The first week of NBA action for the 2020-21 season concludes tonight and a lot of eyes were on the rookies. No. 1 overall pick Anthony Edwards dropped a career-high 18 points against the Utah Jazz, while Tyrese Haliburton of the Sacramento Kings is already drawing attention as an amazing shooter. LaMelo Ball's debut was lackluster, but he made up for it in the next game dropping 13 points in nine minutes.
Top 5 Rookies this week in the NBA
Granted, not everyone flourishes in the first week itself but how a young player handles the pressure of their NBA debut speaks a lot. These players will likely be competing with each other for the Rookie of the Year award. So now that the first week of the 2020-21 season is coming to an end, let's evaluate the five rookies who impressed us the most this week.
Tyrese Haliburton (Sacramento Kings)
Tyrese Haliburton stood out among the Sacramento Kings roster; the 20-year-old has a calm demeanor on and off the court and has incredible confidence. The rookie from Iowa State dropped 12 points, two 3s, two rebounds, four assists, and a block in his debut against the Denver Nuggets. Haliburton averaged 27.6 minutes in his first three games and made all his free throws.
Kings head coach Luke Walton spoke about Tyrese Haliburton,
"He was good...This is a great experience for him. The good thing about him is he’s very engaged and active in learning and continuing to develop."
No wonder he is a good shooter: Tyrese Haliburton grew up watching Stephen Curry and said it was a great honor to play against him in the preseason.
Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves)
A lot of pressure comes along with being selected No. 1 in the NBA Draft and Anthony Edwards hasn't disappointed so far. The guard from Georgia has shown great strength, athleticism, and shooting in his preseason and NBA performances. Edwards totaled 15 points, four rebounds, and four assists in his NBA debut against the Detroit Pistons.
Anthony Edwards will likely challenge for the Rookie of the Year award. He has averaged 16 points in his first three games, by far the highest among rookies.
He is averaging almost similar minutes as some of the starters and if he continues to impress, we might see him starting for the Timberwolves soon.
LaMelo Ball (Charlotte Hornets)
Ball's NBA debut was a bit uninspiring when he went scoreless despite grabbing two steals, but he redeemed himself in the next game when he dropped 13 points in nine minutes along with two 3-pointers.
The rookie from the Illawarra Hawks of the Australian NBL will likely be among the top candidates for Rookie of the Year. He has incredible passing skills and grabs rebounds with ease, and we might see him drop a triple-double soon enough.
Although considered a "box-office" attraction, LaMelo Ball has played the fewest minutes among the five rookies on this list and also averaged the fewest points with 6.3 over three games. Yet he continues to impress with his assists and steals and is versatile enough to play either guard position.
Patrick Williams (Chicago Bulls)
Patrick Williams was a surprise pickup by the Chicago Bulls in the 2020 NBA Draft at No. 4 overall. Ahead of the draft, several analysts published mock drafts and Patrick Williams was nowhere near the top five prospects. However, the Chicago Bulls surprised many people when they decided to go with him as they said they found promise in the youngster from Florida State.
Patrick Williams dropped 16 points, four rebounds, an assist, a steal, and a block in his NBA debut against the Atlanta Hawks. He has averaged 1.7 blocks in his first three games with the Bulls, second-highest among rookies and just behind the New York Knicks' Obi Toppin.
Analysts have labeled him quick, explosive, strong and athletic, and likely to make an impact on the Bulls' roster. He is just one of two rookies on this list to start in his NBA debut.
James Wiseman (Golden State Warriors)
Another candidate for the Rookie of the Year award is Golden State Warriors rookie James Wiseman. After being selected second overall in the 2020 NBA Draft, he immediately started at center for the team and dropped an incredible 19 points in his NBA debut against the Brooklyn Nets.
He has shown tremendous promise as a young center, and Wiseman might win the Rookie of the Year award if he continues to drop big numbers. The rookie from Memphis has averaged 1.3 blocks and 1.7 3-pointers made in the first three games and scored the second-highest among rookies at 14.7 points per game, just behind Anthony Edwards.