Thursday, 23 May 2024

Kia Rookie Ladder: Evan Mobley, Cade Cunningham take over top 2 spots

The NBA draft is always an exciting time, and being selected in the second round can provide ample motivation for players to prove their worth. While first-round picks often receive more attention and better opportunities, second-rounders have the chance to turn their draft status into fuel for success.

In recent years, players like Gilbert Arenas and Draymond Green have openly admitted to using their draft position as motivation when facing teams that passed on them. Ayo Dosunmu, the 38th pick in the 2021 Draft, had his moment to shine against the Detroit Pistons’ top overall pick, Cade Cunningham. dosunmu’s defensive efforts helped limit Cunningham to just eight points, while Dosunmu made a positive impact for the Chicago Bulls off the bench.

Dosunmu’s story is just one example of how second-round picks can make a significant impact in the NBA. While it may take time for their true value to be revealed, these players often prove themselves as valuable contributors to their teams.

Evan Mobley: A Rising Star

Evan Mobley, the third overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers, has been making waves in his rookie season. With impressive stats of 14.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game, Mobley has earned the number one spot on this week’s Kia Rookie Ladder. NBA executives have recognized his potential, ranking him as the sixth-best player under 25 to build a franchise around. Mobley’s versatility and maturity on the court have been key factors in his success.

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Cade Cunningham: Climbing the Ladder

Despite a recent rough game against the Chicago Bulls, Cade Cunningham continues to impress. As the first overall pick by the Detroit Pistons, Cunningham has showcased his ability to impact the game in various ways, averaging 15.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game. Although he had a slow start to the season, Cunningham has shown resilience and the ability to contribute when it matters most. As he finds his rhythm, Cunningham’s impact on the Pistons continues to grow.

Scottie Barnes: A Defensive Force

Scottie Barnes, the fourth overall pick by the Toronto Raptors, has been making a name for himself with his defensive prowess. Averaging 14.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game, Barnes has been an integral part of the Raptors’ success. His defensive versatility has allowed him to guard some of the league’s top talents, showcasing his ability to impact the game on both ends of the court.

Franz Wagner: A Bright Spot in Orlando

Although the Orlando Magic have struggled as a team, Franz Wagner has been a bright spot in his rookie season. With season averages of 15.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game, Wagner has emerged as a key contributor for the Magic. His ability to handle various roles on the court has impressed his coaches, and he has consistently provided scoring for the team.

Josh Giddey: Impressive All-Around Game

Josh Giddey of the Oklahoma City Thunder has been making steady progress in his rookie season. With averages of 11.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game, Giddey has shown his ability to contribute in multiple facets of the game. His shooting percentages have improved, and he has demonstrated the potential to join the ranks of rookies who have averaged at least 11 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.

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1. How are the players ranked in the Kia Rookie Ladder?
The players are ranked based on their performance and impact in their rookie season. Factors such as statistics, impact on their team’s success, and overall performance are taken into consideration.

2. What criteria are used to determine the Rookie of the Year award?
The Rookie of the Year award is determined by a vote among sportswriters and broadcasters. It takes into account a player’s individual performance, impact on their team’s success, and overall contributions.

3. How long does it typically take for the true value of second-round picks to be revealed?
The true value of second-round picks often takes several seasons to become apparent. These players may take longer to develop or receive significant playing time, but their contributions can become more evident as they gain experience.

4. Are there any second-round picks who have had a significant impact in the NBA?
Yes, there have been several second-round picks who have made a significant impact in the NBA. Players like Draymond Green, Nikola Jokic, Khris Middleton, and Malcolm Brogdon have proven that draft position does not necessarily dictate success in the league.


The NBA’s rookie class of 2021 continues to impress, with Evan Mobley and Cade Cunningham taking the top two spots on the Kia Rookie Ladder. Both players have shown immense talent and potential in their rookie seasons, contributing to their respective teams’ success. Other rookies, such as Scottie Barnes, Franz Wagner, and Josh Giddey, have also made significant impacts and are worth keeping an eye on. Despite being overlooked in the draft, second-round picks like Ayo Dosunmu have proven their worth and continue to motivate themselves to excel in the NBA. As the season progresses, it will be fascinating to see how these rookies continue to develop and leave their mark on the league.

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