Kia rookie ladder: Sade Holmgren maintains his grip on the No. 1 spot

Chet Holmgren talks with Dennis Scott about pursuing a 50-40-90 season.

Victor Vembanyama made an ominous prediction for the rest of the rookies on the Gia rookie ladder and, frankly, for the entire NBA.

„This is probably the worst Victor we’ll ever see,” the San Antonio Spurs long man told reporters on Tuesday. I hope every year I get better and better, so this is promising.

Or scary, if you’re his enemy. Because he’s already strong, he’s back behind Oklahoma City Thunder big man Chet Holmgren in this week’s rankings.


Weekly review

• Both ladder leaders have recently gained fame. First, Minnesota center Rudy Gobert on Holmgren. „He’s going to write his own legacy,” multiple All-Stars and a defensive player told The Oklahoman„I’m happy to be a witness to that.”

• Denver center Nikola Jokic next weighed in with praise and predictions for Wembanayama. „He’s 19 years old and he’s not tired or scared,” the two-time reigning MVP said. told reporters. „He plays hard, he wants to be good. … He’s going to change the game 100%.

• While the top two positions remained the same as last week, there was significant movement in other steps. Seven of last week’s top 10 changed positions, less than a month into the season, a sign of improvement, new challenges and often a smaller sample size. The eighth rookie returned to the ranks, perhaps returning to his preseason projections.

• Portland’s Scoot Henderson was 10th with new contact lenses and glasses after a nine-game absence with an ankle injury.


A must watch storyline

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Responsibility will increase. Some of the best players haven’t invented their own games. Although this is early stage, a few are also taking on larger team responsibilities. Miami’s Jaime Jacques Jr., for example, has been a valuable part of the Heat’s rotation, with a consistency that belies his draft spot at No. 18 and has been hampered by injuries. Brandon Miller is already starting to carry more of the load with Charlotte star LaMelo Ball. Out again with a severe ankle sprain.

And Henderson looks set to start again for the Blazers. He averaged 9.7 points and +9.0 off the bench, making an undeniable impact on Portland’s momentum. „He brought us a spark,” teammate Jeremy Grant said. „We played faster than the last time we played, and he didn’t.”


Latest ranking

(All figures till Tuesday 28th November)

1. Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City Thunder

Season Stats: 17.9 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.2 ppg
Last Ladder: 1
Draft Selection: No. 2 (2022)

Holmgren had a strong week, averaging 22.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists, though his shooting (46.2/36.4/73.3) was a bit off his previous 50/40/90 pace. His plus/minus gap is better than Vembaniyama’s at 216 (Holmgren +91, Vemba -125). And he got a new frontcourt partner for some significant minutes, with coach Mark Daignold Holmgren experimenting with fellow big Jaylin Williams.


2. Victor Wembaniama, San Antonio Spurs

Season Stats: 19.2 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 2.6 ppg
Last Ladder: 2
Draft Selection: Number 1

It’s hard to ask for his numbers, and this week Vembaniyama posted 22 points, 11.7 boards and 3.0 assists, 2.7 steals and 3.0 blocks per game. His downside was his inability to stop Spurs’ losing streak and inconsistent shooting.

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3. Jordan Hawkins, New Orleans Pelicans

Season Stats: 13.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.0 apg
Last Ladder: 4
Draft Selection: Number 14

He’s hitting 37% of his 3-pointers, leading the Pelicans in that stat to pick up the slack from the injured Trey Murphy III and CJ McCallum. The UConn shooter leads the class of 2023 from deep — he shot 135-of-50, 60% more and 80% more than any other freshman. His defense and sub-45% shooting on both is needed.


4. Auser Thompson, Detroit Pistons

Season Stats: 11.4 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 3.1 apg
Last Ladder: 3
Draft Selection: Number 5

12 ppg per week, 16 vs. As his scoring has risen — including Washington — his work on the boards has declined (5.0 from the last ladder). The loss hasn’t fazed him, but he must now pick up the pace to join Charles Barkley and Carr Heard on the strangest club in NBA history: 6-foot-6 or average 10 boards, 1.5 blocks and 1.0 fewer players. steals Thompson is posting 9.5 rpg, 1.7 ppg and 1.1 spg.


5. Brandon Miller, Charlotte Hornets

Season Stats: 14.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.9 apg
Last Ladder: 6
Draft selection: No. 2 overall

The second pick of the draft flips back into the top 5 and returns to the Hornets’ starting lineup after Ball left with an injury. There are 18 teams Miller hasn’t faced yet, but he’s averaging 19.3 points on 56.4% shooting against the Knicks. He’s 9-for-17 from Tuesday, making his percentage 37.3%.


Next 5:

6. Jaime Jacques Jr., Miami Heat

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Season Stats: 11.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.6 apg
Last Ladder: 8
Draft Selection: No. 18

14 points, four rebounds and six assists in 33 minutes in a consistent „Lillard game” off the Heat bench.

7. Keonte George, Utah Jazz

Season Stats: 9.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 5.1 apg
Last Ladder: 9
Draft Selection: No.16

Had a big scoring week (16.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 5.0 apg) and was solid as a starter.

8. Derek Lively II, Dallas Mavericks

Season Stats: 8.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.3 apg
Last Ladder: 5
Draft Selection: Number 12

Returned from 1-game absence (back) to eight points, five rebounds vs. Houston.

9. Bilal Coulibaly, Washington Wizards

Season stats: 8.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.8 apg
Last Ladder: 7
Draft Selection: Number 7

Wizards beat Pistons by 19 runs, ace defender It was +19.

10. Scoot Henderson, Portland Trail Blazers

Season Stats: 9.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 4.0 apg
Last Ladder: Not ranked
Draft Selection: Number 3

Catches a streak after missing nine games with an ankle injury.

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Steve Ashburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can email him here, find his archive here and Follow him on Twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Warner Bros. Discovery.

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