It’s looking more and more like 2015 gave us a much better draft class than any of us anticipated. It’s been both top heavy with stars and loaded with deeper talents, which makes it an important season for rookie rankings!
1. Kristaps Porzingis (last ranking: 3) — After hitting the rookie wall, Porzingod has returned to his throne. He’s scored 12+ points in nine consecutive games now, four of which have been double-doubles. Even more notably, ‘Staps dropped 28 and 26 points on the Spurs and Celtics respectively this month. Let’s hope his recent foot injury is nothing.
2. Karl-Anthony Towns (last ranking: 1) — Nothing wrong with the way KAT’s been playing, Porzingis has just been great this month. Towns has shown awesome consistency (15.5 PPG, 9.5 RPG on the season) for a rookie, but also has the potential to go off on any given night. It’ll be a fun race between these two guys for ROY.
3. Jahlil Okafor (last ranking: 2) — Okafor is a fantastic scorer around the rim, but not being able to stretch his game out like the other two bigs in his class hurts him. Nonetheless, he’s still the leading scorer amongst all rookies, so he’s doing something right in Philly.
4. D’Angelo Russell (last ranking: 5) — Russell is a more special player than his numbers indicate. When it comes to DFS, there are some nights he’s worth a shot — he does average 11.9 points, 3.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds, and his numbers are going up. But his potential for the future is what I really like.
5. Justise Winslow (last ranking: 4) — Frankly, Winslow is a horrible fantasy option. But when it comes to winning basketball games, Justise is really helping the Heat. He’s their lockdown perimeter defender (which takes a huge load off Wade), and can occasionally fall into a nice offensive game.
6. Devin Booker (last ranking: N/A) — Booker has been forced into a big role with all the injuries in Phoenix. His team isn’t playing very well, but Booker has been impressive since getting his opportunity. Booker’s averaging over 30 minutes and nearly 15 points during January.
7. Nikola Jokic (last ranking: 6) — This dude just keeps playing well. Jokic is actually sixth amongst rookies when it comes to scoring (8.7 PPG) and rebounds the ball well (5.5 RPG). He’s a good defender and actually can step out and shoot the 3 as well.
8. Frank Kaminsky (last ranking: 10) — Kaminsky is making the most of his minutes in Charlotte and really developing. After a lackluster start to the season, Frank the Tank is averaging 10 points over the last two months. He also improved his rebounding to 5.6 per game in January after averaging 4.6 during December.
9. Myles Turner (last ranking: N/A) — Turner was sidelined for over a month, but since returning in late December he’s been on another level. He needed no readjustment. When Myles gets the minutes, he plays very well. Turner showed what he can really do in Denver on Sunday when he shot 11-for-13 from the field in 29 minutes, good for 25 points, seven boards, two assists and two blocks. Not to say he’s as good as the top names on this list, but he has that kind of potential.
10. Larry Nance Jr. (last ranking: N/A) — Nance has been getting a lot of minutes over Julius Randle — not the most popular decision. However, Nance is proving that he’s earned them. He’s been nicked up lately, but Nance (like his father) can jump through the roof when he’s healthy. When he plays over 25 minutes he has double-double potential.
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