NBA Rookie power rankings: Jaime Jaquez Jr. rising fast

Miami Heat rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. is rising up the rookie ranks and capturing the attention of the national NBA media.
Miami Heat v Brooklyn Nets
Miami Heat v Brooklyn Nets / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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Erik Spoelstra, Jaime Jaquez, Kevin Love
Miami Heat v Chicago Bulls / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

3. Jaime Jaquez Jr., Miami Heat

Stats: 11.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.1 steals

Similar to Holmgren, Jaquez gets extra points because of his ability to make an impact on a winning team. That's rare for a rookie. In fact, only two rookies are averaging more than 25 minutes per game with a positive plus-minus this season: Holmgren and Jaquez. (Last season, only Sacramento's Keegan Murray applied.) Jaquez is shooting 52.2% for the season and, most impressively, 39.3% from 3-point range. Going into the draft, Jaquez's 3-point shooting was considered a weakness. For the Heat, it's been a strength. His cutting, ball-handling and defense have been needed additions to a Heat team dealing with injuries and in need of wing depth. Jaquez is the only Heat player to play every game this season.

4. Ausar Thompson, Detroit Pistons

Stats: 11.4 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.6 blocks

If it wasn't for Wemby, Thompson would be this rookie class's best all-around defender. His impact on that end for Detroit has been immediate, and his All-Defense potential is readily apparent. Thompson's athleticism certainly helps, but his decisipline and ability to stick with scorers is more impressive. He still gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar (3.6 fouls per game) but it's clear Thompson will be an All-Defense candidate for years to come.