Teams like the Toronto Raptors and Detroit Pistons are embracing the youth movement this season. While it hasn’t always necessarily translated to some victories against quality opponents, many of the players those teams selected in the 2021 NBA Draft (like Cade Cunningham and Scottie Barnes) have placed high on the NBA Rookie Ladder.
The lottery has been particularly fruitful. Except for a handful of players, most prospects picked in that range are either putting up impressive individual stats or leading team turnarounds in the standings. 2021 is already looking like one of the strongest drafts in recent memory.
Teams like the Raptors and Cavaliers were mired at the bottom of the standings last year, but thanks to some of the contributions that they got from their youngsters, they are much more well-equipped to go on the offensive.
With another week in the books, did any players end up making some moves up the NBA Rookie Ladder? Did any important names take a very slight dive in the wrong direction recently?
NBA Rookie Ladder: Did Raptors forward Scottie Barnes keep the top spot?
Suggs’ shooting percentages may not be great, but he’s started to show off enough of the skills that made him a coveted prospect to hop over Bones Hyland in this ranking. Suggs is averaging 12.3 points since an October 29 loss against Toronto, including a career-high 21 points against the Nets on Friday.
Developing two first-round picks at the same position at the same time between Suggs and Cole Anthony is a tough proposition, but Jamahl Mosley appears to be making it work. If Suggs gets more efficient, he could form one-half of one of the best backcourts in the conference.
NBA Rookie Ladder: Jalen Suggs is starting to improve.
Even on a putrid Rockets team full of tons of young players, Sengun is doing everything he can to make himself known to the larger NBA world. Sengun is averaging 8.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, showing that his offensive production in Turkey is capable of translating to the NBA.
Sengun still has quite a ways to go before he can start exerting his will on either end of the floor, but Houston has to be encouraged with what they’ve seen. They have Daniel Theis, but Sengun has been making a very compelling case for more minutes.