NBA Rookie Power Rankings: Luka Doncic continues All-Star play; Trae Young, Kevin Huerter lead surprising Hawks

It's always fun to watch things start to come together for NBA rookies. Often you hear players and coaches talk about the game "slowing down" as the season goes on, and sometimes you can pinpoint the precise stretch of games where a player looks like he's starting to figure things out.

For Luka Doncic, who tops this week's rankings yet again, the NBA game never seemed very fast. He pretty much has Rookie of the Year locked up, and now his sights are set on next month's All-Star Game. Right now he's one of the leading vote-getters, but even if that alone doesn't get him in, he'll have a strong case for selection from media, players and coaches.

For others, like young Hawks guards Trae Young and Kevin Huerter, it's been a much more gradual process. So when you see a week like Young and Huerter had, leading Atlanta to two huge wins over the Philadelphia 76ers and Oklahoma City Thunder, it's hard not to take notice. Both players had perhaps their best weeks yet as pros, and it translated directly to wins.

It's not easy for 19- and 20-year-olds to be asked to take control of an NBA offense, and it looks like Young and Huerter may be turning the corner. Here are this week's NBA Rookie Power Rankings.

This week's NBA Rookie Power Rankings
1
Luka Doncic Dallas Mavericks SF

Last week: 1
Stats this week: 26.7 points, 8.3 assists, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals

Doncic is taking his rookie supremacy to new levels, posting 25 or more points in each of the Mavericks' three games this week (five straight dating back to last week). You might think this means that Doncic is looking for his own shot more than usual, but his assist numbers have actually risen with his point totals. He tied a career high with 12 assists in a win over the Timberwolves while scoring 29 points, including a cold-blooded dagger 3-pointer with 23 seconds left to give the Mavs a two-point lead.
He's got the numbers. He's got the clutch moments. He's got the respect. It will be very interesting to see if the 19-year-old, back in action on Saturday against the Pacers (7 p.m. ET -- watch on fuboTV with the NBA League Pass extension), can earn an All-Star selection in his first NBA season.
2
Trae Young Atlanta Hawks PG

Last week: 2
Stats this week: 22.7 points, 6.7 assists, 6.7 rebounds

Don't look now, but the Atlanta Hawks might be ... decent? They managed to win two of three brutal matchups this week against the 76ers, Bucks and Thunder, and Young was a huge reason why. The diminutive point guard shot 44 percent from the field this week, including 36 percent from the 3-point line (actually, well beyond it). His turnovers were high, but Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said he's willing to live with those, given Young's tremendous usage rate (26.1, second only to Doncic). More encouraging for the Hawks is that Young has averaged 7.8 3-point attempts over his past four games, after averaging just 3.2 per game over his previous 10 -- a sign that whatever confidence issues may have arisen from his prolonged shooting slump could be behind him.
3
Deandre Ayton Phoenix Suns C

Last week: 4
Stats this week: 17.0 points, 12.7 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 1.0 steals

Ayton was a monster on the glass in three games this week, notching two more double-doubles to add to his impressive total for the season. He beat up the Toronto Raptors inside on Thursday to the tune of 15 points and 17 rebounds, shooting 6-of-8 from the field in a game the Suns lost at the buzzer on the road. The Suns also have to be impressed with Ayton's shot-blocking of late -- he tallied six in three games this week and now has at least one block in each of the last seven games. Ayton is slowly taking steps toward becoming a two-way force in the middle.
4
Kevin Huerter Atlanta Hawks SG

Last week: 10
Stats this week: 19.0 points, 3.3 assists, 2.7 rebounds, 1.0 steals

As impressive as Trae Young has been, Huerter has been just as important to the Hawks' recent mini-run of success. The 6-7 sharpshooter shot a scorching 12-for-21 (57 percent) from beyond the arc in three games this week, while averaging three assists per game. As expected, Huerter has been good this season making 3s in spot-up and hand-off situations, but this week he displayed a strong ability to hit 3s off the dribble as well, utilizing Steph Curry-esque pull-ups and James Harden-esque step-backs.
Huerter is rounding out into a complete player already in his young career, and has developed into one of the Hawks' most reliable pieces.
5
Marvin Bagley III Sacramento Kings PF

Last week: Unranked
Stats this week: 13.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, 0.7 assists

Bagley has shown no ill effects after missing 11 games with a back injury. He's resumed his role off the bench for the Kings, and is putting up big-time per-minute numbers -- he nearly averaged a double-double in just 24 minutes per game this week. He's not yet shown an ability to get teammates involved, but that could come with experience. Right now Bagley knows exactly what he is -- an energy big off the bench who will get buckets and boards -- and the Kings are happy to have him back in the fold.
6
Kevin Knox New York Knicks SF

Last week: Unranked
Stats this week: 16.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.0 assists

Knox didn't play well in the team's London loss to the Wizards on Thursday, but he displayed his high ceiling in his other two games this week. He set a career-high with 31 points on 12-of-23 shooting, including 4-of-9 from deep in Sunday's loss to the 76ers. Knox also pulled down seven rebounds in that game, a sign of his activity, which sometimes comes and goes. Of course he followed that up with five points on 2-for-11 shooting in London, but that's the type of inconsistency we have to expect from Knox at this stage of his career.
7
Jaren Jackson Jr. Memphis Grizzlies PF

Last week: 5
Stats this week: 10.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 1.7 steals

The Grizzlies have struggled, but Jackson has managed to keep up his contributions on both ends. A seven-point game against the Bucks in just 21 minutes ended a double-digit scoring streak of seven games for the 6-11 rookie. The best part about Jackson is that even when his offensive production is lacking, you know what he's going to give you defensively. He blocked three shots in their loss to the Rockets on Monday, the 12th time he's blocked three or more shots already in his young career. The sky is the limit for Jackson, and his emergence could have an impact on what the Grizzlies end up doing with Marc Gasol at the trade deadline.
8
Collin Sexton Cleveland Cavaliers PG

Last week: 8
Stats this week: 14.0 points, 3.0 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 1.0 steals

You can criticize Sexton for a lot of things during his rookie campaign, but consistency is not one of them. He's scored in double figures in nine straight games and has averaged between three and four assists for the better part of the last month or so. He's had some terrible shooting nights (2-for-12 against the Pelicans last week), but he scored 17 points on 7-for-14 shooting in the Cavs' first win in nearly a month against the Lakers on Sunday. He's still not shooting as many 3-pointers as the Cavs would like, but he's hitting them at an impressive 38 percent clip.
9
Rodions Kurucs Brooklyn Nets SF

Last week: 9
Stats this week: 12.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals

Kurucs didn't shoot as well from 3 this week (2-for-7), but he continued to contribute in big minutes for a red-hot Nets squad. Here's a crazy stat, courtesy of Synergy Sports Tech: Kurucs hasn't missed a shot in isolation situations the entire year. Granted, he's only had 11 attempts, but that's still pretty impressive, and bodes well for his scoring ability beyond being a spot-up shooter.
As you can see from the video, Kurucs has a good first step for his 6-9 frame, and has the potential to exploit matchups against smaller guards as well as slow-footed big men.
10
Josh Okogie Minnesota Timberwolves SG

Last week: Unranked
Stats this week: 12.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.0 steals

The man who wants you to call him "nonstop" has been a bundle of energy while filling in for various injured Timberwolves over the past few weeks. Okogie had two of his biggest games of the year this week, scoring 15 points while hitting 4-of-6 3-pointers in a loss to the Mavs, then scoring 17 points with five rebounds the very next night. Okogie may get squeezed out of the rotation when the Wolves are fully healthy, but he's a versatile asset who will play hard and can guard multiple positions -- something every team values.

Dropped out

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Wendell Carter Jr. CHI • PF • 34
Stats this week:
PPG5.7
RPG8.0
BPG.7
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Frank Jackson NO • PG • 15
Stats this week:
PPG2.3
APG.7
RPG1.3
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Landry Shamet LAC • PG • 20
Stats this week:
PPG7.3
APG1.5
SPG.5


On the bubble

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Chandler Hutchison CHI • SF • 15
Stats this week:
PPG10.3
RPG5.8
SPG1.3
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Jalen Brunson DAL • PG • 13
Stats this week:
PPG9.0
APG2.0
RPG1.7
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Mikal Bridges PHO • SF • 25
Stats this week:
PPG9.0
RPG5.0
APG2.3
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