Former Oklahoma basketball star Buddy Hield of the New Orleans Pelicans was named with Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers as the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played in December.
Hield, 23, the sixth pick in NBA Draft 2016, led West rookies in scoring (10.6 ppg) and three-point field goal percentage (47.8) and topped all first-year players in three-pointers made (33). The 6-4 guard scored in double figures nine times in 16 games, including 12 or more points in each of the final three games of December (a 3-0 stretch for New Orleans). On Dec. 15, Hield set career highs with 21 points and five three-pointers in a 102-95 victory against the Indiana Pacers.
Embiid, the third pick in NBA Draft 2014, led all rookies in scoring (19.8 ppg), rebounding (6.8 rpg) and blocked shots (2.40 bpg) in December.