You’ll find 0 rookies leading a team into the playoffs this season and very few actually playing a significant parts for the postseason teams. Frank Kaminsky of the Charlotte Hornets, Norman Powell for the Toronto Raptors, Myles Turner for the Indiana Pacers, Josh Richardson for the Miami Heat and Justin Anderson on the Dallas Mavericks slightly break the perception, but not by much.
Toronto Raptors – Norman Powell & Delon Wright
After barely making an impression from November through early March, Powell has found himself in an interesting position, starting through most of the last 30 days. In the last 17 games he’s averaging 12.7 points in 28.9 minutes a night, shooting 48.1% from the field and nearly 50% from beyond the arc, turning himself, almost out of nowhere, into a key member of the Raptors. Delon Wright hasn’t been as involved, and isn’t likely to log any minutes in the playoffs except for garbage time.
Boston Celtics – John Holland, Jordan Mickey, R.J. Hunter, Terry Rozier
The Celtics have four rookies on the roster, but none of them are likely to bring them anything in the postseason. Holland hasn’t played all season, Mickey averaged 4.4 minutes per game in his last 10 games, Hunter rarely gets minutes but did score 11 points in the season finale and Rozier, the 16th overall pick in the draft, has averaged just 2 points in 9.8 minutes per game since the beginning of March.
Oklahoma City Thunder – Josh Huestis, Cameron Payne
Huestis has five games all season long. Payne? The 14th overall pick in 2015, he’s had 10 double digit scoring games this season, but it’s hard seeing the Thunder giving him any kind of significant playing time unless they really run out of options.
Portland Trail Blazers – Pat Connaughton, Luis Montero, Cliff Alexander
Connaughton, out of Notre Dame, has averaged less than five minutes per game this season. Montero has been used even less, playing just 12 times. Alexander? He has 8 games, 36 minutes this season. The Blazers don’t expect anything out of their rookies.
Cleveland Cavaliers – Jordan McRae, Sasha Kaun
McRae was picked by the San Antonio Spurs in the draft, playing for the Phoenix Suns and after some D-League time joined the Cavaliers. He didn’t do anything worth mentioning until the final game of the season, scoring 36 points in 47 minutes against the Pistons, suggesting that at least there’s something to work with here. Sasha Kaun has less than 100 minutes total this season in 24 games.
Indiana Pacers – Myles Turner, Joseph Young, Rakeem Christmas
Turner, the 11th overall pick, missed significant time in November and December. He’s had his ups and downs this season, but since March he’s been averaging 9.6 points and 6.3 rebounds in 23.9 minutes a night. Young hasn’t done much this season, playing in 41 games, usually in single digit minutes. Christmas has just one game this season.
Detroit Pistons – Darrun Hilliard, Stanley Johnson
Hilliard did get more significant minutes during January and February, but recently he hasn’t been used much excluding the garbage time season finale. Johnson is playing 23.1 minutes a night this season, averaging 8.1 points and 4.2 rebounds. Like Hilliard, his best run came in a January-February stretch before an injury kinda took him out of his comfort zone.
Golden State Warriors – Kevin Looney
The Warriors gave Looney a total of five games this season, scoring nine points. He’s mostly been down in the D-League.
Los Angeles Clippers – Branden Dawson
Like Looney, Dawson has been mostly getting D-League minutes. He’s averaged 0.8 points in 4.8 minutes per game, getting just six of them in the NBA.
Atlanta Hawks – Walter Tavares, Lamar Patterson
Tavares, the 7’3 big man out of Cape Verde, spent most of the season with the D-League team. He has 11 games, but hasn’t played since March 4. Patterson, a 24-year old rookie, has 35 games for the Hawks this season, but he hasn’t played a non D-League game since February.
Charlotte Hornets – Frank Kaminsky, Aaron Harrison
Kaminsky is a legitimate part of the Hornets rotation, sometimes even getting a start. He has missed just one game this season, averaging 7.5 points and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 33.7% from three. Harrison has barely been used, logging in a total of 93 minutes in 21 games.
Miami Heat – Briante Weber, Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow
Weber started the season in Memphis, hardly playing for them. He has just one game for Miami. Richardson has been a pleasant surprise in a strong second unit, averaging 10.9 points in 30.1 minutes per game since the beginning of March. Winslow, the 10th overall pick, has been somewhat of a disappointment, averaging 6.4 points and 5.2 rebounds through 78 games this season.
San Antonio Spurs – Boban Marjanovic, Jonathon Simmons
Marjanovic has been quite productive when given minutes, but that’s rarely with the game on the line. His per-36 numbers are impressive: 21 points and 13.7 rebounds. Simmons averaged 14.8 minutes in 55 games this season, scoring 6 points per game.
Dallas Mavericks – Salah Mejri, Justin Anderson
Mejri, out of Tunisia, averaged 11.7 minutes in 34 games this season, scoring 3.7 points with 3.6 rebounds per game. He’s gotten more and more minutes later in the season. Anderson is averaging just 3.8 points per game, but his defense has been a huge help in clinching a playoff spot, getting over 25 minutes a night in the final 11 games, including 8 starts.
Memphis Grizzlies – Xavier Munford, Jarell Martin
But Munford and Martin have gotten themselves some playing time due to the injury crisis at Memphis. Munford averaged 17.4 minutes per game in March with 5.7 points per game. Martin has done even better in slightly less playing time, averaging 7.4 points and 3.6 rebounds per game in his last 20 appearances.
Houston Rockets – Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell
Dekker has only three games this season, and an injury will keep him out of the playoffs. Harrell hasn’t played for the Rockets since mid March, assigned to the D-League on March 23.