Thanksgiving was last week and judging from the early part of the season many teams are thankful for the rookies they acquired through the draft, with some a little more thankful than others. The biggest news from the rookie camp has to be the off the court altercations involving Sixers’ rookie sensation Jahlil Okafor. Okafor involved in a fight in Boston and also being denied from a bar in Philadelphia for using a fake I.D. was suspended for 2 games earlier this week. These recent blunders in judgment shouldn’t take away from the fact that Okafor is still leading all rookies in scoring with 17.2 ppg. The next closest are Karl Anthony-Towns and Kristaps Porzingis a.k.a PorzinGod. They both are averaging just under 14 ppg however as can be expected Porzingis getting much more media attention because he plays in the New York market. Towns and Porzingis are almost identical in all the major categories including points, rebounds, blocks and minutes per game. In fact they were both just named Rookie of the Month for their respective conferences. Both are currently my favorite for Rookie of the Year however, it is a long season and anything can happen. As for guard play the two higher drafted guards DeAngelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay haven’t exactly played up to their potential so far. Although Mudiay still leads all rookies with 6.1 assists per game, he averages nearly 5 turnovers a game and has a sub par shooting percentage. Russell is definitely suffering from the effects of the Kobe Bryant “farewell tour” as Kobe’s on court performance is hindering Russell’s ability to really show what he’s got. Russell is only averaging 10.7 points per game and is only averaging about 3 assists per game. Justice Winslow also could be a dark horse in the R.O.Y race as he has seen his role and minutes increase on a Heat team that looks to be a serious contender out in the East.

There are some rookies that are flying under the radar that deserve some early recognition. First off is T.J. McConnell from the Sixers. He’s doing a good job of running the offense and is second behind Mudiay in assists per game. His one draw back is scoring but look for him to be more aggressive as the season goes on. Another under the radar guy is Brooklyn’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson who has proven to be a good defender and rebounder for an otherwise unappealing Nets team. Jerrian Grant of the Knicks is also providing some quality minutes of the bench and has bumped his point total up to 5.8 points per game. Lastly a shout out is due to Stanley Johnson of the Detroit Pistons who is improving his offensive capabilities which are going alongside his already stellar work at the defensive end.

Rookie Top 10:

  1. Kristaps Porzingis
  2. Karl Anthony-Towns
  3. Jahlil Okafor
  4. Justice Winslow
  5. Emmanuel Mudiay
  6. Stanley Johnson
  7. DeAngelo Russell
  8. Nikola Jokic
  9. Nemanja Bjelica
  10. T.J. McConnell


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