2019 Rookie of the Year Nov 23, 2019 12:37:19 GMT Walt Frazier, Mike Krzyzewski, and 8 more like this
Post by Ian Noble on Nov 23, 2019 12:37:19 GMT
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
San Antonio Spurs
The 2019 Rookie of the Year is awarded to Luka Doncic of the San Antonio Spurs!
The race for 2019's Rookie of the Year would've been a close battle between Luka and Detroit's DeAndre Ayton if it weren't for one decisive factor: win totals. The Pistons led by Ayton did win five more games than last year, but how difficult is that really when your team only had 10 wins the previous season and remained rooted to the bottom of the entire league? On the other hand Luka's Spurs were actually pushing for a playoff spot, falling only two wins short of an 8th Seed berth, and actually improved their W/L record despite their previous year's team being comprised of reasonably highly rated tested veterans like Al Horford, Isaiah Thomas, Rudy Gay, Serge Ibaka and Derrick Rose. Doncic led the charge all year, earning himself the nickname of the "anti-tank missile", a player so good he actually jeopardises a team's rebuilding process!
Starting the season rated quite highly as a rookie at 79, thanks to his mature play learned with Real Madrid in Europe, it took less than two months before he got bumped up to an 83 and it's absolutely no secret that, as soon as a reasonable amount of time has passed since the start of the real NBA season this year, the limit on Luka's rating is genuinely as sky high as any sophomore could reasonably imagine.
Credit must go to GM George Gervin because, just as in real life, Luka's team acquired him via a draft day trade, with the two leaders of our rookie race, Ayton and Doncic, swapping places at the top of the Draft at picks #1 and #2, a trade which Mr Gervin no doubt regrets... never. The Spurs now have their franchise player and the sky is the limit for the clear alpha dog for the real-life Mavericks.
The Piston's Ayton led all rookies in rebounding (12.0ppg) and was second in scoring (23.3rpg) but Detroit's regular season win-total was only slightly better than the league losing 12W/70L Clippers. Both Luka and DeAndre led their teams all season long but only one of them showed evidence of noticeably improving their team. Whilst the Spurs look towards ratings increases, free agency and the Playoffs, the Pistons are still very much on the rebuilding treadmill of obscurity, and unfortunately for them Ayton is currently serving a suspension in real life for banned substances whilst Luka is looking like a veteran version of James Harden - all at age 20!
It was an exceptionally strong year for rookies in general, as the list of other hopefuls below can attest, New Orleans found a tandem that could one day lead to big things in Trae and Jaren, Doncic's teammate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was instrumental in running the Spurs offense all season, as was Ayton's running mate Jaylen Brunson. Collin Sexton and Mo Bamba produced for their teams as well. It's really without any doubt though that by far the biggest performer of all these new names was the wunderkind from Slovenia, Luka Doncic, who stood a tier above all others in his rookie campaign and has already climbed another few tiers already this fledgling 2020 season, into the realms of legitimate superstardom, a true leader of his team and the league as a whole, the sort of rookie pick every GM dreams of making here at D5.
Congratulations to George Gervin and the San Antonio Spurs!
2018/19 Stats - 24.2ppg | 4.4rpg | 5.9apg | 0.3bpg | 1.4spg
Also in contention:
DeAndre Ayton - 23.3ppg | 12.0rpg | 3.4apg | 1.3spg | 1.1bpg
Trae Young - 14.7ppg | 4.0rpg | 7.5apg | 1.4spg | 0.4bpg
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander - 14.7ppg | 3.9rpg | 6.0apg | 1.2spg | 0.5bpg
Mo Bamba - 14.5ppg | 9.1rpg | 1.3apg | 1.4spg | 1.8bpg
Collin Sexton - 13.3ppg | 2.4rpg | 7.9rpg | 0.9spg | 0.2bpg
Jaylen Brunson - 11.4ppg | 3.3rpg | 7.3apg | 1.1spg | 0.3bpg
Jaren Jackson Jr - 18.7ppg | 9.0rpg | 1.1apg | 1.9spg | 1.9bpg