Top 10 NBA Rookie Leaders - March 2022 Rankings
Ranking the future of the league in our NBA Rookie Ladder with players such as Jalen Suggs, Scottie Barnes, Cade Cunningham, and more as Brandon Williams debuts in the rankings this month
The future of the NBA has arrived as the 2021 NBA Draft Class has been on full display during the 2021-2022 NBA Schedule. A group that has not disappointed despite lacking the top tier hyped up star that we have seen over the previous NBA drafts leading up to the 2021 NBA class.
However, as you look around the game this class of rookies have shown their ability to be key contributors, play makers and even potential NBA All-Stars.
Leading that charge is the Detroit Pistons star and former Top Overall NBA Draft Pick Cade Cunningham who the team selected from the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
In addition to Cunningham some of the other top stars selected during the 2021 NBA Draft includes the likes of Jalen Green to the Houston Rockets, Evan Mobley to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Scottie Barnes to the Toronto Raptors and Jalen Suggs to the Orlando Magic.
While these stars found their names, other stars such as Brandon Williams of the Portland Trailblazers have made their way to rosters after going undrafted.
While these young stars continue to make a name for themselves around the NBA, their talent, athleticism and ability to play the game of basketball has the future of the NBA looking brighter than ever. With that said, here is our list of the Top 10 NBA Rookies as of March 15th, 2022.
Team: Chicago Bulls
One name that you might not have heard of entering the season was the Ayo Dosunmu of the Chicago Bulls. Dosunmu who the team selected with the 38th overall pick during the 2nd round of the 2021 NBA Draft has been a solid player for the Bulls this season while giving the team a proven defender while helping the club move to the tops of the Eastern Conference. The Illinois Fighting Illini star is averaging 8.5 points per game to go along with 2.8 rebounds per game and 3.2 assists per game.
Team: Oklahoma City Thunder
Despite missing significant time due to a fracture metatarsal of his right foot, the former Villanova Wildcats star showcased his abilities early on while being a solid scorer and one of the top rookie rebounders on the floor.
Through 44 games this season, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is averaging 7.1 points per game to go along with 5.8 rebounds, and one assists. The future is bright for the Oklahoma City Thunder with Robinson-Earl as well as the team’s first round selection during the 2021 NBA Draft Josh Giddey delivering a potential bright future to the franchise.
Top 10 NBA Rookies
10. Davion Mitchell
Team: Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings rookie comes in at number 10 on the Top 10 NBA Rookies as of March 15th, 2022, rankings list as he continues to shine as one of the top overall rookies. Davion Mitchell who the Kings selected with the 9th overall pick during the 2021 NBA Draft is averaging 10.1 points per game to go along with 2.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. Mitchell ranks 10th among all NBA rookies in scoring and 5th in assists per game among the 2021 NBA Draft class.
9. Chris Duarte
Team: Indiana Pacers
Much like a few of the other teams on this list, the Indiana Pacers found a few key future stars during the 2021 NBA Draft with one of those potential stars being Chris Duarte. Duarte, who is ranked 7th among all rookies in scoring this season averaging 13.2 points per game has been a true bright spot for the Pacers and their fans this season.
Duarte is shooting 43.3 percent from the field this season to go along with a 36.8 percent mark from behind the three-point line. The Pacers shooting guard has also added 4.1 rebounds per game and 2.1 assists per game to his stat line in his first season with the team.
8. Brandon Williams
Team: Portland Trail Blazers
A new face to this list is the undrafted rookie Brandon Williams who joined the Portland Trail Blazers from the NBA G League after the team was in need of players has bounced back and forth before joining the team full time in February.
With Damian Lillard missing time with an injury since December 31st, 2021, the undrafted Arizona Wildcats star has filled in nicely. Over his last eight games, Williams is averaging 15.6 points per game to go along with 3.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game while shooting 41.6 percent from the field.
7. Jalen Suggs
Team: Orlando Magic
When you look at the 2021 NBA rookie class, Jalen Suggs is front and center after putting together a stellar college career. Suggs currently ranks 9th among rookies in scoring averaging 12.1 points per game and also ranks 3rd among the group averaging 4.4 assists per game. Suggs, who the team drafted with the 5th overall pick from the Gonzaga Bulldogs continues to develop into one of the game's top stars.
6. Franz Wagner
Team: Orlando Magic
Coming in at number six on the Top 10 NBA Rookies as of March 15th, 2022, rankings is the Houston Rockets young star Jalen Green. Green, who has appeared in 53 games this season has done the most he can with a limited roster that lacks the talent of the other teams around the NBA.
Green currently ranks 2nd among all NBA rookies averaging 15.6 points per game while also shooting 41.1 percent from the field and averaging a rookie high two three-point shots made per game. Green also currently ranks 8th among rookies in assists per game averaging 2.6 assists per game.
5. Jalen Green
Team: Houston Rockets
It’s hard to slot in each of these next four or five stars as each has been solid at times during the 2021-22 NBA Schedule. This includes Franz Wagner who has played as good as anyone on this list outside of the top overall player Cade Cunningham.
The former Michigan Wolverines star and the team's second top 10 selection during the 2021 NBA Draft behind Jalen Suggs, Wagner has averaged 15.2 points per game this season to go along with 4.7 rebounds and three assists per game. Green ranks 7th in assists, 11th in rebounds and 4th in scoring among all NBA rookies.
4. Evan Mobley
Team: Cleveland Cavaliers
As one of the biggest surprises in the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers continue to hold on tight to one of the top spots within the Eastern Conference and a chance to make the playoffs. One of the team’s bright spots has been the emergence of Evan Mobley who continues to shine as one of the top rookies among the entire 2021 NBA Draft class.
Mobley, who leads all rookies in rebounds averaging 8.3 rebounds per game has provided the Cavaliers with a young asset who can provide key depth. In addition to leading all rookies in rebounding, Mobley ranks 28th in all of the NBA in rebounding. Mobley has also averaged 15.1 points per game to go along with 2.6 assists this season. Mobley’s production has picked up over his last 10 games as he is averaging 16.5 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.8 blocked shots per game.
3. Scottie Barnes
Team: Toronto Raptors
After losing the likes of Kyle Lowry, the Toronto Raptors were in a desperate need to find a new star and it didn’t take long after the team was able to land Scottie Barnes with the 4th overall pick during the 2021 NBA Draft out of Florida State.
Since arriving, Barnes has been a key contributor to the Raptors roster while averaging 15.3 points per game to go along with 7.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. Barnes ranks 67th in the NBA in scoring, 38th in rebounding and 65th in assists among all players while ranking near the top in every offensive category among his fellow draft class.
2. Josh Giddey
Team: Oklahoma City Thunder
How can you not like the future of the Oklahoma City Thunder after a solid draft class that not only produced Jeremiah Robinson-Earl but also landed the team Josh Giddey. Giddey, who the team selected with the 6th overall pick during the 2021 NBA Draft is averaging 12.5 points per game to go along with 7.8 rebounds and an impressive 6.4 assists per game.
Giddey, who is not your prototypical shooting guard, has the ability to not only score but also has the ability to open up the floor for his teammates. Giddey ranks 16th among all players in the NBA in assists per game.
1. Cade Cunningham
Team: Detroit Pistons
Remaining at the top overall spot among the Top 10 NBA Rookies as of March 15th, 2022, is the number one overall draft pick Cade Cunningham. Cunningham, who the Detroit Pistons selected with their first overall pick, has lived up to the hype as the top rookie while showcasing his talent at the next level as the season has moved along. Cunningham who ranks 52nd in scoring (16.9 ppg), 58th in rebounding (5.9 rpg) and 28th in assists (5.3) has turned his abilities into overdrive over his last 10 games.
Cunningham is averaging 22.3 points per game to go along with 7.5 rebounds and six assists per game while being the face of the Pistons organization. Despite the team’s struggles, Cunningham looks to be one of the future stars of the NBA and one to dominate night in and night out.
So who do you have as your leading candidate in the KIA Rookie Ladder 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, Fanatics.com, or more that is specific to you. Join the contest by ranking below.
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