NBA Rookie of the Year ladder: Big rise from Jaime Jaquez Jr. in Week 6

The landscape of rookie performances in the NBA continues to shift. Let's rank 'em.

Jaime Jaquez Jr., Miami Heat
Jaime Jaquez Jr., Miami Heat / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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We are well over a month into the NBA season. The landscape continues to shift with each passing game, but Rookie of the Year appears to be a two-horse race. There isn't much competition for the 7-footers up top, but the 2023 rookie class is shaping up to be an impressive bunch. There are several players who have earned their flowers.

It's always difficult to determine a concrete top 10, especially when the field is this robust. From a legitimate Sixth Man of the Year contender to a few All-Defense candidates, to a bunch of classic bucket-getters, this class spans the entire spectrum of rookie impact.

We know who No. 1 and No. 2 are, in some order. But All-Rookie honors are up for grabs, and I'm fairly confident Victor Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren will not be the only All-Stars from this group when all is said and done.

NBA Rookie of the Year power rankings: Week 6

Honorable mentions: Marcus Sasser, Brandin Podziemski, Craig Porter Jr., Scoot Henderson, Toumani Camara

Guard. Keyonte George. player. . 118. Keyonte George. 10. . Jazz. 10

Keyonte George has been the full-time Jazz starting point guard since early November. He's struggling with efficiency like any rookie guard thrust into a major role, but he's flashing the shot-making that earned him the No. 15 spot on the FanSided draft board. More promising, however, is George's noticeable growth as a facilitator. Utah is asking a lot of him with mixed results, but the indicators of long-term success are strong.

9. Bilal Coulibaly. 142. . Wing. Bilal Coulibaly. 9. Wizards. player.

Bilal Coulibaly has been comfortably off the radar for the lowly Wizards, but he is playing staunch wing defense and hitting 43.5 percent of his 3s. The efficiency stands out, especially given the non-ideal nature of Washington's offensive ecosystem. His playmaking on defense (1.1 steals, 0.7 blocks) has been as good as advertised. Coulibaly is the third-youngest player in the NBA and he's already a reliable rotation piece.

8. 8. Jordan Hawkins. . player. . Pelicans. 69. Guard. Jordan Hawkins

Jordan Hawkins gets here by sheer volume. The Pelicans have leaned heavily on the rookie in the face of injuries. He even has nine starts to his name. We will see how Hawkins' role shifts now that Trey Murphy III is back, but Hawkins is launching 7.1 3s in 27.3 minutes per game and connecting at a 37.3 percent clip. He stretches defenses with confident movement shooting and plays selflessly within a team context. He doesn't offer much else, but it's hard to overstate the value of an elite shooter in the Pelicans' offense.

player. 149. . 7. Cason Wallace. Thunder. Cason Wallace. 7. Guard.

This dude is going to be so good. OKC continues to lean on Cason Wallace as the do-it-all sixth man. He's not pouring in points, but Wallace continues to hit the shots he does take with absurd efficiency (.598/.525/.846) and he's an impactful guard defender. He does the dirty work for the West's No. 2 seed.

6. . Brandon Miller. player. Wing. . Brandon Miller. Hornets. 6. 170

The Hornets quickly elevated Brandon Miller to full-time starter and the results continue to improve. He's averaging 14.4 points and 2.0 assists on .458/.380/.794 splits. The workload simply outstrips most of his counterparts in this race. The 3-point shot has translated well and he continues to hold up reasonably well on defense. There's a reason Charlotte reached for Miller at No. 2 — there's a ton of value in a 6-foot-9 wing who can dribble, pass, shoot, and guard.