By Hocine LOUKKAF on 11/15/2022
Banchero didn’t waste time proving why he was drafted number one and despite Holmgren and Jabari Smith not in position to perform well, other rookies have been showcasing their skills.
Paolo Banchero, 6-10 PF, Orlando
Stats : 23.5pts 8.3rbds 3.6as
Banchero has already proved he deserved to be the number one pick. He only had two games under 20pts and even scored 30+pts in each of his last two games. If he can become a better outside shooter (26% on almost four attempts), he could dream of an All Star selection or at least help his team win many more games.
Bennedict Mathurin, 6-6 SG/SF, Indiana
Stats : 19.9pts 3.9rbds 2.3as 45% 3pt
The 6th pick of the 2022 NBA Draft is already the second best scorer of Indiana and one of the reasons of their good start. He has improved his shooting and is averaging an astonishing 45% from three on 6+ attps. Defense still could be improved considering his physical tools.
Jaden Ivey, 6-4 SG/PG, Detroit
Stats : 16.1pts 5rbds 4.1as
Ivey is the same energizer he was in college with 5rbds and almost 1.5st per game. Yet, he always has the same weaknesses to work on, shooting consistency as he had six games under 30% 3pt with four or plus attempts, and cutting down on his turnovers as he had 4tos in each of his last three games.
Keegan Murray, 6-8 SF/PF, Sacramento
Stats : 12.7pts 3.7rbds 39% 3pt
After a nice start in October (18.8pts and 13/31 combined 3s over his first four games), Murray has hit a wall with four games under 30% 3pt including three under 34% FG. His 3.7rbds in 32min are also lower than expected but he has contributed to Sacramento’s nice start.
Shaedon Sharpe, 6-5 SG, Portland
Stats : 9pts 2.6rbds 44% 3pt
Despite not contributing a lot outside of scoring, Sharpe has already found his role for the Western Conference-leading Blazers. His combination of athleticism and shooting has been on display and he has the potential to become much more than a finisher.
Jeremy Sochan, 6-9 PF/SF, San Antonio Spurs
Stats : 7.5pts 4rbds 1.5as
The do-it-all Polish forward is the kind of versatile defender you dream of having in your roster. His poor 18% from three on 2.5 attempts are unfortunately hurting him comparing to the other rookies.
Stats : 6.6pts 3.4as 1.1to 40% 3pt
One of the other good picks of the Pacers, Nembard has been as steady as he was at Gonzaga, averaging a 3+a/to ratio while shooting 40+% from three. He’s also forming an high-IQ backcourt when starting with another oversized PG, Tyrese Haliburton.
Stats : 5.4pts 5.3rbds 1.7bl in 15min
During his rookie season, Rudy Gobert averaged 2.3pts 3.4rbds and 0.9bl in 10min and 45 games. As his trade already looks like a robbery for the Jazz, Kessler seems to prove that he could by himself become the same rim-protecting specialist that Gobert is.
Stats : 8.4pts 4.8rbds 1.6st 43% 3pt
Two things are hurting Eason, who looks like a legitimate starter in the future. First, he needs to be more consistent as he had six games under 34% FG, which is not acceptable considering his physical tools and shooting. Then, Houston still is far from being a contender, even for the playoffs, which puts some of the other rookies above him for the moment.
Stats : 6.2pts 7.3rbds 1.2bl
Duren looks like a steal for a 13th pick. Yet, he was once a projected top five pick and if he doesn’t want to end up being considered a limited big like Andre Drummond, he needs to prove he can be a decent shooter, at least from the FT line (36%).
Honorable mention :
Stats : 5.5pts 3.6rbds 42% 3pt
Oneof the surprises of last draft’s first round, LaRavia has started well for the Grizzlies with 9/15 3pt over his first five games. Unfortunately, despite getting consistent playing times, he has struggled recently with 0/7 over the last three games.
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