The NBA season is only a week old but we’re already seeing this year’s rookie class make an impact, especially the players at the top of the draft. Top overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns has lived up to his billing with the Timberwolves, as the big man is averaging 21.0 points, 13.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks during the first two games of his career, making him the early leader in each of those categories.
The No. 2 pick, D’Angelo Russell of the Lakers, is off to a much slower start as he learns the intricacies of playing the point in the NBA, but he’s still averaging 9.0 points and 1.7 assists as a rotation player. Meanwhile, center Jahlil Okafor is playing heavy minutes and turning heads with the Sixers, averaging 18.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks through the first two games of his career.
Emmanuel Mudiay has been handed the keys to the Nuggets’ offense but, like Russell, he’s in the early stages of his adjustment period. He’s averaging 6.3 turnovers while shooting 33.3% but he’s also showing his potential by averaging 12.7 points, 5.3 assists and 3.7 rebounds.
Kristaps Porzingis appears to be handling the New York spotlight well enough, as the stretch four is averaging 11.3 points in 23.7 minutes, despite shooting 37.0%. Another Knicks rookie, Jerian Grant, has emerged as a surprise candidate to take over the point guard spot while averaging 7.3 points, 4.0 assists and as many steals (2.0) as turnovers.
Kings power forward Willie Cauley-Stein (9.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.3 blocks), Rockets power forward Montrezl Harrell (10.7 points, 3.7 rebounds) and Pistons small forward Stanley Johnson (8.3 points, 4.3 rebounds) are some of the other rookies who have given their respective teams a boost.
Thus, our question of the day is: Will Karl-Anthony Towns win the league’s Rookie of the Year award? If not, which player will emerge from the pack to claim the prize?
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