NBA Rookie Rankings: Victor Wembanyama posts first-of-its-kind statline, Warriors rookie earning his minutes


The San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons have been under scrutiny due to their historic levels of losing. The Spurs, with a record of 3-20, and the Pistons, even worse at 2-22, have attracted criticism and jokes. However, it is essential to consider the context: the Spurs are the youngest team in the league, with an average age of 23.52 years, and the Pistons rank eighth in terms of youthfulness. Additionally, the Pistons recently welcomed back Bojan Bogdanovic, a key player.

While acknowledging the fair criticism for some poor performances, it is crucial to recognize the impressive efforts of these young players. Despite the Pistons’ overall struggle, Ausar Thompson has excelled on defense, taking on the challenge of guarding top players in the league. He has also demonstrated strong rebounding skills, averaging the second-highest boards (8.4) in his class, surpassed only by Wembanyama. Thompson has shown scoring potential, exemplified by his recent 20-point game with an 80% field goal percentage. Dismissing him based on his current scoring average, as suggested by Gilbert Arenas, seems unjust given that Thompson is a 20-year-old rookie only 23 games into his NBA career.

Moving on to standout rookies of the week, it’s important to note that these rankings focus on weekly performances rather than the entire season. Victor Wembanyama tops the list, despite the Spurs’ ongoing losses. Wembanyama continues to put up remarkable numbers, such as a 30-point, 13-rebound, 6-block game, including four three-pointers—a stat line never before seen in NBA history. Even without the three-pointers, Wembanyama is the first rookie since Tim Duncan to achieve at least 30 points, 10 boards, and six blocks in a game. His exceptional performance has garnered praise from top NBA players, with Anthony Davis referring to him as “one of them ones.” Wembanyama’s impact suggests that the Spurs may need to accelerate their rebuild to complement his talents and strive for success in the near future.

In second place for standout rookies is Chet Holmgren, contributing with an average of 18.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and 1.5 assists per game for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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