NBA Rookie Report: The Under (And Over) Performers In 2016-17

Nov 16, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon (13) dribbles the ball past Atlanta Hawks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (10) during the first half at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 16, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon (13) dribbles the ball past Atlanta Hawks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (10) during the first half at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

In the first installment of our NBA Rookie Report, we explore a few first-year players that have both under and over-performed so far this season

It is way too early to decide what NBA rookies have been playing well?

We’re roughly three weeks into the new NBA season. We’ve seen these rookies play somewhere close to 15 games already. Still premature? Doesn’t matter.

Who doesn’t like to jump the gun? It’s what we do, it’s human nature.

So with that said, what rooks have underperformed and over-performed thus far in 2016-17? We explore that and more in the first installment of our NBA Rookie Report.

Disclaimers: 36 MPG  (Per 36)is about what the average starter plays a night. All stats are pulled as of 11/16/16.

Nov 12, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Kris Dunn (3) dribbles in the third quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers at Target Center. The Los Angeles Clippers beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 119-105. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Underperformers

Kris Dunn – G – Timberwolves

Per 36 Minutes Stats:  8.2 PPG, 6.6 APG, 5.5 RPG .357 FG% , 375 3P% .441 TS%

Proclaimed the best, can’t miss prospect in the 2016 NBA Draft has been exactly a miss thus far.

Dunn has been utterly atrocious for the Timberwolves. His stats Per 36 above are not good and are far from it, but put this in perspective – he is playing over 20 MPG already and his stats are still that low.

His defense hasn’t even been solid either, which was his specialty coming out from Providence. I am not sure why or how exactly he has played so bad, but I – as do the Minnesota Timberwolves – hope he picks it up.

Buddy Hield – G – Pelicans

Per 36 Minutes Stats: 16.5 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 1.8 APG, .371 FG%, .237 3P%, .448 TS%

In my eyes, coming into the draft Hield was a gamble. Coming in we knew he could shoot at a volume rate, and do it well – but he has failed to even do that in the NBA.

Shooting only 24 percent from three is utterly atrocious considering that’s what he was drafted to do. His stats Per 36 minutes aren’t terrible at first glance, but he is shooting and missing at volume as you can tell by his percentages.

Hield has also has been very bad on defense and has not been creating plays for his other teammates.

Nov 16, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) prepares to shoot the ball during the second half against the Phoenix Suns at Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 120-104. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Jamal Murray – G – Nuggets

Per 36 Minutes Stats: 12.5 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.4 APG, .342 FG%, .351 3P%, .455 TS%

Before the draft, I was a big fan of Jamal Murray. And that’s partly my fault. I have to take the blame for this one.

I thought he was getting be a potential NBA all-star combo guard from the get go, and boy has I been wrong so far. Unlike the others, though, Murray’s peripheral stats aren’t that bad, and his defense has been that bad either.

Where he has struggled immensely, like Hield, is to score consistently and efficiently. J-Snipe is what he was called in college, and J-Snipe has a lower TS% and FG% than most players in the NBA.

I really hope he picks it up for the sake of my tweets about him surfacing and making me look clueless. 

Nov 5, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) dribbles past Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson (13) during the second half at Wells Fargo Center. The Cleveland Cavaliers won 102-101. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Over-performers

Joel Embiid – C – 76ers (He is still considered a rookie)

Per 36 Minutes Stats:  29.3 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 2.1 APG, .465 FG%, .500 3P%, .586 TS%

The Process is what he is called, and the process is what he has been. Embiid was a third overall pick, so he was expected to be good, but not this good this early.

Even with his minute restrictions, Embiid has been one of the best centers in the NBA this season and really has done it all. He is coming in and playing 20 minutes per night and in those minutes the 76ers show their only life.

Embiid has shot the three ball well, excelled on defense and has spoiled us with Hakeem-like post moves. The Process is the real deal and the future is bright for him. 

With Embiid being so dominant, should Noel or Okafor get traded? Read my previous column here.

Nov 16, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon (13) dribbles the ball past Atlanta Hawks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (10) during the first half at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Malcolm Brogdon – G – Bucks

Per 36 Minutes Stats: 13.9 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 5.1 APG, .429 FG%, .313 3P%, .525 TS%

The proclaimed rookie vet Malcolm Brogdon makes this list. The second round pick was noted to have come out a year too early, but apparently, he knew more than we did. The kid from UVA is putting up quality starter numbers in his first 10 or so games with ease.

If you gave any NBA team the numbers above and asked what pick they would take this player at it would be in the lottery without a shadow of a doubt. On top of his sweet efficiency and performance thus far, his tremendous defense has carried over. The Bucks have drafted well as of late and Brogdon is a perfect example of that.

Malcolm has a bright future and has showed out already as a rookie.

Obviously, this isn’t the end all be all, but this is a good gauge on what rookies have been good or bad so far. Some players still have yet to get  the minutes they might deserve so that is also why I used Per 36 Minutes or they might not have made the list because it is too small of a sample size.

The hope is that all the rookies do well in general, but so far this rookie class has been disappointing.

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