In what some are calling one of the stronger draft classes we’ve seen in a few years, this year’s rookies have been proving themselves on the court as many had expected and even some defying expectations. First off in what was probably the most anticipated draft pick in New York Knicks history Kristaps Porzingis was greeted at the podium by an array of boos from the New York faithful when he was drafted. However almost every Knicks fan is lying if they told you they expected Porzingis to be doing as well as he is now. After a slew of posterizing put back dunks in consecutives games he was promptly given the nickname Porzing-God by those New Yorkers and he’s pretty much been that for this team. Porzingis is averaging 12.8 ppg which is 3rd amongst rookies, as well as 2nd in rebounds per game with just over 8. One state over in Pennsylvania there’s another big time rookie by the name of Jahlil Okafor. Okafor being drafted to a Sixers team who’ve been “rebuilding” for what seems like ages. If there is one light of hope for this team it is Okafor. He’s leading all rookies in scoring and minutes played however his lack of rebounding is a big knock against him especially for someone at his size. The 1st overall pick Karl Anthony-Towns is proving to be a great choice for the Timberwolves and is filling out his roll nicely on the team next to budding star Andrew Wiggins. Although DeAngelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay are right next to each other in ppg, Mudiay is playing a bigger role and having a better season for his Nuggets team. He’s averaging just about 30 minutes per game and is 2nd amongst rookies so far in assists.
There are a few rookies flying under the radar but are still contributing nicely to their teams. Justice Winslow is adding a nice scoring presence to the Heat as well as playing some good defense early in this. Playing alongside D-Wade and Chris Bosh will help him grow even more especially with the trading away of Mario Chalmers. A name nobody outside Philly will recognize is point guard T.J. McConnell. He is currently leading all rookies in assist and playing good minutes at the guard position which has been a constant problem for the Sixers. His biggest flaws are that he turns the ball over and doesn’t score the ball very well. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has also been putting in good minutes off the bench especially when playing alongside teammate Thaddeus Young. As of right now my favorites to win Rookie of the Year are Okafor and Porzingis, but it’s a long season and as we all know anything can happen in the NBA.