NBA.com Rookie Ladder
The Rookie Ladder is a free-flowing, constantly updated chart that ranks the 2012-13 rookies. If a rookie plays well, he climbs the Ladder. Play poorly, and he'll slide down a rung ... or two or three. The rankings are updated by NBA.com's Drew Packham. If you have an issue or have a question or comment, send Drew an e-mail. You can also follow him on Twitter.
• Past Seasons: 2011-12 | 2010-11
Rookies of the Month
The Raptors' Jonas Valanciunas and the Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played in March.
Rookies of the Month
- Valanciunas, Lillard - March
- Waiters, Lillard - February
- Beal, Lillard - January
- Beal, Lillard - December
- Kidd-Gilchrist, Lillard - Nov.
ROOKIE VIDEOS: BEST OF THE BEST
NBA Rooks: Robinson
NBA Rooks: Rivers
NBA Rooks: Rockets
NBA Rooks: Sullinger
NBA Rooks: Lillard
NBA Rooks: 2012 Trailer
Lillard in landslide
April 17 -- I'm going to keep this brief, because there's not much discussion. Damian Lillard is your Kia Rookie of the Year.
From Day One (and actually before that, if you take into account his breakout Summer League performance), Lillard has been the best rookie in this class.
Others have had very, very good rookie campaigns, but none has been on Lillard's level.
Anthony Davis could make the best case, thanks to a strong finish to the season. The Hornets rookie and No. 1 pick finishes the season with some impressive averages -- 13.5 points (fourth among rookies), 8.2 rebounds (first) and 1.8 blocks (first). To bolster his case, he's among the leaders in advanced metrics, currently first in both PER (21.78) and in Estimated Wins Added (9.4). However, Davis' case takes a serious hit when you consider he missed 22 percent of the season (18 games) due to various injuries.
Several other rookies shined in their first seasons as well.
Bradley Beal averaged 13.9 points and proved to be one of the best 3-point shooters of the class, hitting at a 38.6 percent clip. When John Wall returned in the second half of the season, Wizards fans got a glimpse of what could be a deadly backcourt for many years.
And speaking of deadly backcourts, Cleveland got a glimpse of its guard tandem of the future as Dion Waiters finished second among rookies in scoring (14.6 ppg). Waiters, who had 14 games scoring at least 20 points, improved his shooting numbers throughout the season and will pair well with Kyrie Irving to give the Cavs a tough guard combo.
But none of those three can touch what Lillard did in Portland this season.
Aside from the numbers -- first among rookies in scoring (19.1 ppg) and assists (6.2) while setting the rookie record for 3-pointers made -- Lillard brought a presence to the Trail Blazers and made opposing teams game plan for his pull-up 3s and ability to get to the rim while running the team efficiently.
And there was a confidence and swagger about Lillard that brought stability to a team that dealt with depth issues all season. He ran the team not like a 22-year-old rookie, but like a veteran.
Lillard is on course for a long and illustrious career, and it will start with his first hardware: 2012-13 Kia Rookie of the Year.
-- Drew Packham
Just missed the cut: Kyle Singler, Alexey Shved, Meyers Leonard, Tyler Zeller
Dropped out: Evan Fournier