This year’s NBA draft class is one of the deepest draft classes in recent memory. The top five draft picks have garnered a lot of attention, but that has left a lot of the other rookies to fall off the radar. With how good these three rookies are, it would not be shocking to see any of them break out this season. Here are three rookies that need more attention.
Three Rookies that Need More Attention
Josh Giddey (PG) – Oklahoma City Thunder
If there is one rookie that needs more hype, it’s Josh Giddey. The 6’7 point guard played professionally in Australia for one season similar to LaMelo Ball. Giddey posted averages of 10.9 points, 7.5 assists, and 7.4 rebounds in 32.1 minutes per game last season. He would wind up winning the rookie of the year award and leading the NBL in assists. Giddey was then drafted 6th overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder. He possesses all of the traits of a modern-day point guard. Giddey has great size and rebounding ability for a guard in addition to his stellar playmaking. He still needs to become a more efficient player but a lot of other young players have that same criticism. Through four preseason games, Giddey has averaged 13.5 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. It’s only preseason but Giddey’s upside is just as high as anyone in this draft class.
Alperen Sengun (C) – Houston Rockets
Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers is seen as the best big man in this draft, but Alperen Sengun has already proven he deserves to be in that conversation. The Rockets traded up to the 16th pick to land Sengun, who won the MVP of the Turkish Super League at age 18. He averaged 19.2 points and 9.4 rebounds in 28.3 minutes last season. He needs to improve his outside shooting (19% from three last season) and defense but the rest of his game is very polished. Daniel Theis is expected to start at center for the Rockets to open the season. However, the expectation is that Sengun will eventually replace him in the starting lineup. The Rockets are going to be bad this season, so Sengun should get plenty of playing time.
Davion Mitchell (PG) – Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings got a steal with Tyrese Haliburton in the 2020 draft, and they may have gotten another one in Davion Mitchell. Mitchell is considered to be the best on-ball defender in the draft. Head coach Luke Walton has even compared him to Ron Artest, who was a defensive player of the year winner. The only real question with Mitchell is can his offense catch up to his great defense. He only averaged 11.5 points, 2 rebounds, and 3.3 assists so far in four preseason games, but it’s preseason. Last season at Baylor, Mitchell shot 51 percent from the field and 44 percent from three so the upside is there. The Kings struggled on defense last season and so Mitchell should get lots of playing time. An older rookie at 23 years old, Mitchell may be more NBA ready than others in his draft class.
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