NBA 2018-19 season: Rookie of the Year power rankings - October 2018
This year's rookie class has, so far, fully lived up to the pre-draft hype that a lot of NBA analysts attached to it. We have 3 players who're shouldering a heavy, franchise player-like workload for their teams, and they're excelling at their roles to a point where it's clear that they have superstar potential - you'll learn their names soon enough.
What's also encouraging is that nearly every rookie has turned out to have strengths as we expected them to have, but they spent the offseason brushing up on the weaker parts of their game - most of them, at least - and the difference between their Summer League and regular season performances is absolutely clear.
Who're the likeliest rookies to win the award next June, based on the first fortnight of NBA action? Read on to find out!
#5 Josh Okogie
The rookie leader in steals per game so far by a sizeable margin, Okogie has been a revelation for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He got his chance after initially tallying 2 DNPs when Jimmy Butler rested a game. He then took the floor for 30+ minutes in the following few games due to Andrew Wiggins being out with a quad contusion.
In six games, the No. 20 pick out of Georgia Tech is averaging 9.8 points (8th among rookies) and 5.3 rebounds (sixth).
Okogie is a Marcus Smart variety of player, whose impact on the game is far more than box scores show. A tenacious defender at 6'8" and able to guard up to 4 positions, the rookie has impressed mightily with his energy and hustle. His offense needs a lot of improvement, but he's unequivocally the best defender in the 2018 rookie class so far.