Neither Caris LeVert nor Isaiah Whitehead will be playing in this year’s Rising Stars Challenge —nor will sophomore Rondae Hollis-Jefferson— but NBA.com’s weekly Rookie Ladder has both in its top 10.
Whitehead, taken with the 42nd pick in the Draft, has been in the top 10 for five weeks. This is the first time LeVert has made the list, put together by Scott Howard-Cooper. But were acquired in Draft Day deals.
Of Whitehead, ranked No. 9, Howard-Cooper writes...
Nineteen assists against six turnovers the last seven games marks a big improvement in an area that needed to get better, with Whitehead at a 1.34-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. He is fourth among rookies in assists at 2.8 and pressuring Atlanta’s Malcolm Delaney (2.9) for third, while also eighth in scoring, 11th in shooting, sixth in steals and third in blocks. The chance to move up in several categories will come with Jeremy Lin sidelined by a hamstring injury and Whitehead at 29 minutes in two of the last three outings.
Of LeVert, now No. 10, Howard-Cooper notes...
LeVert averaging 18.5 minutes a game would be a positive no matter what after a leg injury caused him to miss much of 2015-16 at Michigan and his first 19 NBA games. Among rookies, LeVert is No. 9 in scoring, No. 5 in steals and No. 8 in 3-point percentage and is easily one of the success stories of the class. He has not reached the qualifying minimum to be ranked in shooting, but the 45.5 percent would be fourth.
The only other team with two players in the top 10: Philadelphia.
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