2021 Top 10 Rookie Rankings - Day 1-16
- By Jron Magcale, Day 17, 2021
JBL 2021 Rookie Rankings
A report on the Top 10 rookie performers this first 16 days of the league. An early look on who is making waves in their young careers. We will try to rank the rookies every half month of the league and see who are the shakers or movers.
#1 Idris Berkley, F/G (OKC) - The 3rd pick overall of the 2021 JBL draft has turn heads for his strong start of the season although expansion team OKC Barons are just 2-6 this early in the season the city of Oklahoma has a lot to be thankful for. Idris Berkley or "Dreezy" as his peers call him has been unbelievable, averaging 26.8 ppg (leads all rookies), 6.3 apg, 5.1 rpg, 2.25 spg and 0.5 bpg he is one of the most efficient rookies in the field shooting 53% FG, 75% FT and 34% 3FG. Dreezy is blossoming into a star in Oklahoma and the city is embracing it. He already scored 30+ points in 4 different occasions and the high powered offense of the Barons is very beneficial to Berkley. Lately he has been attacking the rack almost exclusively and toned down on the long range bomber which helps his efficiency. Can he maintain the type of play that he has been showing as of late? Or the inevitable rookie wall and the length of schedule would come knocking in his door? One thing is for sure, OKC is all in with Idris Berkley.
#2 Devon Harrell, PG (BOS) - Known to be a defensive stalwart in Kansas for his perimeter pedigree on the defensive end has shown that he can also operate offensively. Another expansion beneficiary of playing time coaching staff trust. The 6'5" PG is #3 in all rookies in scoring (23.1 ppg) #4 in assists (6.5) and tied at 3rd in steals (2.25), he also grabbing 5.1 rpg and swatting 1.25 bpg that makes him an asset on both ends of the floor. Very efficient shooting for this kid as he is shooting 50% or more on both FG (50% and 3FG (51%). Harrell looks like a seasoned vet leading the Crusaders charge (2-6 as of press time) but it is evident that he needs help if they want to be successful. We'll see how Devon Harrell progresses over the course of the season but expect the 2-Way guard to continue being a key contributor in Boston.
#3 Randall Dozier, PF (BAL) - One of 3 rookies who are averaging a double-double in this early season but the difference is, he is doing more than just scoring and rebounding. Doze has been involve in the offense and defense side of the basketball in Baltimore. The prized rookie acquisition of GM Bedouin which caught quite attention when he was traded is now showing everybody why GM Bedouin is high on this versatile bigman. Averaging 15.1 ppg, 12 rpg, 5 apg, 2.13 bpg and 1.63 spg this kid has been all around the court for the Bullets. The 17th pick of the Lightning (which was later shipped to Baltimore) has been scaryin the low blocks where he does majority of his damage. Although he may want to pull that FG% in the high 50's (45% right now), his effectiveness can be seen everywhere. Doze will be a fixture in Baltimore as long as he keeps his all-around game intact. One thing that is evidenty on Doze is his demeanor of getting the job done, although Baltimore isn't too hot right now 2-6 currently in the standings, Doze always shows up ready and do everything the coach asked him to. Can Doze be more aggressive scoring in the future? Too early to tell but with already a triple double to his name and season high of 6 blocks and 4 steals vs the Rens. You can bet on that his impact will be remembered.
#4 Josh Gamble, PG (MIA) - People are quick to overlook Gamble as he isn't flashing big scoring numbers like his peers, but if you want to see what his value you can check Miami's 6-1 card and his contributions to the offensively heavy Cyclones. Gamble is the only rookie who dished out 10 or more assists without a turnover (doing it twice 16 vs KC and 10 vs BOS. Gamble has been doing what he is supposed to and that is being Miami's floor leader. Gamble is averaging decent numbers through 7 games. 14.4 ppg, 10.3 apg, 3.7 rpg and 1.29 spg while shooting 48% from the field and 33% from the outside. Miami is already stacked in offensive weapons with Jermaine Curry and Tyree Chappell scoring 20+ ppg add that recently signed Reggie Fortier is averaging 18.4 ppg and The Dragon's 16.3 ppg there is obviously no shortage of scoring in Miami. That is where Gamble's value comes in. If they are going to be successful Josh Gamble will have a direct impact on it.
#5 Khalen Anthony, C (CHA) - As good as advertised. That is what they use to describe The Khal of Charlotte's game. Khalen Anthony's offense is advanced for his age. The 14th pick of the 2021 JBL Draft has been scoring efficiently 23.4 ppg (56% FG, 38% 3FG and 75% FT) while also grabbing 8.4 rpg, flashing his scoring potential 38 points in the lose to the Hurricanes and registering 20 or more points 5 times already this season. Charlotte is 3-5 in the standings and you can account Khal as one of the culprits for those 3 wins. The downside is aside from scoring Khal have shown little to no defense at times and tends to focus on the offensive of the game. Which was a big turning point why he slid to #14 pick instead of being inside the top 10 given the thin draft for Centers. A natural scorer than can also knock outside shots when available, Khal can be a lethal scoring machine in years to come. Charlotte has embraced his strengths and hopes to work on his weakness but for now. They are good with what he can offer in the table. Still, it is rare to see a big man who can score almost anywhere on the floor at an efficient pace. If Khal can improve defensively look out for now, Khal is Charlotte's go-to- guy.
#6 Kendrick Hill, G (PIT) - The mass appeal is there, aggressive, active and can be seen all over the place. He represents Pittsburgh blue collar grit. King Kendrick has a blunt start for his career as he averaged a triple double in the first few games thanks to a torrid first 2 games that seen him recorded 15 rebounds and 19 assists vs Dallas and before that recorded 19-9-7-3 in the opener win vs Baltimore. After those he kind of sizzles into form maybe the cold weather in Pittsburgh is to blame but still the kid has been averaging a decent clip 14.8ppg, 9.8 apg, 7.4 rpg and 1.88 spg. His struggles shooting is quite obvious but he is a rookie and he'll get better with experience (41% FG and 22% 3FG), the Vipers are dubbed to be the most ready expansion team and they are winning games they are supposed to with a 3-5 card. King Kendrick is alright as he is surrounded by veterans who can guide him through and through. So, far, so good for Hill as he is doing what he is expected of, with the right system we can see this kid flirt with a triple-double night in and night out. But expect the shooting struggles to continue and turnover numbers may go higher in any circumstances but to say King Kendrick isn't special is blasphemy.
#7 Uman Akele, F (LOU) - The Black Panther has been having quite an opening season, the 6'10" rookie who had quite a slide from his projected draft position (he was projected anywhere from 3-8 pick) must be thankful he is Louisville and giving the keys to the castle. Akele who is known to be a versatile wing in NC State has continued that tradition and being a do-everything type of player in Louisville. Averaging 18.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 5.1 apg, 1.5 spg and 1.6 bpg but struggles shooting (38% FG and 22% 3FG) but knocks his FTs alright (81% FT). He is silently putting on nice numbers but the lack of success has been pulling him down in the rankings. Colonels is 1-7 so far and hasn't been a team that most are afraid of. Akele has been the focal point of Louisville's offense and it seems like he has been involed more than the other players on his squad (16.9 FGA), Akele is oozing with potential he showcased that with a monster near triple-double game vs Dallas where they almost won he flashed 39 pts (12/23 FG, 1/6 3FG and 14/15 FT), 15 rebs, 8 assists, 1 steal and 3 blocks although he did commit 6 turnovers. He also flashed some defensive potential registering 7 blocks in the win vs Jaguars and tallying 4 steals vs Boston. Now, if he can focus on evolving his game and solving that shooting woes he can easily be in the top 5 by the end of the season.
#8 Odell Bracey, G (DEN) - The most fascinating rookie in this class, OB1 has shown what he can do in the span of 8 games but only enough to bag 1 win. Known to be quite a character with swag and personality the sparkplug guard from UCLA has taken over Denver. OB1 as he is known has averaged 20.9 ppg, 6 apg, 2.5 rpg and 2.25 spg but shooting under 40% (37% FG anf 32% 3FG), the Dragons is still looking what role fits OB1 best but it's too early to tell, the flashy combo guard has shown flashes of what he can do as evident of the 33 points performance vs Baltimore where he drains 5 out 10 3s and the recent double-double vs the Huskies in a high scoring affair 23 pts-12 asts which shows his side as a playmaker. If Denver can find a role for OB1 to focus on it will be win-win situation developement-wise for Denver and Bracey. One scout says that OB1 will keep on shooting no matter what and they say that when he gets comfortable on the offensive side of the basketball he'll be more efficient. Defensively, OB1 is a ballhawk averaging 2.25 spg (tied for 1st for all rookies) swiping the ball 4x twice already and only having 1 or less steals in 2 our ot 8 games. OB1 will sure be on the cover of a magazine quick but in order to be a household name he needs to be consistent shooting the ball, it's ealy and OB1 is just 18 years old but the future looks bright for Denver.
#9 Jamaya Sprinkle, C (PHO) - Phoenix has been enjoying a stellar start of the season and rookie Center Jamaya Sprinkle has been looking good doing so. The 7' center out of Arizona didn't have to travel much further when he was drafted by Phoenix at the #7 spot and from the get go has been a key contributor on what looks like a playoff team. Bagging an average of 13. ppg, 10.9 rpg, 4.8 apg, 1.8 spg and 2.25 bpg which by the way leads all rookies in blocks. It was his defense in which Phoenix got infatuated with in Sprinkle as one of the only true centers in the draft that can effectively be an asset in both the offense and defense, Sprinkle has shown what other players his age lacks and that is maturity. He knows when to go for blocks or steals and although he is not the focal point of offense in Phoenix (that title belongs to his fellow frontcourt Drayton Banks) he does knocks the shots he is given or the his hustle in the offensive boards (3.7 ORPG). Sprinkle is also a proud owner of a triple double in this young season as he recorded 21-13-10 vs the Los Angeles Fireballs. His skill as a passer is underrated but with finishers such as Banks, Nash, Fisher and Vidmar it is easy to trust them to make the shots. Sprinkle will be a solid big man for years to come and at 18 there are more to expect from this young big.
#10 Donovan Galloway, PF/C (MIN) - The struggle continues in Minnesota as they are the only winless team in JBL and that may overshadowed Donovan Galloway's value. An undersized frontcourt presence who is bullish in the inside have quietly averaging a double-double 1 of only 4 rookies to do so this season (albeit early). Galloway has been flashing all-around numbers as well to the tune of 14.3 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.5 spg and 1.75 bpg while shooting under 45% (42% FG and 27% 3FG). Galloway is just 6'9" but at 249lbs you can't bully this kid easily. Known as a decent scorer in Georgia Tech able to knock down mid-range and even the three ball. This season he has shown that he can do those (already knocked down 10 3Pt shots this season) his inside game is steadily evolving but his value is on the boards where he only missed rebounding in double figures twice and already have 3 double-doubles. He can score if he needs to but right now he is more of a support scorer as the Blizzards has Lamar Claxton as their feature scorer (26.6 ppg). But as the team's 2nd leading scorer, you all know he is bound to get more touches while finding their first W this season.