Rookie Rankings, Week 6: Do We Have Another High Lottery Bust?

1Orlando MagicVICTOR OLADIPO, G, ORLANDO: Claims the top spot for the first time this season but will have to be better to heep it. In four games, averaged 11.3 points on just .355 shooting (16-of-45) while committing 13 turnovers against eight assists. Didn’t shoot a three for the first time Wednesday, where he is 18-of-68 this season.2
2MCW Philadelphia 76ersMICHAEL CARTER-WILLIAMS, G, PHILADELPHIA: Hasn’t played since triple-double vs. Orlando, and you can’t hold the top spot if you don’t play. Sat out four games this week with an infection on his knee. Sixers dropped all four are are just 1-7 without their point guard. They’re also just 6-9 with him.1
3 Utah JazzTREY BURKE, G, UTAH: Another guy who is going to have to find the range sooner or later; made just 17-of-48 shots this week and is at 38 percent for the season. But he is an extra scorer for the impotent Jazz, who are 4-8 with their rookie point guard and 1-11 without him.3
4New York KnicksTIM HARDAWAY JR., G, NEW YORK: Is he New York’s best option at shooting guard? With J.R. Smith mired in a season-long slump and Iman Shumpert worrying about a trade, the kid is averaging 12.0 points on 53 percent shooting in December. Smith (10.2) and Shumpert (6.0) both shooting 38 percent this month.9
5 Sacramento KingsBEN MCLEMORE, G, SACRAMENTO: Just slumping, or intimidated by the impending arrival of Rudy Gay? In three games before the trade, averaged 16.3 points. In two games since the trade, he’s 2-of-15 from the field. Once Gay actually plays, some of his touches are certain to be rerouted.5
6Chicago BullsTONY SNELL, G, CHICAGO: Jimmy Butler’s sprained toe has given him a trial by fire. He played 15 minutes in Chicago’s first 11 games but is averaging 32.2 minutes in the last nine. Was giving anemic offense a boost with 10 points per game until 1-of-7 stinker in MSG on Wednesday.6
7KCP Detroit PistonsKENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE, G, DETROIT: Averaged 9.3 points on 52 percent shooting during four-game winning streak but is at 6.0 points on 35 percent shooting during current three-game slide. And he has to get to the line more; has attempted just four free free throws in 207 minutes since Nov. 25.4
8Philadelphia 76ersHOLLIS THOMPSON, F, PHILADELPHIA: Stumbled a bit in his last two games but still quietly producing. In December, he is averaging 8.5 points on 54 percent shooting with 5.5 rebounds. His seven free throws Monday vs. the Clippers represented his first trips to the line in nearly two weeks.7
9Brooklyn NetsMASON PLUMLEE, C, BROOKLYN: Player A is averaging 6.7 points on 37 percent shooting with 7.6 rebounds in 22.8 minutes. Player B is averaging 6.6 points on 69 percent shooting with 3.1 rebounds in 17.2 minutes. Player A is Kevin Garnett. Player B is the kid to the left.
10Charlotte BobcatsCODY ZELLER, C, CHARLOTTE: Back after a one-week absence because he finally added shot-making to his otherwise solid play. Reached double figures in scoring for the first time this season, then showed it wasn’t an accident by doing it again. For the week, averaged 8.3 points on 67 percent shooting.

DROPOUTS: Giannis Antetokounmpo, G-F, Milwaukee (8); Steven Adams, C, Oklahoma City (10).

FIVE TO WATCH:Jamaal Franklin, G, Memphis; Archie Goodwin, G, Phoenix; Robbie Hummel, F, Minnesota; Shane Larkin, G, Dallas; Nate Wolters, G, Milwaukee.

OTHER RANKINGS: MVP | Rookie | Most Improved | Sixth Man | Power

Chris Bernucca is the deputy editor of His columns appear Monday during the season. You can follow him on Twitter.


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