Scottie Barnes just became the third player in Toronto Raptors history to ever take home the NBA Rookie of the Year award. The only other two players in franchise history to do so were Damon Stoudamire and Vince Carter. Some believe that Barnes was destined to win this award straight from the start. However, others feel like a few players were completely robbed of this award. It has now turned into one of the closest races for the award that the NBA has seen in a long time.
Barnes picked up 378 total points and 48 first place votes. The Cleveland Cavaliers center Evan Mobley was right behind Barnes with 363 points and 43 first place votes. There hasn’t been a race this close since 2002. Keep in mind that there are only 100 different voters for this award, so Barnes received just under half of the votes. If you were wondering who got the rest, it was the Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham. Cunningham got 153 points and nine first place votes.
Barnes averaged 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game for the Toronto Raptors. He led all rookies in minutes, he was third in total points and rebounds and was fifth in assists, steals and blocks. He was also the sixth rookie to average a stat line like this since steals became a recorded stat back in 1973. To top off this incredible first year, he was the first rookie in franchise history to score 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 250 assists. The Raptors as a result were 48-34 and made the postseason following a disappointing 27-45 year.
Was Scottie Barnes the Right Choice?
Evan Mobley had a pretty good argument himself. He helped take the Cleveland Cavaliers from a rebuilding team all the way to the play-in tournament. However, despite similar stat lines to Barnes, his team lost back-to-back play-in games and missed the playoffs. That likely played a very large factor in the voting process.
At the end of the day, I feel like the voters made the correct choice. I also am a fan of it coming down to the wire and being such a close vote. This race was certainly no runaway, but Barnes was the better rookie. Who do you think should have won this award? Maybe Cunningham should have been higher than third place?
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