NBA

Rookie Report: Week Three

Troy Pierce| November 6th, 2019

The last edition of the Rookie Report feels ages ago. The regular season had not started yet, and everyone had a pretty good idea as to which rookie would be crowned 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year – Zion Williamson.

Well, things change, and quickly. Williamson is set to miss, give-or-take, the first 20 games of the New Orleans Pelicans’ schedule. Zion’s injury has cleared the way for many other hopefuls to be named the best rookie from the 2019 rookie class.

Here are the rookie power rankings heading into weeks three and four of the NBA season:

Kendrick Nunn, Miami Heat

Season Averages (per game): 19.5 points, 2.2 rebounds, three assists; 48% FG, 44% 3PT, 100% FT

Nunn has been the steal of the draft thus far. The undrafted rookie showed enough promise to win the starting point guard job for the Heat. Not only has he taken the torch from veteran Goran Dragic, he’s run away with it.

With two 25-points games under his belt, Nunn has been the driving force behind the early success that Miami has experienced.

R.J. Barrett, New York Knicks

Season Averages (per game): 18.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists; 43% FG, 35% 3PT, 47% FT

Can R.J. Barrett save the Knicks? That’s the big question coming from skeptics around the basketball world. I believe he can.

The Maple Mamba has been scoring with relative ease to start his professional career. Unfortunately for the Knicks, Barrett’s scoring has yet to translate to the win column.

Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies

Season Averages (per game): 19.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists; 53% FG, 50% 3PT, 74% FT

The rookie point guard has already begun to live up to the Swiss Army Knife reputation he garnered at Murray State. His all-around impact on the game has drawn comparisons to 2016-17 NBA MVP winner Russell Westbrook.

An early glimpse into Morant’s potential came in the Grizzlies lone win on the season. The rookie put up 30 points and a career-high nine assists leading his team to the win over the Brooklyn Nets.

P.J. Washington, Charlotte Hornets

Season Averages (per game): 15 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists; 55% FG, 50% 3PT, 61% FT

Washington has helped bring the youthful energy the Hornets were looking for once Kemba Walker left in free agency.

The rookie out of Kentucky dazzled in the season opener with seven three-pointers en route to a 27 point performance against the Chicago Bulls.

Eric Paschall, Golden State Warriors

Season Averages (per game): 16.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists; 60% FG, 28% 3PT, 86% FT

The late second-round pick has been pretty much the only bright spot for the Warriors thus far. The team is battling injuries to their three most important players, and their newest all-star, D’Angelo Russell, has failed to acclimate himself to his new team.

The power forward from Villanova posted a career-high 34 points and 13 rebounds in just his third career start, helping the Warriors to their second win on the season.

Tyler Herro, Miami Heat

Season Averages (per game): 15.7 points, six rebounds, 2.8 assists; 43% FG, 36% 3PT, 81% FT

Tyler Herro has the distinction of being the only rookie on this list to have a scoring performance that would make James Harden proud.

After starting in each of Miami’s first three games, Herro’s first performance off the bench was a memorable one. The 13th pick scored 29 points while making seven of nine shots from the field, including three three-pointers. The rookie shooting guard would continue his hot shooting from the free-throw line as well, going 12-of-16 from the stripe.

Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards

Season Averages (per game): 14.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists; 47% FG, 26% 3PT, 100% FT

Hachimura’s NBA debut was met with much anticipation following an impressive Summer League. The rookie would post the first double-double of his career in the season opener, notching 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Brandon Clarke, Memphis Grizzlies

Season Averages (per game): 10.2 points, 6.2 rebounds; 55% FG, 28% 3PT, 83% FT

The rookie power forward has been a steady contributor on the scoreboard and on the backboard to start his career. Grabbing at least seven rebounds in three of his first five games, and with at least one offensive rebound in each game, the rookie is proving to be apart of the next wave of great glass cleaners.

So far, Clarke’s best performance has been a 16 point outing with a career-high 11 rebounds, four of which came on the offensive glass. He would also have three steals and two blocks.

Coby White, Chicago Bulls

Season Averages (per game): 10.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists; 36% FG, 26% 3PT, 72% FT

The rookie point guard opened the season with 17 points in his debut and came back two nights later with a 25-point performance in the Bulls’ first win of the season.

Since then, White has not seen his point totals hit double digits and has struggled to shoot the ball. In the Bulls loss to the Indiana Pacers, Coby White failed to make a single basket from the floor. His lone point came from the free-throw line.

Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors

Season Averages (per game): 10.6 points, 1.9 rebounds, two assists; 26% FG, 32% 3PT, 100% FT

The 28th pick in this past draft has largely struggled to shoot the ball despite averaging almost 11 points per game.

In seven outings the rookie has scored only three times in the double digits. He has also shot 25% or lower from the floor in four out of six contests. His saving grace on offense has been his ability to make free throws; the rookie is shooting 100% on the season through seven contests.

Past Rookie Reports

2019-20 NBA Summer League

2019-20 Regular Season: Week One

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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images

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