Caris LeVert and Isaiah Whitedhead switched places this week in the NBA.com Rookie Ladder, with LeVert moving into ninth place and Whitehead landing in 10th. In what is likely the last “Ladder” without Yogi Ferrell, Scott Howard-Cooper felt LeVert was particularly worthy of praise, calling him “one of the best rookies of the second half.
Here’s his take on LeVert...
One of the best rookies of the second half has missed four of the last nine games, either because of the knee injury that appears to be minor or while being rested Embiid-style. But the five that he did play in that time: 26, 27, 27, 27 and 30 minutes. He is third among rookies in steals, tied for eighth in scoring, tied for ninth in assists and already eleventh in minutes, while shooting 43 percent. LeVert just hasn’t made enough baskets yet, after missing the first 20 games, to meet the qualifying minimum for field-goal percentage.
He was unable to capitalize on the chance to get back in the opening lineup, posting poor numbers while lasting 23, 14 and 15 minutes in three consecutive starts. Spencer Dinwiddie took his place Tuesday at Charlotte while Whitehead returned to a reserve role. Still, he is tied for ninth in the class in scoring, third in assists, fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio, sixth in blocks and seventh in minutes, enough to stay ranked in what over the last couple weeks has actually become a competition, with options and everything, for the final spots.
Ferrell, of course, is likely to move up into the top three rungs.
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