While Joel Embiid continues to impress and looks like the long standout among all of the rookies this season, this class -- possibly bereft of future superstars -- has several guys who will likely be excellent role players throughout their careers.
Take the Thunder's Domantas Sabonis for example. He's already starting for Oklahoma City, a role he could maintain for the next several years. There is also Denver's Jamal Murray, an excellent shooter who could evolve into a credible bench scorer or starting two-guard. We should also point out Bucks' reserve guard Malcolm Brogdon, who has been very steady running Milwaukee's second unit.
So while this year's rookie class has not been overall impressive as of yet, there are several players who are off to promising starts to their young careers.
This week's rankings:
After yet another stellar week by Joel Embiid, it is beginning to look like the Sixers rookie will maintain his No. 1 ranking for the foreseeable future. Embiid leads all rookies in scoring (18.4), rebounding (7.3) and blocked shots (2.3), and scored a career-high 26 points against the Suns on Sunday. Perhaps even more impressive, thanks to Embiid's stellar production, the Sixers have won two straight games for the first time since March 2015 and have snapped an all-time streak of 108 straight games without back-to-back wins.
Like Embiid, Dario Saric continues to excel in his role with the Sixers. He recorded a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds in the Sixers' 109-102 victory over the Wizards on Wednesday and has now scored in double figures in five of Philadelphia's last six games. Saric is second among all rookies in rebounds (6.2) and second in scoring (9.9).
Brandon Ingram has yet to have a marquee scoring performance so far this season and has scored in double figures in just three of the Lakers' 14 games. However, while scoring may not be Ingram's forte as of yet, the Lakers rookie is doing everything else, especially on the defensive end where Ingram is showing promise. Ingram is also a key component of the Lakers' second unit, which is one of the better benches in the league. The No. 2 overall pick is averaging 6.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists so far this season.
The Hawks rookie guard moves up the ranks this week due to several of his fellow rookies' inconsistencies. Malcolm Delaney, on the other hand, has been very steady, continuing to be a consistent player for Atlanta. Delaney's experience overseas and being an older rookie (27 years old) likely contributes to his rookie success. He had a nice eight-assist game in 17 minutes against the Hornets on Friday and leads all rookies in assists, averaging 3.8 a game.
In the last week, Domantis Sabonis hasn't been connecting from 3-point range but he's still been scoring and rebounding for the Thunder. Sabonis had a nice performance in a 115-111 loss to the Pacers on Sunday, scoring seven points and grabbing six boards. He also is maintaining his solid shooting stats, 43.2 percent and 39.0 percent from three. Averaging 7.1 points and 3.4 rebounds, Sabonis is seventh among all rookies in scoring and rebounding.
It took Jamal Murray a few weeks but he has finally found his shooting stroke and has been providing a nice scoring boost for the Nuggets. As Gary Harris remains out with an injury, Murray has emerged as yet another young scoring threat for Denver. Murray put together an excellent 18-point, 4-assist game in Denver's 105-91 thrashing of the Utah Jazz on Sunday. He is sixth among all rookies in scoring (7.8) and is 10th in three-point percentage (39.6 percent).
Malcolm Brogdon had a goose egg of a game in a 96-73 loss to the Heat on Thursday, which is the reason for his dropping a few spots. He bounced back in Milwaukee's next two games, doing a little bit of everything from scoring, assisting and rebounding. Among all rookies, Brogdon is sixth in steals, eighth in scoring and assists.
Jaylen Brown's inconsistencies continue and his minutes have been slowly decreasing. This is somewhat surprising since Brown played fairly well in Boston's blowout loss to the Warriors on Friday, scoring 11 points on 44.4 percent shooting in 23 minutes. Brown could find his way out of the rankings if his role in Boston becomes diminished.
Willy Hernangomez has shown some mettle and also provided some toughness for the Knicks off the bench. His minutes have fluctuated yet when given a larger role, he has delivered. Like against the Hawks on Sunday, Hernangomez got into it with Dwight Howard and finished with seven points and eight rebounds in 29 minutes. Hernangomez is fifth among all rookies in rebounds, averaging 3.9 boards a game.
Kris Dunn slides down one spot but is barely hanging on after a pretty brutal stretch in the last week. He failed to score, recorded just one assist and fouled out in under 18 minutes against the Grizzlies on Saturday. Dunn then followed that up by playing less than 10 minutes and not making much of an impact in a lost to the Celtics on Monday. He has been very inconsistent to say the least but Dunn is still second among all rookies in assists, averaging 3.2 a game. That's enough to keep him in the rankings for now.