Who Will Win NBA Rookie of the Year?

March 17, 2016 - Spokane, WA: A game ball sits on court the day prior to the start of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament games at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.


Later this year, one player will be honored as the 73rd recipient of the prestigious NBA Rookie of the Year award and see their name listed alongside some of the greatest players ever seen in the NBA. Ever since its inception in 1953, winners of the Eddie Gottlieb trophy have become synonymous with success as they’ve gone on to become some of the best to take to the court.

Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, and Shaquille O’Neal are just some of the former recipients of the award who have since retired. While current stars such as LeBron James and Kyrie Irving continue the legacy of former rookie winners who have become superstar players in the NBA.

But who will be the latest name on the list to join those legends of the game and hopefully head down the road to greatness?

Evan Mobley – Cleveland Cavaliers

Mobley, who was selected as the third overall pick by the Cavs in the 2021 NBA draft, has had a phenomenal season so far in Ohio. The 2021 Pac-12 player of the year who excelled for USC has taken to the professional game like a fish to water; Mobley has helped the previously leaky Cavaliers defense become one of the best in the league. His versatility allows him to defend against almost all opponents, showing maturity beyond his years, which has led him to be one of the front-runners for the rookie award.

Cade Cunningham – Detroit Pistons

After a slow start to his career in the big league, the first overall round draft pick from Oklahoma State has become one of the most important players for the Pistons this season. In particular, his form post-Thanksgiving has shown why he’s one of the favorites for the NBA Rookie of the Year award in the current Coral basketball odds. He’s found a consistency that has seen his average stay steady; he’s scored over 15 points, five rebounds, and five assists per game. Not only that, as CBS reported Cunningham was named as the MVP in the Rising Stars Challenge at the 2022 All-Star weekend, maybe that is the perfect indication of what’s to come?

Ayo Dosunmu – Chicago Bulls

The rise of Dosunmu from bench player to consistent starter for the Bulls has certainly made people take note. His shooting efficiency has been fantastic, his shooting percentage is well over 55%, and his three-point average isn’t far behind. His performances have left people like former NBA legend Dwayne Wade purring, who says Dosumnu is a diamond in the rough who can become one of the feature players in years to come.

Scottie Barnes – Toronto Raptors

Barnes has been a scoring revelation in a Raptors franchise ravaged with injuries this season. The 20-year-old has almost propped up the team’s offense with several 20-plus point-scoring games and a handful of double-doubles. Barne’s ability to regularly splash the bucket has become a foregone conclusion, leading Kevin Durant, a former NBA Rookie of the Year, to comment he loves watching Barnes in action, albeit from the opposing side of the court. “You’ve got a lot of guys who love to compete and love to win, but what’s more rare about Scottie Barnes is his IQ for the game, his length, his enthusiasm for the game,” Durant said.

It’s difficult to choose a winner, this year’s race to the Rookie of the Year is arguably one of the most hotly contested for decades, so whoever wins the accolade will undoubtedly be one of the most deserving recipients in the trophy’s 69-year history.

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