NBA Rookie Leaderboard Predictions

With the NBA season starting tomorrow, one of the biggest headlines will be how the rookies in the 2020 NBA Draft Class performs. Will Lamelo reach the hype? Did the Bulls make the right choice in Patrick Williams? What rookie will surprise us all?

The following are some predictions on who will lead the board amongst rookies in the 2020 NBA Draft Class.

NBA Rookie Leaderboard – Points Per Game: Anthony Edwards

Anthony Edwards is in the perfect position to succeed in his time with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He is surrounded by D’Angelo Russel, a scoring point guard who can space the floor, and Karl-Anthony Towns, a center who is just a gravitate force in the paint. Although he was underwhelming in the preseason, it takes time to get used to the league.

He can score efficiently both inside and out, scoring around 11 points per game in his preseason debut. Although Cole Anthony scored 4 more points per game and was more offensively potent, Edwards will outperform him in the long run, given his size, versatility, and sheer talent to put the ball in the basket.

Final PPG Prediction: 11.8 PPG

Runner-Up: Cole Anthony

NBA Rookie Leaderboard – Rebounds Per Game: Aleksej Pokuveski

Pokuveski led the rookies in the preseason in this category, and we should expect the same output from him this year at OKC. He averaged almost 10 RPG and played right under 25 MPG.
Although Horford may take some of his minutes, Poku has the size, skill, and right fit with the Thunder to lead rookies in the rebound category. Poku also has to work on his lateral quickness, but given his preseason debut, he looks like an amazing prospect ready to make a steady impact.

Final RPG Prediction: 7.1 RPG

Runner-Up: James Wiseman

NBA Rookie Leaderboard – Steals Per Game: Devin Vassell

Devin Vassell has been the perfect fit for the Spurs. He led not only the team but the entire league in steals per game. Under the coaching of Popovich, Vassell has been one of the most useful and versatile players in this draft thus far.

We knew he’d be a great 3-and-D player and a very fundamental player, and he has shown his defensive prowess with ease. As the season progresses and Vassell gets more used to the team and as the game slows down for him, expect an uptick in his defensive awareness.

Final SPG Prediction: 1.6 SPG

Runner-Up: Killian Hayes

Assist Per Game: Cole Anthony

Although he didn’t lead the preseason rookies in this category, he was only 0.4 APG away from the top leader, Immanuel Quickley, who has been a surprise for the league given he was a late first-round pick. However, given the vast scoring options Cole has, as well as the progressive minutes he will continue to get as the season progresses as Quickley will most likely take a back seat in the first half of the season, expect Cole to lead the league in this category.

Final APG Prediction: 4.4 APG

Runner-Up: Lamelo Ball

NBA Rookie Leaderboard – Blocks Per Game: James Wiseman

Although we didn’t see Wiseman play in the preseason, he is easily the best center that this draft provided. Towering over 7 ft with a 7 ft 6in wingspan, Wiseman will be the perfect fit for the Warriors.

The Warriors have not had such a promising center in a long time, and Wiseman can provide the motor, effort, and defensive presence as the Warriors’ few big men. Although surprise Patrick Williams makes a case, he didn’t even reach the Top 5 his team for rebounds, and Okongwu seems to be injury-prone already, given he will miss the first few games of the season.

Final BPG Prediction: 1.2 BPG

Runner-Up: Jaden McDaniels

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My name is Alonzo Cortez, currently from New Jersey, but born in the Philippines and previously lived in Singapore. I am a current Undergraduate Student at the University of Michigan majoring in Cognitive Science with a track in Data Computation and play for Michigan Rugby. Currently, I am a sports, video game, and creative writer/freelancer. I hope to either work in public policy or sports business in the future using data analytics.

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