With one week of the 2021-22 NBA season already in the books, it’s now officially time to start up Rookie Rankings again. The 2021 draft class had it all: franchise cornerstones, quality role players and unrefined projects who project to be really special after a few years in the Association. That means this slate of NBA freshmen are sure to be an exciting bunch to watch this season.
We’re still waiting on the debut of the No. 1 overall pick in Cade Cunningham, who has been sidelined with an ankle injury, but with him getting healthy it allowed other top picks to steal the spotlight in the first week of action.
Keep in mind that these rankings will reflect a rookie’s performance on a week-to-week basis only, not the collective season. These aren’t Rookie of the Year standings. With that straightened out, here is a look at the top rookies from the opening week of the 2021-22 season.
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Though the Indiana Pacers lost their season opener, Duarte put up 27 points in his NBA debut, shooting 6 of 9 from deep and grabbing five rebounds in the process. With so many injuries plaguing the Pacers to start the season, Duarte has started in every game and rarely showed timidness in shooting the ball. Against the Heat, he showed off his playmaking ability, attacking mismatches and taking defenders off the dribble for both easy buckets and tough shots. Like this step-back jumper:
Read More: NBA Rookie Rankings: Chris Duarte shows off scoring prowess, No. 1 after opening 2021-10-26 15:32:00