Now that the season is officially over, it is time for the rest of the awards to start flowing. This years draft class was filled with equal parts talent and potential, from dominant low post big men to the three point raining guards, this class of rooks did not disappoint. But who’s going to take home that Rookie of The Year trophy?
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves: The man they call KAT was the number one overall pick in the 2015 draft, after seeing what he has done throughout the year, it was clearly a good pick for Minnesota. The Kentucky Wildcat came into the League showing off his low post skill early, and has only gotten better since then. Averaging an extremely impressive 18 points, ten rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and shooting an efficient 54 % from the field. Towns also showed a nice touch from downtown, shooting a solid 34 % from three at seven feet tall. On a young team like Minnesota, I definitely believe Towns will continue to get better and help his team in years to come, and the league should be on notice that the T-Wolves are on their way.
After a first year outing like this, I think it is safe to say that Towns deserves strong consideration for this years best rookie.
Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks: Coming into the league after hearing boos and jeers on draft night, I expected Porzingis to play with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. The Porzingod did not disappoint. Porzingis showed his physicality and shooting ability early in the season, to the joy of Knicks fans, and only seemed to get better as the weeks and months went along. Putting the rest of the Association on notice with his play on both sides of the court, (ended the season averaging 14 points, seven boards, two blocks, and shot 42 % from field), I think this was a strong first year for Porzingis. Even garnering recognition from one of the leagues elites in Kevin Durant, I think this “unicorn” will be a game changer in the NBA for years to come.
Though I don’t believe he will win the award, I think he gave himself a phenomenal case in his first year outing.
Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns: Coming into the league with the idea that Booker was predominantly a sharpshooter, I am pleased to say I was surprised with D-Book’s rookie campaign. Though he started off slow, Booker came on as the weeks went along and the minutes continued to come, showing everyone watching that he could ball with the best of them. Booker ended the season averaging 14 points, two assists, two rebounds, and shot a respectable 34 % from three, while attempting at least 1.3 threes per game. In the midst of a dark season for the Suns, Booker really shined through as a light for Phoenix and I can only hope the organization continues to build upon this youngster’s talent as Booker is only 19 years old.
Booker is going to be around for a long time in this league, and I think a rookie year like this one will only serve as a nice jumping off point for him in his long career even if he doesn’t take home the ROTY bling bling.
Honorable Mentions: Emmanuel Mudiay, Nikola Jokic, D’Angelo Russell, and Myles Turner.
All Images via Google
All Stats via ESPN.com/Basketball Reference.com