Each week, FanSided will be ranking the NBA rookies based on their performance so far this season.
Philadelphia 76ers point guard Michael Carter-Williams remains in the top spot while Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo leaps Utah Jazz point guard Trey Burke after posting a career-high 35 points Wednesday night. Milwaukee Bucks’ guard Giannis Antetokounmpo jumps New York Knicks’ guard Tim Hardaway, Jr. and takes over the fourth spot.
1. Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Philadelphia 76ers
It was tempting to move Oladipo into this spot, especially after Carter-Williams struggled in his last two games, but based on his entire body of work, Carter-Williams is still a decided favorite to win Rookie of the Year. On Wednesday night, Carter-Williams scored 20 points on eight-of-15 shooting, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out seven assists. Plus, he found Thaddeus Young for the game-winning three-pointer with three seconds left in a 95-92 win over the Charlotte Bobcats. In a 101-86 loss to the Miami Heat Friday, Carter-Williams was held to just seven points on one-of-seven shooting, had just two assists, one rebound and committed five fouls in just 24 minutes. A day later, Carter-Williams scored 10 points on five-of-22 shooting with five assists and five rebounds. Still, on the season, the former Syracuse Orange floor general is averaging 17.3 points, 6.8 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game.
Oladipo climbs back to the second spot after he scored 35 points, dished out eight assists, grabbed four rebounds, recorded three steals and blocked a shot while shooting 15-of-24 from the field in a 128-125 triple overtime loss to the Chicago Bulls Wednesday night. Perhaps his most impressive number? He played 57 minutes. Two days earlier, he had 11 points on four-of-11 shooting with three rebounds and two assists in a 107-88 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. On Friday night, in a 111-101 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats, he had 11 points, 10 assists, five rebounds, two blocks and a steal. On Sunday evening, the Magic defeated the Boston Celtics 93-91. Oladipo had nine points on just two-of-eight shooting, grabbed six rebounds, dished out two assists, had two steals and blocked two shots. He’s now averaging 13.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game.
3. Trey Burke, PG, Utah Jazz
Burke had an outstanding first three games of the week before struggling in a 98-72 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves Saturday. He had nine points on two-of-10 shooting with three rebounds and two assists. Back on Monday, in a 118-103 upset victory over the Denver Nuggets, Burke had 18 points on six-of-12 shooting and dished out eight assists. Two days later, Burke shot just seven-of-19 from the field, but had 17 points and 11 assists as the Jazz nearly completed a huge rally, falling just short, losing 109-105 to the San Antonio Spurs. On Friday, the Jazz got back into the win column by defeating the Detroit Pistons 110-89. Burke had 20 points on eight-of-17 shooting to go with 12 assists. On the season, the former Michigan Wolverine is averaging 13.9 points, 5.8 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game.
4.Giannis Antetokounmpo, G, Milwaukee Bucks
Antetokounmpo has become a fan favorite – and with good reason. The 15th overall pick of the draft out of Greece had an excellent week, despite four more losses for the Bucks. In a 116-94 loss to the Toronto Raptors, Antetokounmpo scored 11 points, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out four assists, had two steals and blocked a shot. On Wednesday, during an 82-77 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, he had six points in just 22 minutes. Antetokounmpo got back on the right track in a 114-104 loss to the Houston Rockets Saturday night. He was more aggressive, scoring 10 points on 10 shots with four rebounds and three assists. Despite the inefficient shooting night, it’s good to see Antetokounmpo gaining confidence and shooting more. The Bucks were blown out again 110-82 by the San Antonio Spurs Sunday. Antetokounmpo was aggressive again – he had 11 points on four-of-10 shooting and grabbed four rebounds. He’s averaging 6.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.8 blocks and 0.7 steals per game.
5. Tim Hardaway, Jr., SG, New York Knicks
It is tough for Hardaway to get into a groove – he never knows how much playing time he is going to get, especially with J.R. Smith’s situation. In a 98-96 victory over the Phoenix Suns Monday, he played just 15 minutes and scored only five points on one shot. A day later, he had 12 points in 27 minutes in a 108-98 loss to the Bobcats. In a 117-89 blowout loss to the Indiana Pacers Thursday, he had just four points on two-of-10 shooting in 21 minutes. He scored six points in only 11 minutes in a 109-95 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers Friday. On the season, he’s averaging 8.2 points and 1.3 rebounds per game.