen: The Chicago Bulls
Just off a season high of 26 points and 13 rebounds against the Phoenix Suns, Markkanen has rapidly established himself as a force to be reckoned with as far as the main offensive threat in the Bulls’ armoury and is certainy not the underdog. He seems comfortable shooting the ball and keeps stretching defenses to the limit, and has managed to rank third in terms of all of the rookies as far as scoring goes, with a 15.6 ppg, shooting 45% of his balls from the field and 37% from the deep.
Kyle Kuzma: The Los Angeles Lakers
Kuzma is enjoying his status as a favourite with fans in Los Angeles, and it is a ranking that has been earned. The 22-year old player has been outstanding as part of the Lakers’ starting unit, demonstrating that he can fill it up as he likes.
Dennis Smith Jr: The Dallas Mavericks
This point guard has been the only bright spot for the Mavericks this season, and has managed to make one highlight play after another. He is producing at an incredibly high level for a first-year PG with 19.6 points per game, 3.9 assists, and 5.1 rebounds in November.