NBA Rookie of the Year watch: Week 3

Story posted November 7, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Logan Bourandas

The NBA season remains young but some of the league's first-year players have gotten off to a hot start in their careers.

Let’s take a look at some of the top contenders for this year's Rookie of the Year award.

Paolo Banchero, F, Orlando Magic

It’s time to get the obvious pick out of the way first.

While the Orlando Magic have gotten off to a slow start, Banchero has been able to make some early noise.

Banchero is coming off one of his best games in an overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings with 33 points and 16 rebounds.

The No. 1 pick is leading all rookies in points, rebounds and assists per game this season.

Banchero already has three double-doubles which includes that game against the Kings.


Bennedict Mathurin, G, Indiana Pacers

Now we go from a favorite to a surprise.

Mathruin has shined in recent games coming off the bench for the Indiana Pacers this season.

He did so most recently against the Miami Heat on Friday where Mathurin finished with 23 points in a two-point win.

Mathurin has scored double-digit points in every game he’s played in so far.


Jaden Ivey, G, Detroit Pistons

Fans in Detroit are still waiting for that first breakout game from Ivey but he’s remained consistent to start his career.

Ivey had a mixed week in the two games he played in with a seven-point night against the Milwaukee Bucks followed by an 18-point outing against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

That seven-point game was the first time in his career where Ivey hasn’t scored in double figures.

The Pistons have only won two games this season but Ivey is averaging 15 points a night.


Jabari Smith Jr., F, Houston Rockets

While the No. 2 pick had gotten off to a solid start in his career, Smith Jr. has recently hit a snag while playing some of the top teams in the Western Conference.

Smith Jr. and the Rockets faced the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers twice and the forward recorded a combined 14 points.

Both his points and rebound totals decreased in each contest to go along with that.

The Rockets have only won one game this season and Smith Jr. had a season-high 21 points in the win.


Logan Bourandas is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email