NBA Rookie Power Rankings: Familiar Names at the Top
Welcome to the sixth installment of numberFire’s Rookie Power Rankings. We now have over three months of the NBA season under our belts, so let’s take a look at the rookies who have performed the best.
As usual, we’ll be using nERD to evaluate which rookies have been playing the best for their teams throughout the season, which measures the total contribution of a player throughout the course of a season, based on efficiency. It also gives an estimate of how many games above or below .500 a team would be with that player.
Consideration for these power rankings are limited to players averaging at least 15 minutes per game, and it currently looks like a two-horse race to win Rookie of the Year honors. It'll be tough for anyone to take the award from Joel Embiid's grasp, but Malcolm Brogdon is handing in there.
Without further ado, let’s see who our top five rookies are at this point in the season.
5. Andrew Harrison
Andrew Harrison has maintained a significant role for the Memphis Grizzlies during his rookie year. Given the injuries suffered by -- and rest provided to -- Mike Conley, Harrison has started at point guard for 14 of the 40 games the Grizzlies have played, while registering 25 minutes per game overall.
He’s averaging 7 points, 3.5 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game. However, his greatest area of improvement will need to be shooting the rock with more consistency -- he's posted just a 30.6% success rate from the field.
4. Rodney McGruder
Rodney McGruder has maintained his spot in the rankings and continues to be an integral part of the Miami Heat's rotation. While getting over 25 minutes of burn per night, he's contributing 5.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.
Similar to Harrison, McGruder has also struggled with his shooting percentage from the field this year, but has faired a little better at 38.5%.
3. Pascal Siakam
Pascal Siakam is holding onto his third spot in this list, but has seen his playing time significantly decline recently. He's only played in four of the last seven games for the Toronto Raptors. When Siakam has gotten on the court during this span of time, it hasn't been for very long -- he's averaging a little over 10 minutes per contest.
While Patrick Patterson remains out with knee soreness, it's been Lucas Nogueira getting a lot of the playing time instead of Siakam over the past 10 games. These two were typically splitting the minutes at power forward earlier in the year, but that's a thing of the past.
2. Malcolm Brogdon
Brogdon has continued trending up. He's averaging 13.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 5.6 assists in 31.8 minutes over his last 10 games and has taken over the starting point guard spot for the Milwaukee Bucks.
While it's up for debate as to whether this kind of production can continue, but at this time, he appears to be the only rookie that can seriously challenge Embiid for the top spot.
1. Joel Embiid
The Philadelphia 76ers' big man continues his stranglehold of the number-one spot despite his limitation of 28 minutes per game.
Embiid has retained his hold on first place in the power rankings. While Embiid continues to play with a 28 minutes per game limitation, he’s still putting up monster numbers for the Philadelphia 76ers. Over his last eight games (average of 27.6 minutes on the court), he's 22.9 points per game while also grabbing 8.6 rebounds, along with 2.5 assists, 2.5 blocks and 1.3 steals.
His per-36 averages on the season are now sitting at 28 points, 11 rebounds and 3.5 blocks. And if he gets his way, he'll end up representing the Sixers in the All-Star game next month.
While Philly is 13-26 on the season, they've gone 6-2 over these last eight games with Embiid doing his thing on the court.