Home NBA NBA Rookie Notes: October 23-November 8

NBA Rookie Notes: October 23-November 8

Photo: Richard Lautens/Toronto Star

Cade Cunningham & Jonathan Kuminga make their debuts, Evan Mobley & Scottie Barnes keep playing great, Davion Mitchell finds a rhythm on offense, and much more.

  • Detroit’s Cade Cunningham (#1 pick) & Golden State’s Jonathan Kuminga (#7 pick) officially made their NBA debuts on October 30th. Both are shooting the ball poorly early on (Cunningham- 23.2% FG, Kuminga- 28.6% FG), but that isn’t really a concern right now as Cunningham will get plenty of minutes to find a rhythm and Kuminga has already seen some time in the G-League to find his stroke.
  • There hasn’t been two rookies in this class that have impacted winning quite like Cleveland’s Evan Mobley (#3 pick) & Toronto’s Scottie Barnes (#4 pick). The Cavaliers & Raptors are both currently top 8 in the Eastern Conference, as Mobley puts up 14.9 PPG/8.0 RPG/2.5 APG/1.3 BPG/1.0 SPG and Barnes averages 16.6 PPG/8.7 RPG/2.4 APG/1.2 SPG.
  • Despite the inefficient shooting of Houston’s Jalen Green (#2 pick) & Orlando’s Jalen Suggs (#5 pick), the rookie guards have shown they can go for big nights. Green had 30 points vs. the Boston Celtics on October 24th and Suggs scored 21 points vs. the Toronto Raptors on October 29th.
  • Indiana’s Chris Duarte (#13 pick) has continued to play productive basketball as a starter. He’s doing it on both ends, shooting 42.2% from three point range and collecting 1.0 SPG on defense.
  • The basketball IQ’s of Oklahoma City’s Josh Giddey (#6 pick) & Orlando’s Franz Wagner (#8 pick) have been a joy to watch. Both play extremely composed, as Giddey is a triple-double threat and Wagner only averages 0.8 turnovers per game.
  • After shooting the ball just 14.3% through his first two games, Sacramento’s Davion Mitchell (#9 pick) has found his jump shot. The former national champion is shooting 47.1% from deep & dishing out 4.4 APG in the Kings’ last five outings.
  • Memphis’ Ziaire Williams (#10 pick) & New Orleans’ Trey Murphy III (#17 pick) are still trying to find efficiency on offense. Both are getting minutes off the bench, but only shooting in the low 30’s (Williams- 33.3% FG, Murphy III- 31.0% FG).
  • Denver’s Bones Hyland (#26 pick) & Chicago’s Ayo Dosunmu (#38 pick) have now earned minutes after not getting much action in their first few games. The 21-year-old guards can take over games on offense when they’re in the zone.
  • Houston’s Alperen Sengun (#16 pick) & New Orleans’ Herb Jones (#35 pick) are two rookie big men showing off versatile skills. Their solid defense & passing have definitely stood out.
  • The energy of Oklahoma City’s Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (#32 pick) & Toronto’s Dalano Banton (#46 pick) has made a nice impact. Both second round picks have played with a smooth feel on offense and defense early on.
  • Golden State’s Moses Moody (#14 pick) & Washington’s Corey Kispert (#15 pick) have yet to play consistent roles for their winning clubs. Moody is averaging 7.0 MPG in 8 games and Kispert is getting 10.6 MPG in 9 games.
  • Undrafted Lakers rookie Austin Reaves played great in the preseason and has now found himself a rotation spot. Reaves makes a difference with his tough defense, timely shot making, and solid passing ability.
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