NBA Draft Evaluation
By: Tres T
Evaluating the top-five draft picks through their Rookie seasons
With the NBA season being about three quarters of the way complete, I believe it’s time to evaluate which pick from the top-five overall picks in the 2021 NBA Draft have excelled the most this season. The order in which the draft took place last summer began with the Detroit Pistons, the Houston Rockets, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Toronto Raptors and the Orlando Magic at fifth.
No. 1: Detroit Pistons – Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State)
No. 2: Houston Rockets – Jalen Green (G League Ignite)
No. 3: Cleveland Cavaliers – Evan Mobley (USC)
No. 4: Toronto Raptors – Scottie Barnes (Florida State)
No. 5: Orlando Magic – Jalen Suggs (Gonzaga)
There are a lot of ways to determine who has been the most ‘excelling’ during their rookie seasons, but in this article, I’m speaking specifically from the categories of individual statistics and how well their team is doing win-wise. Clear cut, no explanation, just facts – because facts don’t care about your feelings and there is no denying them. Let’s get to it.
Points: Cade Cunningham (17.3), Jalen Green (17.0), Scottie Barnes (15.5), Evan Mobley (14.9), Jalen Suggs (11.9)
Rebounds: Evan Mobley (8.3), Scottie Barnes (7.6), Cade Cunningham (5.5), Jalen Suggs (3.6), Jalen Green (3.4)
Assists: Cade Cunningham (5.5), Jalen Suggs (4.4), Scottie Barnes (3.5), Jalen Green (2.6), Evan Mobley (2.5)
Steals: Cade Cunningham (1.2), Jalen Suggs (1.2) Scottie Barnes (1.1), Evan Mobley (0.8), Jalen Green (0.7)
Blocks: Evan Mobley (1.6), Scottie Barnes (0.8), Cade Cunningham (0.7), Jalen Suggs (0.4), Jalen Green (0.3)
Winningest Franchise: Cleveland Cavaliers (43-37), Evan Mobley
After listing (rookie) leaders from the five who were drafted the highest in the past draft, it appears that Cade Cunningham takes home the trophy per the individual statistic category. He led the way by leading in three, to Evan Mobley’s 2. But, there is a case to be made that Evan Mobley might be more deserving for the recognition. While he’s just one behind Cade, his team is having the best season and I think that could mean a lot more since he’s contributing to the success of his team the most it seems. At the end of the day, winning is what matters and is what gets you paid in the league. So the winner is essentially up to you and where your morals lie.