There was a lot of movement in the top 10 since our last rookie ladder. As the season picks up into high gear, few have been able to keep up with the pace. Guys like Austin Rivers and Kyle Singler have fallen off the radar while guys like Jared Sullinger and John Henson are opening eyes.
It’s beginning to look more and more like it’s Damian Lillard’s award to win, with Anthony Davis and Dion Waiters both working to get back in rhythm after their injuries. At this point in the season, each player has a role on their respective team, and an identity. Now that we know – for the most part – what each rook is capable of, it makes it interesting to see who could really come alive in the middle of the season.
While the rest of the pack has been struggling a bit, the top three rookies are playing extremely well. Consistent scoring numbers and clutch performances have Bradley Beal higher than he’s ever been on the ladder, but it’s going to be interesting to see how John Wall’s return affects his numbers.
Here is our top 10 for volume 4 of the Rookie Ladder.
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10. HARRISON BARNES – Last week: 9.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 3.3 apg, 24.5 mpg
Vol. 3 rank: 9
Although Harrison Barnes struggled a bit through December, he’s beginning to play pretty well again. His hot shooting from long range makes it difficult for Mark Jackson to keep him off the floor for too long. Although Jarrett Jack still takes his minutes at the end of games, Barnes still has a lot to offer for the Warriors while he’s on the court. On Saturday against Boston, Barnes had 15 points on 5-for-6 shooting, hitting 3-for-4 from long range, and eight rebounds to go along with it. If he can keep up the hot shooting he’ll keep his name on the ladder.
9. JARED SULLINGER – Last week: 9.3 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 1.0 bpg, 26.2 mpg
Vol.3 rank: N/A
Very quietly, Jared Sullinger is having a solid season for Boston. He’s flying under the radar in the rookie race so far but it’s about time he gets some recognition. Doc Rivers really believes in him. He’s played good minutes all season and he’s finally beginning to make the most out of them. On Wednesday against Phoenix, Sullinger scored 12 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. That’s the type of work he’s capable of doing. All he has to do is keep it up.