Boston rookie Kelly Olynyk's season so far has been much like the Celtics' season: Up and down. But when he's up, he is have a big impact for the Celtics. He had an impressive showing during the summer league, and worked his way up to win a starting spot on the Celtics roster. Olynyk also missed 10 games towards the end of November due to an ankle sprain. Currently, he's averaging 6.9 points and 4.6 rebounds in 19.4 minutes per game. On New Year's Eve, he scored a career-high 21 points and his confidence seems to be coming back.
Howard Smith-USA TODAY SportsHoward Smith
Hollis Thompson/Philadelphia 76ers
Fellow rookie Michael Carter-Williams has been getting all the attention in Philadelphia, but Sixers forward Hollis Thompson has been holding his own as well. Thompson was undrafted in 2012 and spent a year in the D-League. As the season has progressed, so has his playing time and production. Currently, in 21.2 minutes a game, Thompson is averaging 5.9 points and a 45.6 shooting percentage.
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY SportTom Szczerbowski
Cody Zeller/Charlotte Bobcats
Charlotte Bobcats' forward and No. 4 overall draft pick Cody Zeller's season didn't start off so well. He visibly had struggles adjusting to the NBA, but recently, his game has picked up. Coincidentally, it seems because Bobcats head coach Steve Clifford has put less pressure and responsibilities on the big man. But recently his production has increased. His current career-high in the NBA is 12 points and he's currently averaging 5.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. Unfortunately, he still been known to miss a dunk.
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY SportsTim Fuller
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope/Philadelphia 76ers
Unlike others on this list, Detroit Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is getting recognition for his defense. The Pistons' first draft pick still has some work to do on offense, though. He's averaging 6.9 points per game. During the course of two games in December, he recorded no assists, no rebounds and scored only two points in 41 minutes of playing time. He was even benched. But Caldwell-Pope is taking it in stride, saying "It's not the first time, and it won't be the last."
Kevin Liles-USA TODAY SportsKevin Liles
Giannis Antetokounmpo/Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo still has some growing to do, both on the court and off. As the youngest player in the NBA, 19, Antetokounmpo is still getting taller. When he was drafted, his height was recorded at 6'9" and seven months later, Antetokounmpo now stands at 6'10" and there's a possibility he will continue to grow. After all he does have a 7'3" wingspan! On the court, he's been plagued with inconsistency, but currently, he's averaging 7.2 points and 4.7 rebounds in 22 minutes of play.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY SportsJerome Miron
Ben McLemore/Sacramento Kings
Sacramento Kings guard Ben McLemore has been drawing comparisons Ray Allen, and he doesn't mind. So far on the season, he's averaging 8.5 points in 25.6 minutes played. His defense has been targeted as a weak spot, but the Kings and their coach Michael Malone are totally invested in him. "The reality is, Ben McLemore is a very big part of our future," Malone told ksl.com. "He's going to get the lion's share of the minutes." Unfortunetly he still has those rather embarrassing moments, like the time he was dunked on by LeBron James.
Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY SportJennifer Stewart
Tim Hardaway Jr./New York Knicks
Well, the New York Knicks sure don't have anything to celebrate this season, except that they got a steal with Tim Hardaway Jr. with the 24th pick of last year's draft. Hardaway Jr. has lived up to the family name, excelling off the bench with 8.9 points per game and an impressive field-goal percentage of 46 percent. Christmas Day he scored a career-high 21 points in an otherwise-forgettable game for the Knicks. Coming off the bench, his stats are lower than other rookie of the year candidates, but his name is certainly getting some traction.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsBrad Penner
Victor Oladipo/Orlando Magic
Magic guard Victor Oladipo was selected second overall at last year's NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic, and it seems like the selection is paying off. Oladipo is averaging 12.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 32 games played this season. His transition from shooting guard to point guard has caused some control issues, though. Currently, Oladipo is averaging 3.3 turnovers per game, but he's taking the change in stride. "Some days it works, some days it doesn't," he said via the Orlando Sentinel. "I'm just trying to stay on an even keel."
Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY SportsRob Grabowski
Trey Burke/Utah Jazz
After leading the Michigan Wolverines all the way to championship game during the 2013 NCAA tournament before falling to Louisville, and the guard racked up plenty of achievements along the way. Burke swept the John R. Wooden, Oscar Robertson and Naismith College Player of the Year awards, so it comes at no surprise that he's excelling at the next level. Burke missed the first 12 games as the season while recovering from a broken finger, which the Utah Jazz lost 11 of those games. But with Burke back in the lineup, the Jazz have rallied to a more respectable 11-24 record. Well, at least they don't have the worst record in the league. His 13.7 point average in about 30 minutes a game have Jazz fans getting excited about the future.
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY SportsRussell Isabella
Michael Carter-Williams/Philadelphia 76ers
Michael Carter-Williams seems to be making a statement that he should have been the No. 1 draft pick last year. Drafted 11th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers, Carter-Williams is leading the rookie class in points with 17.2 per game, assists at 7.3 and rebounds with 5.6. He's season hit a bump in the road when he missed 11 games with an infection in his right knee recently, but if Williams is able to maintain those numbers, he would be only the second rookie, after Magic Johnson, to finish the season with with at least 17 points, seven assists five rebounds and two steals per game averages.