With a quarter of the 2018-19 NBA regular season completed, it is a great time to unveil our first of many NBA Rookie of the Year power rankings. This year’s rookie class is by far better than last year’s class with talent across the board.
If you do not believe me, look no further than the first three picks from this past summer’s draft. When you take a look at what DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, and Luka Doncic have all done this season and compare it what last year’s top three picks did (Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Jayson Tatum), it is a complete day and night difference.
Speaking of Doncic, he looks like he could be the NBA’s next budding superstar. The Dallas Mavericks’ rookie is playing outstanding basketball and already surpassing the expectations set for him.
Where does he rank in our inaugural power rankings along with the other rookies in the class? Let’s find out below and make sure to check back weekly to see if your team’s respective rookie has made it.
1. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks- 18.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists
The 19-year-old from Slovenia is taking the NBA by storm and becoming the top scoring option for the Mavericks. This season, Doncic has scored 20 points or more in 10 games with a 31-point performance back in October against the San Antonio Spurs.
A couple of days ago, the former EuroLeague MVP was named the Western Conference’s Rookie of the Month for October and November. Over that span of time, Doncic averaged 21.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game.
2. Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks – 15.8 points, 7.4 assists, 2.9 rebounds
It is not a coincidence that the player Doncic was traded for on draft night, comes in at second in our inaugural rookie power rankings. Young just like his draft classmate had a lot of memorable moments through the first quarter of the regular season.
One of those moments took place only three games into the season. Against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Oct. 21, Young scored a ridiculous 35 points on 13-of-23 shooting from the field and 6-of-14 shooting from three-point range. He also dished out 11 assists, giving Young his first career double-double.
Even though people might be disappointed at Young’s struggling three-point percentage (28.5). They should be impressed with his passing, which was not talked about enough during the draft process or summer league.
3. Jaren Jackson Jr. – 13.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists
This spot could have gone to Bagley, who has been a solid play in DFS, but Jackson Jr. has exploded onto the scene in recent weeks.
The 19-year-old out of Michigan State had his first 20-point game of the season against Young and the Atlanta Hawks on Oct. 19. In fact, he has had four 20-point games this season for the Grizzlies. But it goes unnoticed because Jackson plays in Memphis.
Over the last five games, JJJ is averaging 18.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks in 30 minutes per game. This includes a 36-point outing against the Brooklyn Nets, where the Grizz won in double OT.
4. Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers – 14.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists
After starting out the season slow and reportedly having some of his veteran teammates questioning his basketball acumen, Sexton is becoming a viable scoring option for the Cleveland Cavaliers and showing why he is this team’s point guard of the future.
The 6-foot-2 Sexton has shot the basketball pretty well through the first quarter of the season, shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from three-point range on a modest 1.6 attempts per game. While long-distance shooting is not his thing yet, he can to the rim with ease.
5. Marvin Bagley, Sacramento Kings – 13.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.2 blocks per game
Last but not least is the former Duke Blue Devil himself, Marvin Bagley III. It was hard to find a spot for the 6-foot-11 big man as he could have easily been as high third in our power rankings.
Nevertheless, Bagley is performing well out in Sacramento and is one of the reasons why the Kings are playing above .500 basketball. When was the last time we could say that? Maybe, the early 2000s when Sacramento had the likes of Chris Webber, Jason Williams, and Peja Stojakovic?
While Bagley might not be Webber yet, he is everything that Vlade Divac and the Kings could hope for. In his last five games, the 19-year-old is averaging 16.4 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 28.8 minutes per game.
6. DeAndre Ayton, Phoenix Suns
7. Allonzo Trier, New York Knicks
8. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Los Angeles Clippers
9. Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago Bulls
10. Landry Shamet, Philadelphia 76ers