We’ve been on a break from the top ten rookie rankings, largely due to the fact that the top ten wasn’t commanding much attention or edits. However, the power has shifted in the bottom half of the rankings, and John Wall has a serious contender for his second place.
Blake Griffin still sits atop all rookies as he dominates with often unexplainable athleticism and power. Seriously, imagine if this guy stretches his shot out to a consistent three-pointer…
Read on for this week’s top 10 guys from the 2010 NBA Draft class:
1. Blake Griffin, PF, Los Angeles Clippers
2010 stats: 35.5 MPG, 20 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 2.8 APG, 51% FG
Griffin has picked up his game and recorded 10 straight double-doubles, while topping 30+ points three times during that span, including a ridiculous 44-point out-burst to start the double-double streak. We keep hearing all this jazz about him not being a complete fantasy basketball player. Say what?
2. John Wall, PG, Washington Wizards
2010 stats: 38.1 MPG, 17.4 PPG, 9.1 APG, 3.4 RPG, 2.4 SPG, 41.5% FG, 34.2% 3 PT
Should Landry Fields seriously be in the discussion for the second spot in these rankings? No, not really. But when you factor Wall’s injuries and slightly dipping play, you have to start to lean towards the kid from Stanford who rivals most normal centers in rebounds. Regardless, Wall still owns almost all rookies across the board as a complete performer. He needs to get healthy, and quick, but his status as the second best rookie remains intact for at least one more week.
3. Landry Fields, G/F, New York Knicks
2010 stats: 30.5 MPG, 10.3 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1 SPG, 51.7% FG, 30.9% 3 PT
While Fields isn’t the most explosive scorer, he gets it done with percentages and decent and consistent scoring out-put, especially considering he only heaves 7.7 shots per game. But that’s not why people are in love with his game. Landry has recorded at least 10 rebounds in six of his last eight games, and with at least 10 in his last three, it seems to be developing into a trend. Landry is sick on the glass for any player, but considering he’s only 6’7” and a guard/foward, his performance thus far is even more impressive.
4. DeMarcus Cousins, F/C, Sacramento Kings
2010 stats: 24.1 MPG, 11.2 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.2 APG, 40.8% FG
The main knock on Cousins so far in his rookie season has to be his questionable attitude and work ethic. However, as far as the stats go, it’s clearly his weak shooting percentages. However, despite some short-comings early on, Cousins has caught fire as of late, scoring 15 or more points in three of his last five games, and appearing much more active on the boards. Cousins has also been back in the starting lineup for three straight games, where he’s had at least 10 points and five rebounds in each contest.
5. Eric Bledsoe, PG, Los Angeles Clippers
2010 stats: 29 MPG, 8.6 PPG, 5 APG, 3.5 APG, 1.1 SPG, 46.7% FG
Bledsoe’s role has taken a hit since Baron Davis returned and Eric Gordon has gotten healthier, but there’s still a lot to like about his game. He’s still performing more consistently and at a higher level than the bottom half of these rookie rankings, and it doesn’t look like he’ll be dropping out of the top five anytime soon.
6. Wesley Johnson, G/F, Minnesota Timberwolves
2010 stats: 29 MPG, 9.1 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2 APG, 42.7% FG, 36.5% 3 PT
Working along side two guys who score and rebound the ball so well (Kevin Love and Michael Beasley), the numbers Johnson is putting up in just his first season are more impressive than you’d think. He’s shooting solid percentages, averaging nearly 10 points per game, and holding his own overall in the starting lineup. His stats currently reflect on the fact that not a whole lot is being asked of him, but his play is showing maturity and growth.
7. Larry Sanders, PF, Milwaukee Bucks
2010 stats: 15.1 MPG, 4.4 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.4 BPG, 41.1% FG
Sanders won’t blow you away with his season line or even necessarily wow you with his overall numbers of late. However, he’s stepped up tremendously with Drew Gooden and others banged up, and made a huge impact in his third career start with an amazing eight blocks against the Denver Nuggets. Since entering the starting lineup six games ago, Sanders has topped 10 points three times, while grabbing at least five rebounds three other times. His minutes have been a little inconsistent, but his recent production in his new role have him impressing a lot of people in Milwaukee.
8. Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Los Angeles Clippers
2010 stats: 18.2 MPG, 7.1 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 43.1% FG, 49% 3 PT
Aminu had a nice stretch for a while and has a decent line for a rookie, but he’s really fallen apart in the past week, failing to top eight points in his past five outings. It could be a small blip on the radar, but we need more consistency for him to go up any further in the rankings.
9. Greg Monroe, F/C, Detroit Pistons
2010 stats: 19 MPG, 4.7 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 1 APG, 0.9 SPG, 43% FG
Monroe has been getting more action in Detroit, but the numbers wouldn’t necessarily show it. He’s not playing poorly, as he’s actually shooting really well from the field over the past 10 games, but he’s also not doing anything special. His latest run of extra time on the floor and slightly improved numbers earn him the 9th slot in the rankings.
10. Xavier Henry, SG, Memphis Grizzlies
2010 stats: 17.5 MPG, 6.2 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 42.2% FG
Henry almost makes this list by default, as he doesn’t bring much to the table so far in his rookie season, other than his ability to shoot the ball. Henry isn’t lighting it up, but he’s got himself a spot in the starting lineup, and isn’t doing anything so wrong that it should change anytime soon. However, he’ll need some improvement to keep him in the top ten next time we bust the rookie rankings out.
Honorable Mentions: Gary Neal, Evan Turner, Derrick Favors