Paolo Banchero, Keegan Murray Named Rookies Of The Month

Magic forward Paolo Banchero and Kings forward Keegan Murray have been named the NBA’s Rookies of the Month for January, the league announced today (via Twitter).

It’s the first time either player has won the award. Pacers guard Bennedict Mathurin and Thunder guard Jalen Williams were the winners for October/November.

The No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, Banchero averaged 19.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game in 15 December appearances (33.5 MPG) for the Magic, who enjoyed a rare winning month. Orlando’s 8-7 record in December was its best mark in a month since the team went 4-1 in Dec. 2020, per Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link).

Murray’s Kings, meanwhile, went 8-6 in December as the rookie forward started all 14 of the team’s games. This year’s No. 4 overall pick, Murray averaged 12.7 PPG and 3.5 RPG in 28.6 MPG and made an impressive 46.4% of his three-point attempts (2.8 makes per game).

Mathurin and Williams were among the nominees for this month’s award. Hawks wing AJ Griffin, Pistons guard Jaden Ivey, and Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard were the other nominees in the Eastern Conference, while Jazz big man Walker Kessler, Rockets forward Jabari Smith, and Spurs forward Jeremy Sochan were nominated in the West (Twitter link).

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