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Early NBA Rookie of the Year Candidates

Early NBA Rookie of the Year Candidates

The 2020 NBA draft class was dealt a tough hand being given just over a month with their teams before starting their NBA careers. Despite lower expectations and more difficult circumstances this season’s rookie class has shown flashes of potential while also making a direct impact on games right out the gate. Although many rookies have performed well there are three who have set themselves apart from the rest.

Tyrese Haliburton

Tyrese Haliburton seems to have it all. The 12th overall pick is second among all rookies in scoring at 11.9 points per game and assists per game at 5.6. What sets him apart is Haliburton’s efficiency, he has shot 52% from both the field and behind the three-point line and in his first month of NBA basketball has an elite assist/turnover ratio of 4.8. Though his shooting numbers will likely dip eventually Haliburton has proven he can be an efficient and effective player on both ends of the court and has been the most impressive rookie so far this season. If he continues to put up solid numbers with elite efficiency it will be tough to give another player the Rookie of the Year award.

LaMelo Ball

Out of all the rookies in this year’s class arguably none came in with higher expectations than Lamelo Ball and it has been a blast to watch him reach them. Ball is third among rookies in scoring with 11.8 points per game and despite his unorthodox mechanics has shot the ball relatively well from the three-point line at 33.3%. But what makes LaMelo Ball special is his playmaking. Ball has been dominating the highlight reels with his flashy passing and he has already shown that he can run an offense. Ball is the only rookie in the top 15 in Assist Percentage at 38%, meaning he is being trusted to make a lot of the decisions within the flow of the Hornets offense. If LaMelo Ball can get his shooting percentages up a bit as the season goes on he will likely be the favorite to win the Rookie of the Year Award.

James Wiseman

Wiseman has shown the most physical upside of anyone in this years draft class. While Wiseman is still a developing player on both ends the potential is clearly there. Wiseman is fifth in scoring among rookies at 11.3 points per game and second in rebounding at 6.3 per game but the seven-footer has shown that he can be extremely versatile. With the ability to contest shots and overwhelm players with his size Wiseman has shown signs of being an elite defender down the road. Wiseman sets himself apart from other bigs with his ability to put the ball on the floor in transition and spread the court with his shooting ability (40% from three.) Wiseman’s physical gifts and versatile skillset will likely keep him in the conversation for the Rookie of the Year award all season and his chances of winning would go even higher if he can help the Warriors secure a playoff spot.

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