These rookies must be getting pretty tired of looking up and seeing Luka Doncic every week, but this time around he got a pretty strong run for his money from Suns big man Deandre Ayton. It's a sign that Doncic, who was the runaway leader in last week's Rookie of the Year Rankings, might eventually receive a challenger, after all.

Speaking of improvement, Hawks rookie Trae Young started to look like the Player of the Year candidate he was at Oklahoma last season, breaking out of his prolonged slump this week in a big way. Meanwhile, Rookie Rankings mainstay Shai Gilgeous-Alexander fell out of the rankings, paving the way for Hornets guard Devonte' Graham to enter for the first time this season.

Here are the first NBA Rookie Power Rankings of 2019:

This Week's NBA Rookie Rankings
Luka Doncic Dallas Mavericks SF

Last ranking: 1
Stats this week: 23.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists

Can we keep calling them signature moments if they happen every week? Doncic had yet another jaw-dropping performance in the clutch, this time against Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans. The Mavs ended up losing, but Doncic set career-highs in points (34) and 3-pointers made (seven) in a brilliant game. That set up another strong week from Doncic, who shot 49 percent from the field and 50 percent from the 3-point line as Dallas went 2-2. He had some turnover problems (4.3 per game), but that's really the only complaint about the youngster this week.
Deandre Ayton Phoenix Suns C

Last ranking: 2
Stats this week: 23.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 2.3 steals, 1.3 assists

Ayton had a great week despite four losses for the Suns, including a career-high 33 points on 16-for-20 shooting to go along with 14 rebounds in a close loss to the Western Conference-leading Denver Nuggets. With his massive game, Ayton became the first rookie in NBA history to post those numbers while shooting at least 80 percent on 20 or more field goal attempts. The 20-year-old has been phenomenal in the post this season, and recently he's been incredibly decisive and confident, even on his jumper.
The fact that Ayton can shoot such a high overall field goal percentage while taking a decent amount of jumpers is pretty impressive.
Trae Young Atlanta Hawks PG

Last ranking: 4
Stats this week: 14.5 points, 9.0 assists, 1.3 steals

It's been a long time since Young put up a strong shooting week, so it must have felt great to break out of his slump in a 2-2 week for the Hawks, who are back in action on Friday against the Bucks (8:30 p.m. ET -- watch on fuboTV with the NBA League Pass extension). Young shot 51 percent from the field and went 8-of-15 from the 3-point line (53 percent), while racking up an impressive assist total to lead all rookies. The good news about Young's 3-pointers is that nearly all of them came off the dribble, an area where he's struggled tremendously so far this season.
If Young starts making shots like these consistently, it'll put him well on his way toward his incredibly high ceiling.
Jaren Jackson Jr. Memphis Grizzlies PF

Last ranking: 5
Stats this week: 15.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 0.7 steals

Jackson continues to be inconsistent as the Grizzlies continue to struggle. He followed up a four-point, two-rebound performance in a loss to the Rockets with 26 points and 10 rebounds against the Pistons -- just the second double-digit rebound game of his career. Jackson also went three straight games without blocking a shot for the first time in his career this week, all Memphis losses, but that could be chalked up to the fact that he played limited minutes against both the Celtics and Rockets.
Wendell Carter Jr. Chicago Bulls PF

Last ranking: Unranked
Stats this week: 11.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.0 blocks

Just as it looked like Carter was starting to find his stride and get back to the way he was playing to start the season, Jim Boylen reared his disciplinarian head. After back-to-back double-doubles to start the week against the Wizards and Raptors, Carter played just 13 minutes in a 28-point loss to Orlando on Wednesday. With the Bulls obviously out of contention, you'd think that would be the time to get their young players significant minutes. Apparently Boylen saw it differently. For what it's worth, Carter himself said he agreed with Boylen's decision.
"I never want to look at anything in a negative light,'' Carter said. "There was no negativity in him having me watch most of the game. I definitely feel where he was coming from. ... No matter how I'm learning the game, I always try to find ways to find things that are positive about every single thing."
Kevin Knox New York Knicks SF

Last ranking: 3
Stats this week: 15.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists

The Knicks are reaching new levels of futility, and Knox is one of the lone bright spots for New York fans. He averaged a rookie-high 40 minutes in two games this week, and shot 46 percent from the 3-point line. Knox has been a good spot-up shooter this season, but his percentages dip in other situations, so it's safe to assume that he's handling a slightly larger workload than he probably should at this juncture of his career. We'll see if that ends up being a boon or a detriment.
Kevin Huerter Atlanta Hawks SG

Last ranking: 6
Stats this week: 12.8 points, 3.5 assists, 2.5 rebounds

Huerter has developed into one of the league's most consistent rookies this season while earning huge minutes on a Hawks team that actually picked up a couple of wins this week. He's averaged 1.116 points per possession on jump shots, according to Synergy Sports Tech, which ranks among the league's best. While his teammate Trae Young is shooting off the dribble, Huerter makes the majority of his shots the more traditional way -- through spot-ups or dribble hand-offs. The shooting ability of a Young-Huerter backcourt has to be getting Atlanta fans excited despite all the losing.
Collin Sexton Cleveland Cavaliers PG

Last ranking: 10
Stats this week: 12.7 points, 4.3 assists, 3.0 rebounds

As Sexton continues to collect inefficient shooting games (32.5 percent from the field in three games this week), he does seem to be getting his teammates more involved by increasing his assist totals. He tied a career high with six assists against the Hawks, and has now dished out three or more in seven straight games. Sexton definitely isn't as polished as some of the other rookies on this list, but he'll have plenty of opportunity to grow as the Cavs' starting point guard.
Mikal Bridges Phoenix Suns SF

Last ranking: 8
Stats this week: 9.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists

Bridges has become an important part of the Suns lineup, particularly since the departure of Trevor Ariza. He finished the week with two poor shooting games against the Warriors and 76ers, but the great thing about Bridges is that he can affect the game with his defense, even if his shot isn't falling. He notched two steals and two blocks in less than 30 minutes against the Thunder last Friday.
Devonte' Graham Charlotte Hornets PG

Last ranking: Unranked
Stats this week: 7.8 points, 2.8 assists, 2.0 rebounds

Welcome to the rankings, Devonte'. After playing sparingly for the first 30-plus games of his career, Graham suddenly became a big part of the rotation over the Hornets' last three games, and he scored in double figures in each one. In fact, if you discount last Friday's game in which he only played five minutes, Graham is averaging 10.3 points, 3.7 assists and 2.7 rebounds while shooting 39 percent 3-pointers for the week. With Jeremy Lamb possibly set to miss more time with a hamstring injury, Graham could get a chance to further impress the Hornets brass.

Dropped out

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
OKC • PG • 2
Stats this week:
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Landry Shamet
PHO • PG • 14
Stats this week:
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