NBA Rookie Power Rankings Week 7

Welcome back to our 7th installment of our rookie power rankings. We are starting to see some rookies separate themselves from the rest of the pack, some still working out struggles during their adjustment period to the NBA, and one rookie standing up as a serious contender for Rookie of the Year. Let’s check out who’s rising, falling and everyone in-between in this weeks edition of the Hoop Group Insider Rookie Power Rankings. First let’s take a look back at Week 6:

1. Ben Simmons – 76ers
2. Donovan Mitchell – Jazz
3. Jayson Tatum – Celtics
4. Kyle Kuzma – Lakers
5. Lauri Markkanen – Bulls
6. Dennis Smith – Mavs
7. John Collins – Hawks
8. Lonzo Ball – Lakers
9. De’Aaron Fox – Kings
10. Bogdan Bogdanovic – Kings

Week 7 Rankings

1. Ben Simmons – 76ers

While Simmons still rests safely atop the rookie power rankings, he is beginning to feel heat for the first time all season when it comes to his number one spot. This week Simmons showed off his rare ability as a passer as he is on a three game stretch in which he has dished out at least 10 assists in every contest. On Wednesday night against the Lakers he poured in a triple-double to the tune of 12 points, 12 rebounds and 15 assists. While the 76ers struggled this past week Simmons has continued on one of the more dominant rookie campaigns in NBA history.

2. Donovan Mitchell – Jazz

No rookie has been playing better than Mitchell over the last two weeks, and he is continuing to improve at a rapid pace. Over his last 5 games Mitchell is averaging 26.2 points per game on 47% from the field, 43% from 3 and 89% from the line. He is averaging 17.3 points, 3.2 assists and 3 rebounds per game over the course of his rookie season and is flashing potential perennial all-star capabilities night after night. He still trails Simmons by a considerable margin, but if Mitchell keeps up his current pace he could become a legitimate contender for the Rookie of the Year award.

3. Jayson Tatum – Celtics

His numbers, albeit solid for a rookie, are not wowing anyone, but Tatum has been the best rookie not named Simmons or Mitchell thus far this season. Maybe the most impressive part of his season thus far has been his shooting  and that has shown no signs of slowing down. He is shooting an absurd 57.4% on catch-and-shoot three point attempts, while his shooting percentages are as follows 51.2% from the field, 52.3% from 3 and 83.8% from the line. Those numbers are impressive for a veteran, let alone a rookie. Tatum will probably get a ring before anyone else on this list, and will be one of the top 3 players from this class when its all said and done.

4. Lauri Markkanen – Bulls

The Arizona product is our first person too make moves this week as he rises one spot up to number four. Markkanen had a quiet first half of the week, but had two awesome performances over the weekend against the Hornets (24 points/12 rebounds) and Knicks (15 points/8 rebounds). Lauri is averaging 14.7 points and 8.1 rebounds a game and is shooting a respectable 34% from the three point line and 84% from the line. He will need to continue to improve his defense and finishing near the rim, but he has gotten off to a pretty good start over the first couple of months of his NBA career.

5. Kyle Kuzma – Lakers

Kuzma traded spots with Markkanen this week as he fell back to number five in our power rankings. He chipped in a measly 3 points and 2 rebounds against the Sixers on Wednesday, but did bounce back with 12 points and 14 rebounds against the Hornets. He is holding steady with averages of 16 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while shooting 50% from the floor and 37% from 3. Kuzma had one of the poorer weeks of his rookie campaign, but look for him to bounce back this week starting against the Knicks on Tuesday night.

6. Dennis Smith Jr. – Mavs

Smith strained his hip last week, and will miss his third straight game tomorrow night, and could potentially miss more than that. Hopefully Smith gets healthy in short order, and gets back to providing us with more games like he did against Denver last Monday (20 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists). Smith is averaging 14.4 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists per game for the struggling Mavericks, but was looking to turn a corner over the last few weeks. As he gets healthier and becomes more consistent he will only rise up these rankings as the season moves along.

7. John Collins – Hawks

Despite missing all of this past week, and all of this week, no rookie has done enough to upend Collins from the seventh spot in our rankings. His efficiency has been a shock to casual NBA fans, but he showed consistent hints at his NBA potential during his two year stint at Wake Forest for coach Danny Manning. The Hawks have the second worst record in the Eastern Conference and will fight with the Bulls all season for the highest chance at the number one pick in the 2018 Draft. While there is not many reasons to go out of your way to watch the Hawks this season, check in at least once while Collins is healthy to see why the rookie has been a mainstay in our rankings for almost the entire season.

8. Lonzo Ball – Lakers

Ball had a decent shooting week by his standards and found a variety of ways to impact both Lakers wins during the seventh week of the NBA season. In a win against the Sixers he contributed 10 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 blocks and 3 steals. He has shown greater command of the offense as the season has carried on and is looking to get more comfortable shooting the ball, although he has a long ways to go. While two-thirds of the Big Baller Brand is taking their talents to Lithuania in 2018, Lonzo looks to hold down the mainland as he continues to get used to the NBA game week by week.

9. De’Aaron Fox – Kings

Fox’s season has been one of consistent inconsistencies. One game (14 points, 4 assists against the Pelicans on Friday for example) he shows the monster potential he possesses, while the next (6 points, 2 assists against the Cavs in 30 minutes) he shows major struggles. Fox is averaging 10.1 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds a game while shooting 40% from the field. Fox will need to continue to show improvement throughout the season in order to climb up the rankings, but unless a couple of guys make some moves he seems like a lock to remain in the top 10 for most of the regular season.

10. Frank Mason – Kings

This is the second straight week a new Sacramento Kings guard has graced the tenth spot, but Kansas alum Frank Mason has found his way into the top 10 rankings for the first time. Mason hit double digits twice this week (15 against the Cavs and 12 against the Pelicans). At times he has outplayed his rookie counterpart Fox. Most impressive part of Mason’s game this early in his NBA career has been his shooting, as he is currently hitting 41% of his shots from the field, 46% from 3 and 77% from the line. Mason may not have the long term potential of someone like Fox, but looks to be a candidate to stick in the league for the next decade plus.

Honorable Mention:

Bogdan Bogdanovic – Kings
Maxi Kleber – Mavs
OG Anunoby – Raptors
Dillon Brooks – Grizzlies
Mike James – Suns
Josh Jackson – Suns

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[…] We are back with the 8th version of our NBA Rookie Power Rankings here at HG Insider. As we move into 2018 we continue to see some rookies separate themselves from the pack, while others have shown flashes that further highlight the depth that made the 2017 draft class so highly regarded. Injuries and sporadic playing time have sidelined others, but with some big names returning in the near future we could see some more shakeups in the not too distant future. Before we crack into the rankings this week, let’s take a look back at Week 7: […]

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