NBA Rookie Ladder Week 1: Small sample size theater

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NBA (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Welcome to the first weekly NBA rookie ladder update! Each week this season we will look at the race for the top five slots on the Rookie of the Year ballot, cutting the recording period every Sunday. This class was hyped for quite some time and the first week of action did not disappoint. Even with number one overall pick Cade Cunningham yet to make his debut, the 2021 class is making an impact.

This week is the definition of small sample size, but that is part of the fun. One of the players ranked here would be much higher based on his third game if his first two had not completely dragged it down. However, it is hard to argue that all five of these players are already making their fans much happier.

It is week one of the NBA rookie ladder for the 2021 draft class. Who made the first top-five list of the season based on the smallest of samples?


Josh Giddey

Last rank: NA

9.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.7 steals

Shooting splits: .462/.400/.600

So far for the OKC Thunder, Josh Giddey is doing a little bit of everything on the offensive of the floor well. He is currently leading all rookies in assists. He is showing quite the ability to rebound from the guard position and has shown some scoring touch. Efficiency was the worry coming into the season and the third game swayed those stats noticeably. The shooting will remain the swing skill for Giddey to remain on this list for the rest of the season but for now, the Thunder have to feel good about the player they got with the sixth pick in the draft.

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