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3 Rookies Who Surprised us on NBA Opening Night

MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 23:  Kendrick Nunn #25 of the Miami Heat drives up the court after a steal against the Memphis Grizzlies during the second half at American Airlines Arena on October 23, 2019 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Wednesday night was the season opener for most NBA teams, and it didn't disappoint in the slightest. A number of celebrated lottery picks looked great in their debuts, including RJ Barrett, Ja Morant, and Coby White, and while this was great to see, it's somewhat expected from players of their caliber. With that in mind, let's identify three less-heralded rookies that put up spirited efforts in their first NBA games.

1. PJ Washington, Hornets

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - OCTOBER 23: PJ Washington #25 of the Charlotte Hornets during their game at Spectrum Center on October 23, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
 (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The 12th pick by the Charlotte Hornets absolutely lit it up on Wednesday. PJ Washington had 27 point and drained seven threes, giving him a franchise record for most points scored by a rookie in his debut. The Kentucky should get plenty of more chances this season to show what he can do.

2. Kendrick Nunn, Heat

MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 14:  Kendrick Nunn #25 of the Miami Heat in action against the Atlanta Hawks during the second half of the preseason game at American Airlines Arena on October 14, 2019 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Kendrick Nunn went undrafted in 2018, and finally made his debut after a season of grinding in the G League. Based off how he played Wednesday, you'd think he was a top-10 pick. Nunn had 24 points on 10-18 shooting in just 27 minutes on the floor, likely solidifying himself in the Heat's rotation going forward.

3. Rui Hachimura, Wizards

DALLAS, TEXAS - OCTOBER 23: Rui Hachimura #8 of the Washington Wizards dribbles the ball against the Dallas Mavericks in the first half at American Airlines Center on October 23, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
 (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Though drafted pretty highly, it wasn't clear exactly how ready Gonzaga's Rui Hachimura would be for the next level. Those questions were answered on Wednesday, as Rui recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Much of the talk regarding the Wizards is about the lack of help Bradley Beal has, but Hachimura might have something to say about that.