Which rookies have been better than Shaedon Sharpe this season?
When thinking about Sharpe’s case to make an all-rookie team, there are a number of factors that could stand in his way. Namely, there have been a host of productive rookies who are playing more significant roles on their respective squads.
Banchero has been a day-one starter and star for the Orlando Magic and is undoubtedly the best rookie this year. Ivey, Mathurin, and Williams have all carved out starting spots for their teams, while Smith Jr., Murray, and Sochan have also had more consistently impressive stretches than Sharpe so far.
Even some of the less-heralded rookies have made a more tangible impact on winning basketball than Sharpe. Walker Kessler was forced into a more significant role than many saw coming before the Rudy Gobert trade, but he’s balled out for the Jazz and given them their next starting center.
Malaki Branham, another rookie shooting guard, has spent most of the new year slithering and shooting his way into the long-term plans of the Spurs with his per-game production.
Sharpe fits into a similar bucket as Smith Jr. and Daniels, two other high lottery picks who have had their moments of greatness but haven’t fully broken through for their NBA teams. Sharpe’s been more efficient than either and has shown just a bit more this year, which gives him a better chance of grabbing an all-rookie spot over them.
When compared to the rookie starters and role players, however, Sharpe’s stats and game tape don’t totally matchup. While no one can dunk quite like him in his rookie class, there are others who can execute a defensive rotation, keep the ball moving, and hit shots from deep better than he can, which makes it an extremely tight call on whether Sharpe will make one of the two teams.