Each year in the NBA, there are always a few rookies that take off and have huge seasons.
Sometimes it is not just the highest-drafted rookies that have the best seasons.
But, the rookies that are put into the best possible situation, all usually flourish.
The NBA released their rookie leader for this upcoming week.
Paolo Banchero and Bennedict Mathurin lead all rookies again while Jalen Williams plays his way into the top three in the NBA App's latest Rookie Ladder￼￼. #NBARooks
— NBA (@NBA) January 18, 2023
All three of these rookies are having strong seasons, and each was a top-12 pick in the past draft.
Let’s take a look at all three of these players and how they stand out amongst the rest.
Paolo Banchero, Forward, Orlando Magic
The first overall pick of the 2022 draft has been nothing short of awesome this year for the Magic.
Banchero was a starter on day one with the Magic, doing so in all 37 games that he has played.
He has also shown the scoring ability that many lauded while he was at Duke.
So far this season Banchero is averaging 21.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.8 assists.
One spot where he can improve is his efficiency.
Shooting only 43.9% from the field and 31.6% from three is not going to cut it.
But, he should find ways to get better looks with experience.
Bennedict Mathurin, Forward, Indiana Pacers
Not many people knew what to expect from Mathurin in his rookie season.
But after only 45 games, Mathurin has not missed a beat scoring the ball.
He was a great scorer at Arizona last year, and now he is averaging 17.2 points per game.
Fun Fact: Bennedict Mathurin is averaging the most PPG (17.5) off the bench all-time (minimum 30 games). pic.twitter.com/pNzZp5Ki0I
— StatMuse (@statmuse) January 16, 2023
Mathurin has been a jolt of energy off the bench for the Pacers this year.
Indiana should be happy about their future starting duo of Tyrese Haliburton and Mathurin.
Jalen Williams, Guard, Oklahoma City Thunder
One of the lesser-known star rookies this season is Thunder guard Jalen Williams.
The 21-year-old has been awesome this year for the Thunder.
He is a high-flying player that currently leads all guards in dunks this season.
Just for fun, here’s every single Jalen Williams’ dunk so far this year,
He’s dunked more than any other guard in the NBA: pic.twitter.com/KK2F5zV9SY
— Derek Parker (@DParkOK) January 7, 2023
Also, he has started 27 of the 40 games he has played.
Averaging 11.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.0 steals per game.
Williams has benefitted from playing on a rebuilding Thunder team, allowing him to play 28.1 minutes per game.
His defense is what keeps him on the floor, he is averaging 2.1 steals per game in January.
This rookie-of-the-year race will be great over the second half of the season.