NBA Rookie Power Rankings: Ausar Thompson plummets, new name joins top five

Dallas Mavericks v Phoenix Suns
Dallas Mavericks v Phoenix Suns / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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5. Dereck Lively II

Last week's rank: 6

Dereck Lively II rises from the No. 6 spot after returning from injury and instantly makes his presence felt when on the court.

After missing four games in a row due to an ankle sprain, Lively II played for the first time on Christmas Day against the Phoenix Suns. Instantly, things were noticeably different with Lively II in the Mavs lineup as he scored four of the team's first five points in the short roll.

Lively II would continue to make it hard for any Suns player to operate comfortably in the paint as he affected every shot that flew his way. He would go on to finish his career night with 20 points and 10 rebounds in the win over the Suns.

Since Christmas, Lively II has played a little more down-to-earth. He has only combined to score six points in his last two games and has failed to have the impact on the game fans have come to love. He would arguably be higher on this list if it wasn't for his last two performances.

Despite his last two stinkers, Lively II has had one of the best plus/minus stats in the entire NBA. His effect on the court can only rival some of the best centers in the league. He continues to be one of the top shot-blockers of his draft class and even led the entire NBA in field goal percentage at one point. He is crucial to Dallas' success, and they clearly play much better with him on the floor.

Lively II will need to clean up multiple bad games, but he will sit comfortably at five on this week's list.