With Week 6 of the 2020-21 NBA season here, it’s time to take a fun-filled look around the league at the top impact rookies to keep an eye on as we move further into the regular season.
Some of these first-year performers are well-known players that were high draft picks in the 2020 NBA Draft while others are relative unknowns that are already making their presences felt for their respective ballclubs. Now, let’s get started with the top rookies to watch out for so you can get all set and make your bets against their NBA odds!
Rookies to Look Out For This 2020-21 NBA Season
The Top Five!
- LaMelo Ball – Charlotte – PG
The third overall pick in the draft is already living up to his draft status as he ranks third in rookie scoring (11.8 ppg) and a stunning first in rebounding (6.4 rpg), assists (5.9 apg) and steals (1.5 spg). To make his play even more impressive, Ball is sixth in minutes played for rookies. Clearly, Charlotte has a star on their hands. Now, if only he doesn’t end up like Kemba Walker!
- Tyrese Haliburton – Sacramento – SF
While Sacramento (6-10) is a complete disgraceful defensively (121.2 ppg, 29th) The Kings undeniably hit a home run by selecting former Iowa State point guard Tyrese Haliburton with the 12th overall pick in the draft. The cerebral floor general is fourth in rookie scoring (11.4 ppg), second in assists (4.9 apg), fourth in steals (1.2spg) and a stellar fourth in field goal shooting percentage (50.4%).
- Deni Avdija -Washington – SF
Last, but certainly not least, Washington (3-9) may have gotten the best player in this year’s draft in European small forward Deni Avdija. The do-it-all ninth overall pick in the draft is 18th in rookie scoring (7.0 ppg), eighth in rebounds (4.0 rpg), 10th in field goal shooting percentage (45.2%), fifth in three-point shooting percentage (45.7%) and sixth in steals (1.0 spg). Now, just imagine what he could do if he weren’t playing alongside two guys in Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook that clearly aren’t interested in helping any of their young teammates improve!
- Anthony Edwards – Minnesota – SG
Minnesota (4-12) might look as incompetent as ever, but the Timberwolves look like they got it right by selecting former Georgia shooting guard Anthony Edwards with the first overall pick in the draft. Edwards is fourth on Minnesota’s roster in scoring, but leads all rookies by averaging 12.1 points per contest. Yes, he’s shooting an uninspiring 34.4 percent from the field and an awful 27.4 percent from beyond the arc, but he’s dropped 18 points on Utah and New Orleans while putting up a career-high 26 against Portland. Now, if only the T-Wolves could find some heart, intensity – and defense.
- James Wiseman – Golden State Warriors – C
Wiseman came off the bench for the first time this season in Monday’s night’s win over Minnesota, but the Golden State Warriors (9-8) gifted big man wasn’t benched because of a lack of performing. Wiseman is second in rookie scoring and rebounding (11.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg) while ranking fourth in field goal shooting percentage (50.3%) and first in blocked shots (1.3 bpg). This dude is athletic and is going to be a force to be reckoned with moving forward!
Best of the Rest
- Cole Anthony – Orlando – PG
Orlando (8-10) got an excellent player in former North Carolina point guard Cole Anthony, the son of former NBA performer Greg Anthony. The lefty point guard is fifth in rookie scoring (10.2 ppg) and fourth in assists (3.2 apg) while also ranking fifth in rebounds (4.5 rpg). While Anthony is shooting a tepid 36.9 percent from the field, this kid is a player with a huge upside and one that should see a lot more action moving forward with starting point guard Markelle Fultz out for the season.
- Patrick Williams – Chicago – SF
While I thought Chicago blew it by selecting Williams fourth overall out of Florida State when several other small forward were on the board like Obi Toppin and Deni Avdija, Williams has played well for the Bulls in putting up 9.4 points per game while ranking third in 3-point shooting (47.1), seventh in rebounds (4.3 rpg) and eighth in field goal shooting percentage (46.7%). Williams is third in minutes played per game and looks like a player with an extremely bright future under head coach Billy Donovan.
- Tyrese Maxey – Philadelphia – PG
The 76ers (12-6) got an absolute steal in former Kentucky point guard Tyrese Maxey with the 21st pick in the first round. Maxey ranks eighth in rookie scoring (9.6 ppg), ninth in assists per game (2.1 apg) while playing just over 20 minutes per contest.
- Immanuel Quickley – NY Knicks – PG – 9.5 ppg
The Knicks (8-10) also got an apparent steal in former Kentucky point guard Immanuel Quickley who ranks fifth in rookie scoring (11.0 ppg), seventh in assists (2.6 apg) and leads all rookies in free throw shooting percentage (94.4%). Quickley is one of five Knicks players averaging double figures in scoring.
- Memphis Bags Two
Boston originally drafted former TCU shooting guard Desmond Bane with the 30th overall pick in the draft before trading him to the Grizzlies (7-6). Sacramento drafted the 6-8 Xavier Tillman out of Michigan State with the 35th overall pick in the draft before moving him to Memphis on draft night.
Bane and Tillman are both averaging an identical 8.6 points per game to tie for ninth in rookie scoring. Tillman is ninth in rookie rebounding (3.9 rpg) and a stellar second in field goal shooting percentage (56.1%) while Bane ranks seventh in field goal shooting percentage (47.1%) and an impressive second in three-point shooting percentage (48.9%). Make no mistake about it, Memphis has a pair of big-time future performers in the pair of talented rooks.
- Isaac Okoro – Cleveland – PF
The fifth overall pick out of Auburn, Isaac Okoro leads all rookies in minutes played per game (35.5 mpg) while ranking 13th in scoring (8.5 ppg) and fourth in steals (1.2 spg).
- Payton Pritchard – Boston – PG
The Celtics (10-6) did well to grab the former Oregon star point guard with the 26th overall pick in the draft. The former Pac-12 Player of the Year is 15th in rookie scoring (7.7 ppg), sixth in assists (2.6 apg), sixth in field goal shooting percentage (48.8%), sixth in three-point shooting percentage (42.5%) and seventh in steals per game (0.9 spg) while playing just over 20 minutes per game.
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