Rookie Rankings, Week 7: Trey Burke Takes Top Spot

1 Utah JazzTREY BURKE, G, UTAH: In case you’re wondering whether we are easily distracted by shiny objects such as 30-point games, consider these nuggets: The Jazz are 6-7 in their last 13 games. Furthermore, Utah is 4-2 when Burke goes for at least six assists.3
2Orlando MagicVICTOR OLADIPO, G, ORLANDO: Had an “I’ll show you” game, tying season high with 26 points vs. Cleveland, which took Anthony Bennett with top pick. But shot 9-of-36 in his next three games and now is averaging fewer points than the guy above him.1
3New York KnicksTIM HARDAWAY JR., G, NEW YORK: Knicks shooting guards in December: J.R. Smith – 10.2 ppg, .340 FG; Iman Shumpert – 5.1 ppg, .298 FG; Tim Hardaway Jr. – 10.7 ppg, .527 FG. Exhibit A in argument against trading every future first-round pick.4
4KCP Detroit PistonsKENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE, G, DETROIT: Offense lacking – has been in single digits eight of last nine games – but coaches love his size, defense and work habits. Went O-D with Chauncey Billups at end of Wednesday’s one-point win in Boston.7
5Milwaukee BucksGIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO, G-F, MILWAUKEE: Nice week for the “Greek Freak.” Started Wednesday after getting big minutes off bench in previous three games. Averaging 11.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.8 FTAs in last four games. It’s time for going-nowhere Bucks to find out what they have.
6 Sacramento KingsBEN MCLEMORE, G, SACRAMENTO: Is any rookie doing less with more of an opportunity? His 5-of-6 Wednesday at Atlanta was first game this season with more makes than misses. December shooting a robust .326. Meanwhile, Marcus Thornton (career 14 ppg) collects DNPs.5
7Philadelphia 76ersHOLLIS THOMPSON, F, PHILADELPHIA: Throw out the 17 he had in Saturday’s AAU game vs. Portland and he is shooting 7-of-27 in his last four games. He might not be long for this table. But who thought he’d be better than college teammate Otto Porter?8
8MCW Philadelphia 76ersMICHAEL CARTER-WILLIAMS, G, PHILADELPHIA: The worst skin infection in the history of mankind has apparently subsided as MCW is expected back Friday vs. Brooklyn. The Sixers aren’t very good with him and haven’t won without him. But you actually have to play to win Rookie of the Year.2
9Boston CelticsKELLY OLYNYK, F-C, BOSTON: Finally back after missing 10 games with an ankle. Had some trouble with Detroit’s monstrous front line Wednesday but settling into his new role as backup to emerging Jared Sullinger, which may be best right now.
10Oklahoma City ThunderSTEVEN ADAMS, C, OKLAHOMA CITY: At this point, he isn’t much more than a rebounder and fouler defender, which isn’t going to elevate him past rebounder-fouler Kendrick Perkins. Has a good PER, plus OKC is rolling and doesn’t need much from him.

DROPOUTS:  Tony Snell, G, Chicago (6 ); Mason Plumlee, C, Brooklyn (9); Cody Zeller, C, Charlotte (10).

FIVE TO WATCH: Matthew Dellavedova, G, Cleveland; Vitor Faverani, F-C, Boston; Archie Goodwin, G, Phoenix; Shane larkin, G, Dallas; Miroslav Raduljica, F, Milwaukee

OTHER RANKINGS: MVPMost 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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