The Rookie of the Year award has been made into a bit of a two-man race so far this season. Chet Holmgren seems to have a lead at the moment due to his stellar play with the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, Victor Wembanyama of the San Antonio Spurs is right behind him.
This race has caused many other incredible rookies to get swept under the rug. In a recent episode of his The Old Man and the Three podcast, JJ Redick gave love to Miami Heat rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr.
“Jaime Jaquez Jr., outside of Chet Holmgren and Victor Wembanyama, has been the best rookie this year.”JJ Redick
Jaquez Jr. has been a great player this year with the Heat. After losing depth this offseason with Max Strus and Gabe Vincent, Jaquez Jr. has been able to step up and contribute in a big way for the team.
The 22-year-old rookie is averaging 11.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists to start the year. Most notably, he is shooting 53 percent from the field and 47.2 percent from long range. Not only is he shooting the ball well, he is shooting consistently.
“Jaquez Jr. is also a connector because he plays the right way; high basketball intelligence. He is a fantastic athlete. He can pass, move, play off the dribble (and) post; there are just so many facets to his game.”JJ Redick
Jaquez Jr. was undoubtedly one of the most NBA-ready rookies coming out of this most recent draft. After a stellar career playing at UCLA, he has been a perfect addition to the Heat’s rotation this season.
The Heat is normally a team that flies under the radar and then elevates when the lights shine brightest. Jaquez Jr. has done just that to start this season.