Each week, FanSided will be ranking the NBA rookies based on the performance so far this season.
Philadelphia 76ers’ point guard Michael Carter-Williams returned to the court and reclaimed the top spot.
1. Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Philadelphia 76ers
Carter-Williams made his return to the lineup and picked up right where he left off. Carter-Williams had 15 points, 10 assists, three rebounds and three steals in a 121-120 victory over the Brooklyn Nets Friday, then had 19 points, 12 assists and three rebounds in a 116-106 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks Saturday night. The 11th overall pick of the draft is now averaging 17.6 points, 7.8 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game.
2. Trey Burke, PG, Utah Jazz
Burke had the best game of his young career in an 86-82 victory over the Orlando Magic Wednesday. The former Michigan Wolverine scored 30 points on 12-of-20 shooting, dished out eight assists and grabbed seven rebounds. Burke also had a 20-point game in an 88-85 win over the Charlotte Bobcats Friday. Of course, Burke had a couple of stinkers as well. In a 117-94 loss to the Miami Heat Monday and in a 118-85 loss to the Atlanta Hawks Friday, Burke had six total points on two-of-16 shooting. Burke is averaging 13.2 points, 4.9 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game. That’s enough to push Burke into the second spot.
3. Victor Oladipo, G, Orlando Magic
Oladipo falls a spot, not necessarily because of anything he did wrong, but because of how well Burke has played. After scoring 26 points in a 109-100 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 13, Oladipo has been up-and-down. He scored 15 points in a 101-98 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder Sunday night, but had just 11 total points on 4-of-24 shooting in an 83-82 win over the Chicago Bulls Monday and in an 86-82 loss to the Utah Jazz Wednesday. He bounced back, scoring 12 points in a 105-100 loss to the Sacramento Kings Saturday night.
4. Ben McLemore, SG, Sacramento Kings
McLemore’s week was highlighted by a 20-point performance (on eight-of-13 shooting) in a 122-103 loss to the Miami Heat on Friday. McLemore performed well on Wednesday as well, scoring 10 points on five-of-six shooting and grabbing five rebounds in a 124-107 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. However, like most rookies, McLemore was not without his struggles. In three others games this week, he scored a total of 20 points on just six-of-17 shooting. For the season, McLemore is averaging 9.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.
5. Tim Hardaway, Jr., SG, New York Knicks
With injuries hitting the Knicks hard, Hardaway has played a much bigger role as of late. He scored 14 points in a 102-101 loss to the Atlanta Hawks Monday, eight in a 107-101 win over the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday and 16 in a 95-87 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies Saturday. Perhaps the most important number for Hardaways’ development is 24.7, the minutes per game he averaged this week. On the season, the 24th overall pick of the draft is averaging 8.4 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game.
In: Tim Hardaway, Jr.
Out: Nate Wolters