Welcome back to the weekly 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 is the week that the rise of a certain prospect has resulted in a notable change on the list. It is not enough, at this point, to reshape the entire race for the year-end award. However, for the first time since the beginning, there is a new name amongst the top two selections.
In week eight of the NBA Rookie Ladder power rankings, one of the five normal names misses the cut and there is a slight shakeup
Week 8 NBA Rookie Ladder Power Rankings: 5. Chris Duarte, Indiana Pacers
13.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.1 steals
Shooting splits: .426/.343/.744
Back on the list after a few weeks’ absence, Chris Duarte feels like he is locked in as one of the Indiana Pacers’ core pieces moving forward. Despite rumbling about potential trades involving Domantas Sabonis, Caris LeVert, and Myles Turner, Duarte remains unmentioned and is performing well.
The team won three games in a row and Duarte was a standout in two of those wins. He is rebounding well for a guard thus far and is a strong shooter. In the win against the New York Knicks, Duarte went off for 23 points, six assists, three rebounds, and a steal.
If he is to be left behind as part of the next phase of Indiana basketball, Duarte appears prepared to take over the scoring load. As a team perennially picking in the back of the lottery at best, finding that level of talent is a big win.