Is There Any Competition for NBA Rookie of The Year?

Grizzlies Ja Morant goes up for a poster type dunk during a game. (Photo Credit: The Daily Memphian)

By Cameron Buford,

On a humid night at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, the lives of many young basketball players changed forever as teams in the National Basketball Association took turns selecting eligible players in their annual NBA Draft. This pool of players come from universities across the United States in addition to players that have competed on international teams. Since we are nearing the midpoint of this NBA season, we felt this would be a great time to highlight and review a few of the league’s top-performing young stars.

The NBA has implemented a weighted system that increases the teams with the worst record, from the previous season, chances of acquiring the higher draft pick. Though the revised lottery took place in May 2019, the actual draft was held in June of 2019. This gave teams scouting department time to identify the best available talent for the upcoming draft.

Headlining the NBA draft was high flying, yet powerful Duke University’s Zion Williamson. However, this young phenom has yet to play this season due to an injury he suffered during the NBA Summer League, which is held each year in Las Vegas. Having been drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans with the first pick of the draft, they are targeting his season debut against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night January 22.

With the second pick of the draft, the Memphis Grizzlies drafted Ja Morant, the uber-athletic guard out of Murray State. After his sophomore year at Murray State, this Georgia native was too spectacular to return to college. His light hasn’t dimmed one bit in the NBA, as Morant is an impressive combination of speed, fearlessness, and explosiveness wrapped up in a 6’ 3” 175 lb. frame.

Other Rookies performing well this season in the NBA are Canadian and Duke’s RJ Barrett. Though some have expected a bigger impact from Barrett he currently averages 14.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.5 assist per game which is 3rd, 5th and 6th respectively in comparisons to his rookie class.

Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura, the first-born Japanese player to be drafted by the NBA, has also impressed in his rookie season. The former Gonzaga Bulldog standout Hachimura leads all rookies in rebounds through the midpoint of the season and is 5th in rookie scoring. As he is averaging 5.8 rebounds a game and 13.9 points a game for the Wizards.

Miami Heat teammates Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro have also impressed thus far in the NBA season. Nunn, a Chicago native and a 4-year college player who went to school at Oakland, has played the 4th most games this season while being second in rookie scoring by averaging 16.3 points per game and second in assist averaging 3.6 assists per game. This Greenfield, Wisconsin native and Kentucky Wildcat Tyler Herro has had a major impact on the heat by averaging 12.9 points per game, 4.2 rebounds per game and 2.1 assists per game. these stats have him ranked 6th in scoring, 8th in rebounds and 8th in assists as compared to this rookie class.

With all that being said it the NBA Rookie of the Year Award is Morant’s award to lose at this point. He is leading all NBA rookies with 17.9 points per game and 7.0 assists per game. These stats coupled with his infectious personality and awesome highlights has all but secured the award for Morant, even if that wasn’t his initial focus coming into his inaugural season in the NBA.

Kindly share your thoughts on our synopsis of the NBA rookies crop and who you have being awarded the NBA Rookie of the Award at the end of the season, by simply commenting in the comment section of this article on or by following me on Twitter @whatsgoodnsport for immediate engagement. Additionally, subscribe to our weekly “Voice of the Fans Podcast” which is available for you on most podcasting platforms, Apple and Google Podcasts including Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio. As always, we certainly appreciate you for making our voice your choice!