Blakely's Starting 5: Best rookies in the NBA

Blakely's Starting 5: Best rookies in the NBA
November 4, 2013, 2:45 pm
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From the moment Cleveland took Anthony Bennett with the No. 1 overall pick, you had a feeling that the stars of this year's rookie class would not fall in line according to plan.

One of the best passers in the rookie class was a second-round pick from a mid-major school. And the best rebounder of the bunch has been a 25-year-old rookie who wasn't even drafted.

There are others who have stood out as well.

But with this first week of the NBA season just about over, there's a quintet of baby-faced ballers that have quickly made their mark on the league.

Here's a rundown of the early leaders for this year's NBA rookie of the Year award.

5. Nate Wolters, Milwaukee
Draft status: Second Round, No. 38 overall
Stats: 10 points, 6.7 assists, 2.3 rebounds per game.
Skinny: Injuries to Brandon Knight (hamstring) and Luke Ridenour (back) catapulted him from the end of the bench into a surprisingly meaningful role as a rookie. His minutes will drop upon their return, but at this point he has done enough to be in the Rookie of the Year conversation.

4. Ben McLemore, Sacramento
Draft status: First round, No. 7 overall
Stats: 8.3 points and 1.7 rebounds per game
Skinny: He was a bit underwhelming in Summer League but has shown improvement in the early going of the NBA season. He is one of just seven rookies averaging at least 20 minutes per game, and it's unlikely his minutes will be trimmed anytime soon.

3. Vitor Faverani, Boston
Draft status: Signed as a free agent
Stats: 11 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game.
Skinny: Boston's poor record more than anything else will doom this Brazilian's Rookie of the Year campaign. But a spot on the All-Rookie First Team is likely if he can maintain his position as the leader of all first-year players in rebounds and blocked shots.

2. Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia
Draft status: First round, No. 11 overall
Stats: 20.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.3 steals and nine assists per game
Skinny: Aside from Faverani, Carter-Williams has been the biggest surprise among this year's rookies. He has put up jaw-dropping numbers and most importantly, he has a team seemingly destined for another trip to the lottery playing at an unbelievably high level as one of just four undefeated teams still remaining.

1. Victor Oladipo, Orlando
Draft status: First round, No. 2 overall
Stats: 13.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4 assists and 1.8 steals per game
Skinny: The best athlete in the draft, Oladipo's adjustment to playing the point guard position has gone smoother than expected. He won't rack up huge assist numbers, but his defense, intensity and just flat-out energy make him an extremely talented player that will continue to out-shine the rest of his first-year peers.

The next five: Kelly Olynyk, Boston; Tim Hardaway Jr., New York; Steven Adams, Oklahoma City; Dennis Schroeder, Atlanta; Cody Zeller, Charlotte.