With only 22 teams invited to Orlando to participate in the NBA restart plan, which ended a significant number of league beginner seasons. RJ Barrett, Coby White, PJ Washington and others will have to wait until the 2020-21 season to continue their NBA careers. But there are still a handful of rookies heading to Disney World who will have the opportunity to finalize their first year in the NBA. Some will also have the opportunity to compete in the playoffs or to lead their team towards the post season.
While the rookie pool may be smaller now that eight teams are out of the picture, there are still many first-year boys to watch when the NBA returns on July 30th. Based on what each rookie did before the season was postponed, and what to expect from them heading to Orlando, here are the latest Rookie Power charts for the NBA restart.
Before the break, the pelicans were cautious with their # 1 choice ever, after ex-stowaway Duke had lost half of the season recovering from knee surgery. In just 19 games, though, he was like a freight train, bullying anyone who was low on his way. Now, with four months to fully recover and get in even better shape, Williamson and the pelicans will be in a prime position to try and fight up to the playoffs. There was no team that could slow Sion down before the pandemic hit, so it will be interesting to see if he will pick up where he left off in March when the games resume.
If it weren’t for Williamson to come in and turn on the spotlight for 19 games, Morant would be the undisputed Rookie of the Year. While this may be true, given his thrilling performances throughout the season, securing the Grizzlies a playoff point would end that discussion. Early in the season, Morant immediately became a rising young star capable of leading a team to a championship one day. With every dazzling glare or passage over the shoulder and crossover on the basket, Morant cemented himself as a future face of the alloy. When he arrives in Orlando, he will have a healthy Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke to bear the weight with him.
Nunn was the surprise rookie of the season, who showed up for the first time against the Houston Rockets in a preseason game. Now, he has become a beginner for warmth and an integral piece for their success. he may not be the player everyone sees as Morant or Williamson, but the role of Nunn is even more important as a novice because he plays in a team that has higher aspirations than the simple playoff. The Heat have the ability to upset some teams in the East with their depth and shot, and Nunn, along with another Heat debutant on this list, is the main part.
Wizards are completely depleted and head for Orlando after Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans give up. What it means for Hachimura is that she will immediately become the star of the show for eight games at Disney World. The offense will likely go through a little more without Beal there, which will give him the opportunity to work more on his game, and give him and Washington the freedom to try different things. Hachimura alone is not enough to push the magicians into the playoffs, or even into a game game, but getting him to repeat the game will only help his game for the future.
Together with Nunn, Herro was one of the surprise pieces that transformed Miami from a mediocre Eastern Conference team to a dark horse that could become a contender. His shooting as a shooter has proven to be great on multiple occasions for the Heat, but it’s also more than just a point shooter. He can put the ball on the floor and create a little for himself, and has proven to be a quality rebound. The eight-game seeding schedule will act as a warm-up for Herro and Heat as they prepare for the post-season, as the real test for him and Nunn will be how they will perform under pressure in the playoffs.
Morant may be the Grizzlies’ most exciting player, but Clarke may just be one of the most important. It is a Swiss army knife with a ridiculous athleticism which makes it a constant threat of transition. His actual percentage of goals on the pitch (64.8 percent) is astronomical for a beginner, and he has already perfected his mid-range float. Clarke missed the last eight games before the season was postponed with a fourfold injury, but should be fully recovered in Orlando. With Clarke rolling again, the Grizzlies have a much better chance of holding on to that end point in the western playoffs now.
Davis has often been overlooked this season because he is playing with defending champions, where there are many players above him in the order to peck. However, when the Raptors needed to intervene after several injuries had occurred, he answered the call better than anyone could have expected from an untapped player. Ole Miss’s combo guard ranks in the 78th percentile among the league’s spot shooters for Synergy Sports and shoots 46.3 percent from the field and 39.6 percent beyond the bow. If he is able to continue what he started at the beginning of the season in Toronto, it could only be a secret weapon for the Raptors when they begin their journey to defend their title.
Dort’s performance before the break earned him a four-year NBA contract and $ 5.4 million with the Orlando-bound Thunder, no longer making him a two-way player. That contract was rightly earned, as it was a defensive cap for Thunder in numerous situations. He had to check out some of the league’s best guards, such as James Harden, Damian Lillard and Donovan Mitchell, and more than he was worth for every matchup. His 6-9 wingspan and lateral speed make him a defensive parasite, and while Oklahoma City plans to make life difficult for any team in the playoffs, Dort will be at the center of it all.
Thybulle is already among the best in the league in generating thefts and being a complete disruptor on the defensive side of the ball, and when he is on the ground with Ben Simmons and Josh Richardson, Philadelphia has one of the best defensive trios in the league. In attack, he appeared to be a valuable 3-point shooter during the first two months of the season, when he was knocking down 50 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. However, it hit a wall in January and cooled down, hitting 26.8 percent from the depths. His defense makes him invaluable for the Sixers, especially when the playoffs begin, but if he can’t find his shot in Orlando, he will become a passive in attack and cause spacing problems that could hinder Philly.
Porter had a sporadic rookie season in Denver, mainly because the Nuggets already have a lot of depth that doesn’t really need him too often. However, when given the green light on offense, he can score from virtually any part of the floor and his 6-10 frame makes it switchable on defense. He may not see the court very often in Orlando, or injuries may occur in Denver, which may push him higher into the depth chart. In the latter case, Porter has shown that he can intervene in a moment and occasionally obtain a performance of 15 points. If it performs well, it could be the best secret weapon Denver could have asked for.