After what appeared to be a two player race between Philly’s Michael Carter-Williams and Orlando’s Victor Oladipo for the 2014 NBA Rookie of the Year award, suddenly their is a third entrant……….Jazz rookie Trey Burke.
Burke has a ways to go to catch up with the numbers already posted by the two frontrunners but last season’s NCAA POY has had some impressive games already in his short rookie campaign.
Even though Carter-Williams missed 7 games due to injury, he remains the Association’s top rookie by a wide margin over Oladipo, who are the only two rookies to post triple-doubles this season.
Following the Top 3, it’s a toss-up, with Detroit’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Boston’s Kelly Olynyk, and Bucks rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo making the biggest jumps.
Milwaukee’s other rookie Nate Wolters had some impressive early season numbers but barely hangs on for our December Rookie Rankings….
#38 Pick in the 2013 NBA Draft
6.9 ppg, 3.7 ast, 2.5 reb, .400 FG%
Previous – 3
Wolters started the season on fire but his numbers have dipped to averaging only 5.4 points and 1.8 assists in December as starting PG Brandon Knight has begun to find his groove in Milwaukee. Nate still provides valuable bench production but is clinging to the #10 spot this month.
#15 Pick in the 2013 NBA Draft
6.5 ppg, 4 reb, 1.2 ast, .490 FG%
Previous – NR
The literally unknown still only 19 year old Greek hoops prodigy has begun to show some of his immense potential recently, averaging 8 points, 5,2 rebounds, and a block during the month of December. He’s had impressive games of 13 and 9 against Dallas, 10 and 7 vs New York, and 12, 7, and 2 blocks against Philly.
#13 Pick in 2013 NBA Draft
6.7 ppg, 4.8 reb, 1.4 ast, .957 FT%
Previous – 6
Boston’s prized 7 foot rookie from Gonzaga missed some time due to injuries and his numbers have dipped as well coming back slowly, easing his way back into the line-up. He’s never going to be an elite shot-blocker but he has quite the offensive arsenal in the mold of Philly’s Spencer Hawes.
#8 Pick in the 2013 NBA Draft
7.1 ppg, 2.3 reb, 1 stl, .316 3PT%
Previous – 8
With the injury to Rodney Stuckey(knee), KCP has taken full advantage, playing 25 minutes per game in December, highlighted by a career high 16 point, 4 rebound effort against Minnesota. He’s among the Top 10 in rookie scoring and ranks 3rd in steals.
#12 Pick in the 2013 NBA Draft
3.9 ppg, 4.8 reb, 1 blk, .479 FG%
Previous – 5
Adams has been nothing if not consistent for the Thunder inside all season. He plays within his strengths, inside 15 feet, and is a bruising 7 foot and 255 lbs presence, providing the perfect compliment to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook’s high flying scoring tandem, as the Thunder surge towards the top of the Western Conference.
New York Knicks
#24 Pick in the 2013 NBA Draft
8.4 ppg, 1.2 reb, .479 FG%, .415 3PT%
Previous – 9
One of the lone bright spots for the Knicks this season has been the play of rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. He’s picked up some of the slack from the slumping JR Smith and Iman Shumpert, averaging 11.2 ppg and .529% from the field in December.
#7 Pick in the 2013 NBA Draft
9.3 ppg, 3.1 reb, 1.1 ast, .356 3PT%
Previous – 4
It’s an understatement to say that McLemore has been erratic all season. When on his game, he looks like a legit future 20ppg scorer when not, he scores in single digits. Over the last 5 games, McLemore has impressed, averaging 10 ppg and shooting .529% from the field, including a 20 point, 4 rebound gem against Miami.
#9 Pick in the 2013 NBA Draft
13.2 ppg, 4.9 ast, 3.5 reb, .359 3PT%, .909 FT%
Previous – NR
Since coming back from injuries in late November, Burke has begun to show just why he was last season’s NCAA POY. In the month of December alone, he’s averaged more than 15 ppg and 6 assists, including scoring in double figures in 9 of 12 games. Look no further than his career high 30 point, 8 assist night against Orlando on Dec 18th as to catch a glimpse of just how good Burke can become.
#2 Pick in the 2013 NBA Draft
13.3 ppg, 4.4 reb, 3.4 ast, 1.7 stl, .399 FG%, .284 3PT%
Previous – 2
Oladipo has upped his production from last month but he better look in the rear view mirror as Utah’s Trey Burke is closing fast for the #2 spot. In December, he’s averaging 13.5 points and 5 boards, highlighted by a 26 point, 10 rebound, 10 assist triple-double against Philly back on Dec 3rd.
#11 Pick in the 2013 NBA Draft
17.6 ppg, 7.8 ast, 5.5 reb, 3 stl, .408 FG%, .315 3PT%
Previous – 1
Make no mistake, MCW’s numbers are eye-popping despite missing 7 games during the month due to injuries. There’s also no denying that the Sixers being a bad team helps Carter-Williams fill up the stat sheet, but evidence points to the fact that he literally makes his teammates better, as the team lost 7 straight without him. Over the last 10 games played alone, MCW is averaging in incredible 20.3 ppg, 10.7 assists, and 2,3 steals, including 8 double-doubles and a triple-double on the season, making him the runaway leader for Rookie of the Year.