LaMelo Ball’s recent return to match fitness means that his NBA Rookie of the Year award campaign is back on. The Charlotte Hornets’ point guard returned to the starting lineup in their recent victory over the Detroit Pistons and looked close to his former self. Highlights since his return have included an underarm cross-court dime for Terry Rozier and multiple smooth layups.
LaMelo Ball is once again the odds-on favorite to win the NBA Rookie of the Year award.
However, multiple other rookies such as Minnesota Timberwolves’ Anthony Edwards and the Sacramento Kings’ Tyrese Haliburton are also in contention. On that note, we look at the latest power rankings for the NBA Rookie of the year 2021 award.
Latest NBA Rookie of the Year rankings
For a while, LaMelo Ball looked like the runaway leader for the NBA Rookie of the Year award. However, his injury and the improved performances of several other NBA first-timers have meant that the race is now wide open.
The likes of Jae’Sean Tate, James Wiseman and Desmond Banes are notable mentions. These players have played well and are in the race but miss out on a spot in our NBA Rookie of the Year Power Rankings.
#1 Anthony Edwards
MPG - 31.7, PPG – 18.5, APG - 2.8, RPG - 4.6 FG% - 47%
Previous NBA Rookie of the Year Power Ranking - 1st (-).
Anthony Edwards has proven himself to be a reliable scorer and has recently been on a tear in the NBA. The Minnesota Timberwolves are out of the reckoning for the playoffs, but Edwards has been one of the bright spots in an injury-marred season.
In recent games, Edwards has shown considerable improvement in offensive output and shooting efficiency, which has climbed up to around 47%. Edwards is the most prolific rookie in the NBA this season and LaMelo Ball’s injury layoff has allowed him to climb up to the number one spot in the latest NBA Rookie of the Year Power Rankings.
#2 LaMelo Ball
MP - 28.6, PPG - 15.9, AST - 6.1, RPG - 5.9 FG% - 45.1%.
Previous NBA Rookie of the Year Power Ranking – 3rd (+1).
LaMelo Ball’s overall displays have been nothing short of extraordinary. His ability to impact the game on both ends of the court is extremely valuable in the NBA. But perhaps his most impressive skill is his range of passing that has been on full display this season. Ball was unlucky to suffer a wrist fracture that allowed other rookies to catch up to him.
However, LaMelo Ball is the most impactful player vying for the Rookie of the Year award this season and will now be looking to return to his prolific ways.
#3 Tyrese Haliburton
MP - 30.1, PPG - 13, AST - 5.3, RPG - 3 FG% - 56.9%.
Previous NBA Rookie of the Year Power Ranking - 2nd (-1)
Tyrese Haliburton had a dip in form but has been on a tear in recent weeks. He is averaging nearly 17 points per game in his last six appearances and has improved his overall shooting efficiency to almost 57%.
Haliburton has shot at over 40% from the 3-point line this entire season, an impressive percentage for a rookie. He is an elite passer and has produced double-doubles with points and assists in two of his last three NBA appearances. The Sacramento Kings are still in the reckoning for the NBA playoffs and Haliburton’s improved form is a huge boost to their chances.
#4 Saddiq Bey
MPG - 26.2, PPG - 11.6, AST - 1.3, RPG - 4.3 FG% - 53.1%.
Previous NBA Rookie of the Year Power Ranking – 5th (+1).
Saddiq Bey has been the shining star for a terrible Detroit Pistons team. Bey leads several NBA rookies that have emerged in recent weeks as contenders for the Rookie of the Year award.
He has increased his overall 3-point attempts and is averaging over 45% from downtown during his last three appearances in the NBA. Saddiq Bey is also a versatile defender, capable of guarding multiple positions. The rookie out of Villanova has shown stark improvement in his rebounding, ball-stealing and blocking in recent weeks as well.
#5 Immanuel Quickley
MPG - 19.5, PPG – 11.7, AST - 2.1, RPG - 2.2 FG% - 49.8%.
Previous NBA Rookie of the Year Power Ranking - 4th (-1).
Quickley and LaMelo Ball are possibly the only two NBA Rookie of the Year contenders who will be part of the post-season this time around. The young point guard has consistently impacted the game on both ends of the court and is one of the better defenders in the NBA Rookie of the Year race this season.