Ja Morant Named NBA Rookie Of The Year

Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant has been named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year for the 2019/20 season, the league announced today in a press release. Morant was a near-unanimous choice, receiving 99 out of 100 possible first-place votes.

Heat guard Kendrick Nunn finished second in Rookie of the Year voting, receiving 56 second-place votes and 36 third-place votes. Pelicans forward Zion Williamson, who only appeared in 19 games prior to the NBA’s shutdown in March, received the final first-place vote and finished third.

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 draft, Morant had an outstanding season in Memphis, averaging 17.8 PPG, 7.3 APG, and 3.9 RPG to go along with a .477/.335/.776 shooting line in 67 games (31.0 MPG).

He was unable to lead the Grizzlies to the final playoff spot in the Western Conference this summer, as Memphis lost the play-in game last month to the Trail Blazers. However, voting was based on games completed as of March 11, and despite the disappointing finish to the season, Morant and the Grizzlies significantly outperformed their expectations for 2019/20.

Nunn, an undrafted free agent, averaged 15.3 PPG and 3.3 APG in 67 games (29.3 MPG) as the Heat’s starting point guard this season.

Williamson would have been the frontrunner to win the Rookie of the Year award if a knee injury hadn’t sidelined him for much of the season — he recorded 22.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and 2.1 APG in just 24 games (27.8 MPG). His limited playing time created a dilemma for voters. Despite receiving one first-place vote, last year’s No. 1 overall pick was also left off 38 of 100 total three-man ballots.

Here are the full Rookie of the Year voting results:

  1. Ja Morant, Grizzlies (498 points)
  2. Kendrick Nunn, Heat (204)
  3. Zion Williamson, Pelicans (140)
  4. Brandon Clarke, Grizzlies (50)
  5. Coby White, Bulls (3)
  6. Eric Paschall, Warriors (2)
  7. Terence Davis, Raptors (2)
  8. RJ Barrett, Knicks (1)

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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20 thoughts on “Ja Morant Named NBA Rookie Of The Year

  1. afsooner02

    It’s weird how much Nunn has disappeared in the playoffs. He’s barely played.

  2. hiflew

    Sorry, but whoever voted Zion 1st over Ja deserves to have their voting privileges taken away forever. Ja was clearly the best rookie of the year. Zion might or might not have the better career of the two, but there is no doubt who was better for this year.

        • illowa

          He shouldnt of received a vote and like the poster said this guys privileges should be revoked that gave him one also.

          • Meadowlark

            “He shouldnt [sic] of [sic] received a vote …” Neither you nor I would have given Barrett a 3rd place vote, but that hardly infers that someone, somewhere wouldn’t find him worthy.

  3. mlbnyyfan

    How in the world did RJ deserve one vote. Crazy I guess they can’t give out a half of vote

  4. stevep-4

    I am surprised Coby got any votes, but also pleased, he had a good rookie year and will develop I think into a decent player.

  5. harden-westbrook-mvps

    They can go ahead and give Dennis Schröder the 6th man award since his team’s season is over. He and Chris Paul got as far as they could by punching their opponents in the groin and getting away with it 67% of the time. If OKC is smart they will trade him to a team desperate for a backup PG/sixth man, maybe the Warriors want him.

      • KnickerbockerAl

        Rockets grab and hold more than any team. Since they got no size. And if you don’t want to get hit. Don’t step into a pick. He wasn’t standing still. Stop crying you won.

    • Dodgethis

      Considering hardens nickname is senior flop… Not sure why you would try to claim the other team is the one cheating. Take away hardens fake fouls, he’s not even an average player.

  6. Bad year for rookies, but Morant would have been a deserving winner in almost any year.

  7. El Don

    Zion should have won! Yes he played less, but… when he played he mopped the floor with Ja! Zion, like Embiid were the best rookies in their year, no discussion about it! Anyway, IMO even Clarke was a more effective rookie than Ja, counting he played a lot less per game.

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