The NBA’s most exciting rookies

This year, the NBA has a very interesting draft class. Big profiles such as Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and RJ Barrett has gained attention as top prospects. There is an overflowing amount of talent entering the court this year. But which has rookies performed in the early stages of the season. Here are my top 5 rookies so far 

1: Kendrick Nunn (Miami Heat) 

Stats: 19.5 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 3 APG. 

The undrafted rookie had an explosive start in the NBA. Leading the Miami Heat in scoring with 19.5 points per game. Being Miami’s main scorer ahead of teammate and star player Jimmy Butler. Nunn scored 112 points in his five first games, creating history by being the undrafted rookie that has scored the most points in his five first games on the hardwood. The Heat have started of the season well, going 5-1 and the cherry on the top being the unexpected breakout of Kendrick Nunn. The future of the Heat lies safe with Kendrick Dunn and Tyler Herro.  

2: Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies) 

Stats: 19.5 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 5.5 APG. 

The second pick of the draft has settled into the NBA with ease. The 6,3ft point guard has already scored 30 points in a game and dueled against Kyrie Irving, one of the most elite scorers in the NBA. Morant was crucial in their only win so far this season against the Brooklyn Nets, showing off an impressive display of basketball with 30 pts, 4 reb and 9 ast and a block on Kyrie to send the game into overtime. Ja Morant leads the Grizzlies in most points per game and assists per game. Morant has struggled with turnovers, averaging 4.8 per night, which is worrying. But at the same time Ja Morant has been everything the Grizzlies has hoped for and will be the key-figure in the re-building process of the team from Tennesse.  

3: RJ Barrett (New York Knick)  

Stats: 18.3 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 3.3 APG. 

The young Knickerbocker was according to the majority of Knicks fans the only small beam of light in an otherwise dark and abandoned organization prior to the season opener. They were very correct, as RJ Barret has quickly turned into the star-player of Knicks. Knicks have opened the season with only one win against Bulls. But he scored 26 against a revamped Boston Celtics squad and almost a triple-double against the Bulls with 19points, 15rebounds and nine assists. With no other real scoring threat in the Knicks, Barrett can be a potential top scorer amongst the rookies with his physique and leap. But Barret has to continue to develop his three-point shooting, unless he wants to be exposed by defenders.  

4: PJ Washington (Charlotte Hornets)  

Stats: 15.0 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 1.2 APG 

The 12th draft pick went automatic in the season opener, hitting 7 three-pointers and scoring 27 points in the win against the Bulls. Washington is also shooting 50% from the three point line and 55.7% in field-goals. After the first game, Washington has struggled with consistency in terms of scoring, but his versatility on the court makes Washington another top candidate to the Rookie of the Year award. He has made it clear he is a dangerous shooter but also shown that he can finish strong against big centres in the paint and bullies his opponents in the post. Can Washington start to find that scoring consistency, expect him to rise among the ranks.  

5: Rui Hachimura (Washington Wizards)  

Stats: 14.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.3 APG.  

Another surprise among this draft is Rui Hachimura. The Japanese forward from Gonzaga has shown offensive variety with his multiple ways of scoring. He can shoot three-pointers from pick and pop plays, score from the post and finishes well with both hands. Wizards are looking for someone to help Bradley Beal with the offensive scoring after John Wall´s long-time injury, and the 6,8ft forward can be that asset. Hachimura had a double-double in the opener against Dallas, in 24minutes he had 14points and 10rebounds. Hachimura has endless potential offensively but hasn’t displayed any defensive skills. Hachimura has the frame of an elite defender. But could end up struggling against bigger and taller big men. The defence is an aspect of his game that has to develop for his growth.  

Sub-editing by Brandon Spalding 

This image has been modified by Overtime Online under the Creative Commons License.

This image has been modified by Overtime Online under the Creative Commons License.

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