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Top 10 NBA Rookie Leaders – December 2021 Rankings

Ranking the future of the league in our NBA Rookie Ladder such as Jalen Suggs, Evan Mobley, Cade Cunningham, and more as Scottie Barnes moves up the rankings this month


By fan rankings | December 20, 2021

The new faces of the NBA are slowly emerging around the hardwood as the 2021-22 NBA Draft class continues to solidify their status among the best basketball players around the World. The 2021-22 NBA Draft class was loaded with young talented stars who have the talent to become the next wave of great talent for the NBA. 


At the top of that NBA Rookie of the Year list was the number one overall pick by the Detroit Pistons Cade Cunningham out of Oklahoma State while other top draft picks included the likes of Jalen Green out of the G League Ignite roster, Evan Mobley from USC, Scottie Barnes from Florida State and Jalen Suggs out of Gonzaga. While these were just a few of the top stars drafted, the NBA has seen a ton of production from the 2021-22 NBA Draft class.


With that said, here is our list of the Top 10 NBA Rookies

Honorable Mention

Bones Hyland

Team: Denver Nuggets 

The 26th overall pick out of Virginia Commonwealth is putting together a solid rookie campaign for Denver Nuggets to start the season. Hyland enters the second full week of December as one of the top rookies to enter the league and a promising young star at the point guard position. 

On the year, Hyland is averaging 8.3 points a game to go along with 1.7 rebound and 1.7 assists per contest. After a slow start, Hyland has seen his production increase in December as he has averaged 10 points per game over the first three games of the month. 

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

Team: Oklahoma City Thunder

The second round draft pick out of Villanova has been a bright spot for the Oklahoma City Thunder this year as he has shown his potential and his ability to play at the NBA level. 

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is averaging seven points a game to go along with 5.8 rebounds per contests as well as .8 assists. The Thunder rookie is ranked 13th among all rookies in points per game and fifth among all rookies averaging 5.8 rebounds to start the season. 

Top 10 NBA Rookies

10. Alperen Sengun

Team: Houston Rockets

Alperen Sengun continues to put together a solid 2021 campaign for the Houston Rockets as he averaged nine points a game to go along with 4.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists. 

Sengun, who was selected out of Turkey, has the size at 6’10’’ and overall athletic abilities to emerge as a solid young center in the NBA. Sengun currently ranks 7th among rookies in assists, sixth in rebounds and 10th in points per game among all rookies.

9. Davion Mitchell

Team: Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings rookie point guard continues to see his production increase since the start of the 2021-22 NBA Season. Mitchell who averaged just 7.7 points in the month of October and 9.4 points in November has averaged 12.8 points per game to go along with two rebounds and 3.6 assists in the Kings five games during December. 

On the year Mitchell ranks 9th in scoring averaging 9.6 points per game while also ranking 15th in rebounds with 2.5 per game and fourth in assists with 3.5 per contests.

8. Chris Duarte

Team: Indiana Pacers

As the Indiana Pacers continue to sort through their roster while deciding whether or not to be sellers, Chris Duarte has slowly emerged as a fresh face of the future for the roster who has the potential to add more draft capital over the coming weeks to build for the future. Duarte, who the team drafted with the 13th overall pick out of Oregon is averaging 13.3 points a game to go along with four rebounds and 2.1 assists per contest. 

Over the team’s last three games, Duarte has averaged 14.7 points a game to go along with four rebounds and three assists per game while the team has won all three contests. 

7. Jalen Suggs

Team: Orlando Magic

The 5th overall pick is slowly finding his place among the Orlando Magic roster after putting together a brilliant college career at Gonzaga. Suggs is averaging 12.3 points a game this season to go along with 3.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists to start the season. 

However, Suggs has been out since November 29th with a thumb injury. That said, it doesn’t take away his success on the floor for a Magic team that lacks a ton of talent. Prior to his injury, Suggs had averaged 14.5 points over the last four games including a 17 point, five assist and three rebound performance against the Philadelphia 76ers.

6. Josh Giddey

Team: Oklahoma City Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder are loaded with young talent after positioning themselves to rebuild for the future. One of those young stars is Josh Giddey who the team drafted with the team’s sixth overall pick. 

Giddey currently leads all rookies in assists per game with 5.8 per contests, ranks 3rd in rebounds with 6.7 per contest and ranks 8th in points per game with 10.4 per contests.  On the year Giddey has posted three double doubles while posting a career high 19 points to go along with seven rebounds and eight assists back in late November.

5. Jalen Green

Team: Houston Rockets

Coming in at number five on the Top 10 NBA Rookies is the Houston Rockets first round pick Jalen Green. Much like Suggs, Green has been out since late November but that doesn’t take away from his early season success including averaging 14 points a game to go along with 3.1 assists and 2.3 rebounds. 

Green is currently ranked 4th in points per game among all rookies while also ranking 11th in rebounds per game and 9th in assists per game this season.

4. Evan Mobley

Team: Cleveland Cavaliers

Depending on how you are judging the 2021 NBA Rookie class, Evan Mobley might be regarded as the top player to date based on his production on the floor and the contribution he has made to his Cleveland Cavaliers team. 

Mobley has been a key role player for a Cleveland Cavaliers team that sits at 16-12 on the year and in the top five teams in the Eastern Conference. Mobley is averaging 14 points a game to go along with 8.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. All three statistics rank within the top 100 among all active players in the NBA. 

3. Franz Wagner

Team: Orlando Magic

At number three is the Orlando Magic rookie Franz Wagner who currently sits at 3rd among all rookies in scoring averaging 14.3 points a game to start the 2021-22 NBA schedule. In addition Wagner ranks 7th in rebounds with 4.4 per game and 6th in assists with 2.8 per game. 

Wagner has increased his production in December averaging 17.7 points per game to go along with 4.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists over his team’s six contests. His recent play has helped him emerge as one of the front runners to win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.

2. Scottie Barnes

Team: Toronto Raptors 

The number one and number two Top 10 NBA Rookies Scottie Barnes and Cade Cunningham could be flipped flopped based on how you view their production. Nonetheless, Barnes has had a great rookie season helping him land at number two on the list. 

Barnes currently ranks 2nd in points per game among all rookies while averaging 15.8 points per contests, 2nd in rebounds per game with 8.3 per game while also averaging 3.3 assists and 1.2 steals per contests. 

1. Cade Cunningham

Team: Detroit Pistons

After injuries slowed down the start of the 2021-22 NBA season for Cade Cunningham, the Detroit Pistons number one overall pick has put together a strong run since returning to the roster. Cunningham entered play on December 13th, 2021 averaging 15.8 points a game to go along with 6.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists. 

Much of that production was skewed as he played back into the Pistons lineup after missing time. In December, Cunningham is averaging 22 points a game to go along with 5.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists in five games. It is hard to not look at his recent production and not consider him the best rookie in the NBA through December 12th

So who do you have as your leading candidate for Rookie of the Year in the 2021-2022 NBA Season? Rank below to be added in the Power Rankings and to have a chance to win a gift card to LAZADA, Amazon,, or more that is specific to you. Join the contest by ranking below.

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