We might never see the end of the 2019-20 NBA season, but in most people’s minds, the ROTY race is already decided.
With Zion on the shelf and the Grizzlies being one of the most surprising teams in the West, Ja Morant was everyone’s front-runner. The young point guard was averaging 17.6 points, 6.9 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game on 49% shooting.
Needless to say, not everyone is on the Ja train. According to Miami rookie stud Kendrick Nunn, he is the one deserving of ROTY honors. He explained why in an interview with Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
“I’m Rookie of the Year. “I think people will say that he is Rookie of the Year, but I don’t believe it. The most value should be in the wins. And we’re both starting guards on teams, and our team has been holding it down. We’re a playoff team, so go ahead and give that Rookie of the Year to Kendrick Nunn.”
Kendrick Nunn says he’s the ROTY over Ja Morant
“I think people will say that he is Rookie of the Year, but I don’t believe it. The most value should be in the wins…We’re a playoff team, so go ahead and give that Rookie of the Year to Kendrick Nunn.”
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) April 13, 2020
Nunn’s team is certainly in a better position than the Grizzlies are. The Heat are 41-24, whereas the Grizzlies are just 32-33. But both teams are currently in the playoffs and the Rookie of the Year award isn’t necessarily a team-oriented accolade anyway.
Individually, Ja is leading Nunn in nearly every statistical category, averaging 17.6 points, 6.9 assists, and 3.5 rebounds on 49% shooting compared to Kendrick’s 15.6 points, 3.4 assists, and 2.7 rebounds on 44% shooting.
Nunn should certainly be in the conversation — he ha splayed exceptional for Miami this season. But when you compare the two side-by-side, it’s clear that Morant has just been playing better this season.
Maybe Nunn can use it as fuel to propel his performance for the next few years to come.