Friday afternoon, the NBA released finalists for the league’s awards.
In regards to Rookie of the Year, I’ve ranked each finalist, and made their case for the honors below:
Rookie of the Year
Dario Saric (3rd)
Originally drafted in 2014 by the Orlando Magic, Saric’ immediate career didn’t pan out. This season however, he came up big for the 76ers, averaging: (12.8) points and (6.3) rebounds a game.
His total collected rebounds (513) lead all rookies across the league, and Dario earned the Rookie of the Month award twice, both in February and March.
After fellow award finalist Joel Embiid went down with injury, Saric was chosen as their primary four, and was a big part of the team’s success.
Joel Embiid (2nd)
The living, walking, and talking mascot for “Trust the Process,” Embiid reminded fans this season, why he was taken 3rd overall back in 2014. If it weren’t for his limited games played, Joel would be a shoe-in for the award.
Although his season was shortened dramatically, Joel lead all rookies in points, rebounds, and blocks for the season.
Through 31 games played, the rookie averaged (20.2) points, (7.8) rebounds, and (2.5) blocks per game. Compared to other rookies, Embiid’s stats are simply insurmountable. However, many fans wonder whether he could sustain that intense level of gameplay for an entire season.
Malcolm Brogdon (1st)
The only contender to be a part of playoff clenched team, Brogdon was phenomenal all season, and arguably the only true rookie. Milwaukee’s lineup features mostly star big men, and hasn’t held a real point guard in years. Malcolm became that point guard they needed, on more than one occasion, and made noise across the league.
In a win over the Chicago Bulls, Brogdon stuffed the stat sheet, with (15/12/10), becoming the first rookie in Bucks’ history to record a triple-double. In points per game, he ranked (4th) among rookies, and lead all rookies in assists and steals per game.
In his rookie season, he averaged: (10.2) points, (4.2) assists, and (1.1) steals per game. We received many a highlight from the former Virginia University point guard, including poster dunks over Lebron James and Kyrie Irving. Brogdon came up big for Milwaukee, and is set to be a definite part of their future success.
There isn’t much to be said short of Malcolm Brogdon is clearly the Rookie of the Year.
Joel Embiid played 31 games, and both he and Dario Saric were originally drafted in 2014.
Malcolm and the Bucks were playing at higher stakes, a more intense level of play, and he still found another gear. Give this man what he’s due NBA, it isn’t even close.
The Rookie of the Year award will be announced with others, at the official award show on June 26th, hosted by Drake.
All stats and information provided by ESPN, NBA.com, and CBS Sports. Featured image provided by Hoops Habit via Google Images.