The NBA’s first-year players are off to a hot start. Just not the one’s you might’ve expected.
Through two games, Indiana’s Chris Duarte leads the pack. The guard, selected 13th overall in the 2021 draft, had arguably one of the best rookie performances in his opener, scoring 27 points and tacking on five rebounds and one assist.
Duarte is averaging 21 points through two games.
Scottie Barnes, taken fourth overall by the Raptors in a surprise move, has been excellent so far this season. In his two contests, he’s averaging 18.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists.
Evan Mobley, selected at No. 3 overall by Cleveland, struggled in Summer League and some of preseason, but has since found his groove. He’s averaging 15.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in his games.
Cade Cunningham has yet to make his official NBA debut due to an ankle injury.
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Following an electric Summer League, No. 2 overall selection Jalen Green has scored just nine points in each of his games against the Timberwolves and Thunder.
Oklahoma City’s rookies have played solidly, but have generated the buzz they did in the four-game preseason slate. Josh Giddey has been active, but hasn’t seen near the offensive workload he did in game previous.
Tre Mann and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl have both been valuable contributors. Aaron Wiggins, the two-way guard selected 55th overall, has yet to see official NBA action.
Oklahoma City now looks to their Sunday matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers in Paycom Center.
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