NBA Rookie Notes: March 10-April 10

Photo: Mark Blinch/Getty Images

With the 2021-22 NBA regular season now in the history books, here are my final thoughts on this year’s extremely talented rookie class.

  • Before I give my pick for Rookie of the Year, I just want to say that Detroit Cade Cunningham (pick #1) he wins this award if he has a completely healthy season (18 games lost). Only five rookies in NBA history have averaged 20-5-5, and Cunningham posted 17.4 PPG-5.5 RPG-5.6 APG this season as he played in a lot of games where he wasn’t at his 100%. Now for my actual Rookie of the Year pick, I’m going with Cleveland. Evan Mobley (selection #3). Mobley has already established himself as one of the best defenders in the NBA (1.7 BPG) in just his first year. That alone should win him the award, but I can’t get over his scoring, passing, efficiency and rebounding. He averaged 15.0 PPG and 2.5 APG on a 50.8% field goal percentage along with 8.3 RPG (he led all rookies). However, when you look at the Toronto season scottish barnes (pick #4) he had, actually averaged more PPG (15.3 PPG) and APG (3.5) than Mobley, had almost the same field goal percentage (49.2% FG) and also defended at a very high level (1.1 SPG). I still hope Mobley wins the award, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Barnes wins Rookie of the Year honors.
  • Now onto my All-Rookie Team picks. In February, I wrote that the All-Rookie First Team seemed like insurance for Cunningham, Mobley, Barnes, Oklahoma City’s Josh Gidey (pick #6) and Orlando’s Franz Wagner (selection #8). Unfortunately, Giddey never returned from his right hip injury and missed the final 22 games of the season, leaving room for another rookie to potentially take his place. That’s where Houston is pull green (selection #2) he blew up for a ridiculous 22.5 PPG on 40.1% shooting from 3-point range in his last 20 games. However, Giddey should easily make the second team along with Indiana. Chris Duarte (pick #13) and New Orleans weed jones (selection #35). For the last two spots remaining, I’m going with Sacramento. mitchell davidon (pick #9) and Chicago’s Come on Dosunmu (Pick #38) over Golden State jonathan kuminga (pick #7) and Houston Alperen Sengun (Pick #16) based on more MPG. I could definitely see that if Kuminga and Sengun had more minutes this season, they would probably average much better numbers than Mitchell and Dosunmu. So these last two spots will be interesting to see what the voters ultimately decide and if the positions end up being important (I have 4 shooting guards on my second team).
  • Quick note: I thought Orlando’s strong comeback Jalen Suggs (#5 pick) in January-February gave him a legitimate Second Team shot, but he couldn’t stay healthy and only appeared in 7 games from March-April. Suggs ended up playing in just 48 total games this season.
  • 2021 first-round picks who showed good flashes but need more work/minutes to develop going forward: Memphis’ Ziaire Williams (Pickup #10), Charlotte’s james bouknight (Pick #11), San Antonio’s joseph cousin (Pick #12), Golden State’s grumpy moses (pick #14), from Washington corey kispert (pick #15), New Orleans trey murphy iii (pick #17), from Oklahoma City Tree men (pick #18), from Portland keon johnson (pick #21), from Indiana Isaiah Jackson (pick #22), from Houston jose christopher (Pick #24), New York Quentin Grimes (pick #25), from Denver hyland bones (Pick #26), from Brooklyn cam thomas (selection #27) & Day’Ron Sharpe (pick #29), and Memphis’ Santos Aldama (selection #30).
  • Remaining 2021 first-round picks who basically had no roles this season: Charlotte kai jones (Pick #19), from Atlanta jalen johnson (pick #20), from Houston Usman Garuba (pick #23) and Philadelphia jaden jumper (selection #28).
  • H. Jones, Dosunmu, Oklahoma City Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (selection #32) & Aaron Wiggins (pick #55) and Brooklyn’s Kessler Edwards (44th pick) played the best/got the most minutes of any second-round pick, while New York’s Miles McBride (pick #36), from Utah jared butler (pick #40), from Detroit Isaiah Livers (selection #42) & luka heron (pick #52), from Portland greg brown (pick #43), from Toronto Dalano Banton (pick #46), the LA Clippers’ BrandonBoston Jr. (selection #51), from milwaukee Sandro Mamukelashvili (pick #54), New York Jericho Sims (pick #58) and Oklahoma City’s georgio kalaitzakis (#60 pick) didn’t play as much but certainly made the most of his short minutes.
  • Remaining 2021 second-round picks who basically had no roles this season: Washington Isaiah Todd (Selection #31), Charlotte’s JT Thor (Pick #37), Sacramento’s Nehemiah Keta (Pick #39), San Antonio’s joe wieskamp (pick #41), from Toronto David Johnson (pick #47), from Atlanta Sharif Cooper (pick #48), from Philadelphia charles bassey (pick #53), and Charlotte’s scottish lewis (selection #56).
  • Quick note: The LA Clippers’ Jason Preston (33rd pick) missed the entire season after undergoing surgery on his right foot in October.
  • 2021 draft picks who weren’t on the final NBA rosters/played in the G-League or overseas: Rockas Jokubaitis (Pick #34 by Oklahoma City, traded to New York), Juhann Begarin (pick #45 by Boston), marcus zegowski (Pick #49 by Brooklyn), Philip Petrusev (Philadelphia’s #50 pick), Raft Koprivica (pick #57 by Charlotte, traded to Detroit), and Gray Rai Quan (Brooklyn’s #59 election).
  • Top Undrafted Rookies: The LA Lakers Austin ReavesNew Orleans’ Joseph AlvaradoPortland Trendon Watford & Brandon WilliamsIndiana Duane Washington Jr., terry taylor& Keifer Sykes (undrafted in 2015), Miami’s Omer Yurtseven (undrafted in 2020), San Antonio’s Jock Landale (undrafted in 2018), from Oklahoma City lindy waters (not drafted in 2020), Olivier Sarr& Vit Krejci (undrafted in 2020), Brooklyn’s David Duketoronto justin champagnephoenix ish wainright (undrafted in 2017), from Detroit braxton key (not redacted in 2020) & jamorko pickettChicago Malcolm’s Hill (undrafted in 2017), Milwaukee Lindell Wigginton (undrafted in 2019), from Boston sam hauserand Houston daishen nix.

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