Rookie Rankings Round-Up: 3.31.21

Haliburton continues his ascent, cementing his status as a frontrunner for Rookie of the Year.
by Jordan Ramirez
Digital Managing Editor

Tyrese Haliburton doesn't just want to win games, he wants to change the culture in Sacramento.

"We're all here to help change the Kings culture, get the Kings back to the playoffs and do special things here in Sacramento," said the rookie.

No. 0 is in the process of doing just that.


Since Haliburton has entered the starting lineup, his numbers have increased dramatically across the board.

The former Iowa State Cyclone is averaging 15.8 points and 4.5 assists on 51 percent shooting, including 42.5 percent from beyond the arc.

The race for the playoffs — and Rookie of the Year — is well underway.

Here's where the NBA world ranks Sacramento's rookie amongst his fellow draftees:

NBA.com — 1

Haliburton has been helping Sacramento at both ends: His offensive rating of 111.9 ranks second among all rookies and his has an effective field-goal percentage of 59.4%. Meanwhile, he’s averaging 1.3 steals and 2.2 deflections. Most of all, he is impacting winning, the rare rookie trait that Charlotte’s Ball demonstrated early in staking his claim to the East’s top rookie honors for January and February. Well, Haliburton was his West counterpart in winning those honors.

Yahoo! Sports — 3

Haliburton has been relatively quiet lately but has still found ways to be productive on the floor even when his shot isn’t falling. He still managed to dish out seven assists in a win over the Boston Celtics on March 19 after going 1-for-6 from the field and scoring only four points.

“Whatever role I need to play for this team, I’m going to do it,” Haliburton told Yahoo Sports on draft night.

He’s lived up to that, showing zero signs of discouragement. There have been stretches in the last month where he’s scored 17 points on 42% shooting from the field and other nights where his minutes have been limited due to four of his teammates scoring 20-plus points. Haliburton is second in assists in the rookie class, trailing Ball by 29 assists, and is second in field-goal percentage, shooting 47.3% (a hair better than James Harden, who is shooting 47.1%).

CBS Sports — 1

Haliburton finally bounced back after a calf injury sidelined him for four games, and slowed him down a bit in his return at the beginning of March. Coincidentally, his performance this week helped the Kings post a 4-1 record, including wins over the Celtics and Hawks. His best performance of the week came against the Warriors, where he finished a plus-21 on the night, and shooting lights out from deep (6-for-7). It wasn't the typical all-around game we usually see with Haliburton, where he's stuffing every category of the boxscore, as he finished with just one assist and zero boards, but he was in full scoring mode.

Rookie Wire — 2

After missing time with a calf injury, Haliburton reemerges onto the rankings following a couple of strong weeks with the Kings. Over that span, Haliburton is averaging 15.8 points, 4.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds on 42.5% shooting from 3-point range. While he is shooting very well as of late, his marksmanship has been on display all season long. In fact, Haliburton is on the cusp of entering the 50-40-90 club given his shooting percentages. He still has a bit more work to do to accomplish that rare feat but it should be fun to see if he can hit that mark over the course of the rest of the season.

Sportskeeda — 3

Tyrese Haliburton has probably had his best week in terms of his performances since the last time we put out our NBA Rookie of the Year power rankings. During that stretch, he averaged 15.6 points per game.

He also managed to score a career-best 28 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers in a matchup that took place on March 22nd.

His top performances during that period have helped him gain one position from our last edition of the NBA Rookie of the Year power rankings as he swapped with the New York Knicks' Immanuel Quickley for third place.

If Haliburton continues to perform this way and LaMelo Ball doesn't return by the end of the regular season, there is a small window for the Kings' guard to finish as the runner-up eventually.

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