It is obvious to me now that this rookie class is paying close attention to these articles. Jaren Jackson Jr. saw that Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. headlined this the last two weeks and was inspired to put up back-to-back excellent games against tough opponents in GSW(L) and MEM(W). The rookie passed the 30 minute mark in both games and averaged 17.5 PTS, 6.5 REB, 1.5 STL, and 4 BLK (including five in one game) with 1 3PM on top. He followed that up with a lackluster performance against PHI but that can be forgiven (especially since they got the W).
Jaren Jackson Jr. – See above. He isn’t available in your league, went very high in your dynasty draft, and the lucky owner will only part with him for some combination of AD and Towns at this point. I still prefer the next guy though.
Trae Young – Wow, he can take some really bad shots sometimes. The funny thing is they sometimes go in. While not his best shooting stretch by any means, he still managed 40% from the field while making all 12 of his FT’s. Add in the 8+ AST per game and you’re looking at one of the better PG’s to own in the league for redrafts, let alone dynasty. If Atlanta can find another creator on offense so defenses can’t just key on Trae all game, the sky is the limit. Speaking of Atlanta…
Omari Spellman – The big man from Villanova had his two best performances last week by far. In back-to-back games with a heavy dose of minutes, Spellman averaged 16 PTS, 10 REB, 1 STL, 1.5 BLK, and 2.5 3PM. It would be reckless to expect performances like this regularly from the 30th pick in the draft, but the Hawks may have found another long term answer at the 4 to pair with John Collins. Atlanta is bad so there should be plenty of opportunity for minutes.
Luka Doncic – Another week, another showing that has Phoenix and Sacramento fans saying “Why didn’t we take this guy??” “Europeans are usually older!” Nope, he’s 19. “The game won’t translate!” Nope, you really think the competition he had in the Euroleague was worse than NCAA? Luka is the truth, and he’s just getting started. Averaged 23 PTS for the week, 6+ REB, 4+ AST, 2 3PM, and shot well over 50% from the floor. The likely Rookie of the Year could probably headline this column every week.
Deandre Ayton – Double-Doubles, good FG%, but doesn’t get many blocks. Yawn.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – My guy! He had back-to-back fantastic games coinciding with the most playing time of the season. Shot 48% from the field with 2 3PM in each game leading to a 17.5 PTS average. Add in 4.5 REB, 3 AST, and 2 BLKs and you have the beginnings of a potential top tier PG. As Craig Bozic and I discussed on the Dynasty Deep Dive podcast last week, there is definite Top 50 potential here.
Kevin Knox – Came straight from IR to chucking up shots for the Knicks. He put up double-digit points in his first two games of meaningful action, but the shooting percentage was pretty poor despite hitting on 40% of his 3’s. I think once he gets into game shape and a little more comfortable, we will be looking at a valuable dynasty piece that can fill up the stat sheet. The Knicks just need to not Knick things up here.
Landry Shamet – Yes, I saw that he went 2-16 in the last two games shooting from distance. I know that is terrible. Shamet is now one of the only shooters on a shooting-starved team with three other high usage options on offense that are going to take all of the attention away. My point is Shamet will play, he’ll be open a lot, and he most likely won’t shoot 2-16 again. Grab him if you can, as I think you’ll be happy.
Collin Sexton – His last two games saw him receiving 41 and 34 minutes, and he made the best of them, averaging 17.5 PTS on 50% shooting. The counting stats really aren’t there but, with his activity and athleticism, they should soon follow.
Wendell Carter Jr. – You thought I wasn’t going to mention WCJ? Silly. He continues to impress on a terrible Bulls team. Averaging a double-double over his last four games with 3 blocks, the big man is the only thing stopping the Bulls from giving up 200 points per night. He’s shooting 38.5% from 3 too. He may not end up as the best big man in the draft, but I will argue about it forever!
Mohamed Bamba – The king of wingspan just isn’t getting enough consistent minutes at this point to be a major factor. He closed the week on a high note, but there has been a lot of mediocre before that. Once he gets his chance though, I expect big things.
Mikal Bridges – He has shown some flashes when given the chance, but the wing rotation in Phoenix is a crowded mess and he isn’t really being given much wiggle room. Most people had this Bridges as more of a real life good player than a fantasy player, and I believe that most people were right.
Marvin Bagley III – The last time I didn’t have nice things to say Bagley erupted for his best stretch of the season. However, I don’t have anything bad to say about the man from Duke. Getting 6th man minutes at best, he has been fairly productive. Maybe coming off the bench has inspired him on defense with 6 BLK’s over his last 4 games too. The Kings need to let Marvin loose so he can have more time to build chemistry with breakout PG De’Aaron Fox (STUD!!)
This rookie class is so good. It had me wondering the other day how a team with just this rookie class would fare in a 12 team league over the course of the season. I’m thinking middle of the pack at worst. Last year would have been good too, but most draft classes would finish dead last. This one may too, but it is at least good enough to debate it. Thanks as always for reading!