In the first installment of our 2018 NBA Rookie of Year power rankings, we saw Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks claim the top spot through the first quarter of the regular season.
The 19-year-old budding superstar from Slovenia was averaging 21.0 points, nine rebounds, and three assists per game through October and November, which earned him Rookie of the Month honors for the Western Conference.
Since then, we’ve seen a number of rookies step their games up across the league. Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Collin Sexton is becoming more a scorer and offensive threat, while New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox is showing fans why management did not make a mistake drafting him within the top-10 over the summer.
Where do Sexton and Knox land in this week’s power rankings? Let’s find out below and make sure to check back every two weeks to see if your favorite rookie has made it.
1. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks – 18.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists (Previous Rank: 1)
The 19-year-old ‘Wonder Boy’ is proving why he is the best rookie by far in this year’s draft class. In the Mavericks’ last seven games, he is almost averaging a triple-double with 17.7 points, 7.0 assists, and 7.0 rebounds in 30.7 minutes per game.
Even though his shooting percentages are down over that same span of time (39.1% FG, 26.8% 3PT FG), the former EuroLeague MVP is still a threat to go for a double-double.
On Dec. 8 against the Houston Rockets, Doncic went on a personal 11-0 run in the fourth quarter, which helped the Mavericks pull out a tough three-point victory.
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) December 9, 2018
If he can continue to have those memorable moments, it will be tough to knock him from the top spot.
2. Collin Sexton – 15.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists (Previous Rank: 4)
Speaking of memorable moments, Collin Sexton gave us one on Dec. 8 against the Washington Wizards. The rook was unstoppable as he had his way with All-star point guard John Wall.
The 19-year-old point guard from the University of Alabama got to the rim with ease and looked confident from the perimeter. Sexton tied his career-high in points with 29 on 13-of-23 shooting from the field and 3-of-7 shooting from three-point range.
In the Cavaliers’ last eight games, the 6-foot-2 point guard is shooting a ridiculous 46 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from free-point range on three attempts per game.
3. Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns – 15.7 points, 10.2 rebounds, 0.9 blocks (Previous Rank: 6)
Just like Sexton, Suns center Deandre Ayton has made a significant jump in our power rankings. This past summer’s top pick is starting to figure out things on both ends of the floor, which is good news for the surging Suns.
When our initial power rankings came out on Dec. 5, the Suns was in the midst of a six-game losing streak, which ended at 10 games. However, Phoenix is now on a three-game winning streak with Ayton capturing back-to-back double-doubles.
In Monday night’s 18-point thrashing over the Knicks, the 20-year-old had 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting with 13 rebounds.
4. Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies – 12.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.8 blocks (Previous Rank: 3)
After erupting for 36 points against the Brooklyn Nets a couple of weeks ago, Jackson Jr. has quietly slipped in our power rankings. The 19-year-old from Michigan State is averaging 9.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 23.6 per game over the last eight contests.
Furthermore, he has not reached or surpassed the 20-point plateau since that game against the Nets. But there should be no cause for concern when it comes to Jackson Jr.’s production, who still has a ton of untapped potential.
5. Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks – 15.5 points, 7.1 assists, 2.7 rebounds (Previous Rank: 2)
Young just like Jackson Jr. is going through the regular rookie struggles but is still finding ways to get his teammates involved. In Atlanta’s last six games, the 20-year-old point guard is averaging 14.7 points and 6.0 assists in 29.8 minutes per game. Also, over that span of time, Young is averaging a high number of turnovers (3.8).
At the same time, his shooting from three-point range slightly took a boost up to 30.8 percent on 4.3 attempts per game. Nevertheless, Young is still shooting a dismal 25 percent from distance and 38 percent from the field this season.
6. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Los Angeles Clippers
7. Kevin Knox, New York Knicks
8. Mikal Bridges, Phoenix Suns
9. De’Anthony Melton, Phoenix Suns
10. Marvin Bagley, Sacramento Kings