NBA rookies who average 15 or more points in a season
When NBA teams add rookies to their roster, they are hopeful these first-year players can make a contribution. A small number of rookies become starters in their first year, while others spend a great deal of time on the bench. Teams are pleasantly surprised when these rookies can contribute major minutes and points to the team.
Let’s set 15 points per game as a standard… last season the NBA saw four players average 15 or more points in their rookie season in the league: Lukas Doncic, Dallas (21.2 points per game), Trae Young, Atlanta (19.1), Collin Sexton, Cleveland (16.7) and Deandre Ayton, Phoenix (16.3).
This season, through games of November 29, there are five players who are averaging 15 or more points per game (PPG) in their first season in the league. Leading the way is Ja Morant of Memphis who is averaging 18.6 PPG for the Grizzlies. He is followed by Eric Paschall, Golden State (17.0), Kendrick Nunn, Miami (16.4), R.J. Barrett, New York Knicks (15.3) and Tyler Herro, Miami (15.1).
If the Knicks’ Barrett should end his first season with a PPG of 15 or more, it would be noteworthy… the Knicks have not had a rookie average 15 of more PPG since Patrick Ewing average 20.0 PPG for the Knicks in 1986, a run of more than 30 years since a rookie has tallied 15 or more PPG for the team.
Here is a look at the last time each NBA had a rookie average 15 or more points per game in a season (minimum of 40 games played to qualify). Note: The last rookie to average 15 or more PPG for a team prior to 2000 is listed in parenthesis.
1986: New York Knicks (Patrick Ewing)
1987: Indiana (Chuck Person)
1994: Orlando (Anfernee Hardaway)
1995: Detroit (Grant Hill)
1998: Brooklyn (Keith Van Horn); San Antonio (Tim Duncan)
1999: Boston (Paul Pierce); Toronto (Vince Carter)
2004: Denver, Miami
2006: New Orleans
2009: Memphis, Oklahoma City
2010: Golden State, Milwaukee, Sacramento
2011: Los Angeles Clippers, Washington
2018: Chicago, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia, Utah
2019: Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Phoenix
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