The league will announce the winner of the 2016 Rookie of the Year award sometime this week and Karl-Anthony Towns is expected to pick up the hardware. Towns looked like a future star for the Wolves this season, averaging 18.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. No other player won Rookie of the Month in the Western Conference, as Towns took home all six honors throughout the season.
Kristaps Porzingis won the honors for the Eastern Conference for the first three months of the season and through the first half of it, he appeared to be a challenger for the Rookie of the Year award. Porzingis, who averaged 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game this season, tailed off during the second half of the season, but he should come in at No.2 on most ballots once the results are announced.
Third place on this year’s ballot won’t be as unanimous, as there as many contenders for this spot. That brings us to tonight’s question: Who are you putting on your top three for Rookie of the Year? Towns and Porzingis may be firmly atop many ballots, but if they’re not at the top of yours, tell us who took their spot. If they are atop your list, let us know who the third place finisher is. There are slew of candidates for this spot.
Emmanuel Mudiay had a slow start to the season, but he started to find his form after returning from an ankle injury in January. The 2015 No. 7 overall pick averaged 12.8 points, 5.5 assists and 1.0 steals during 30.4 minutes per game this season.
Jahlil Okafor looked monstrous at times for the Sixers this season, averaging 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. He also added 1.2 blocks per game and sported a player efficiency rating of 17.1. He looked to be a lock for the third spot, but he missed 29 games as a result of injury and suspension, which could very well keep him off many ballots.
Myles Turner finished the year strong, but he missed 22 games earlier in the season with an injured thumb. The No. 11 overall pick in the 2015 draft didn’t rack up the minutes per game that the other contenders saw, but he did win the Eastern Conference’s Rookie of the Month award in February and averaged 16.3 points and 2.3 blocks per 36 minutes this year.
Devin Booker, who wasn’t as involved in the offense until late in the season, impressed once he received an opportunity. The 2015 13th overall pick averaged 13.3 points per game while shooting 34.3% from behind the arc.
Norman Powell, Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow all deserve consideration as well. Even though they don’t have the numbers to match some of the other contenders, all three are playing key roles for playoff teams.
Let us know who you think the top three rookies are in the comment section below. We look forward to what you have to say!