Two rookies have stood out this season as the best in the league. Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball have been far and ahead of the rest of the pack in terms of dominance on the court. It is clear both players will be bonafide All-Stars in a short amount of time and we can't wait to see them develop.
LaMelo Ball was running away with the Rookie of the Year Award earlier on in the season, but an untimely injury kept him out of action for a few weeks. That allowed Anthony Edwards to catch up and have his own quality season as a dominant scoring rookie. With the NBA season officially over, here is the breakdown on which rookie deserves the Rookie of the Year Award.
19.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.5 BPG
Anthony Edwards has looked like an All-Star at many points during the NBA season, despite his young age. The 19-year old played 72 games this season, averaging 32.1 MPG and shooting 41.7% from the field. As he learns the NBA game, his efficiency will only get better and it is great to see the Timberwolves giving him major minutes on the court alongside D'Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns.
Edwards is already a cornerstone player for Minnesota and his partnership with Towns looks very promising. Edwards can score inside and outside, and he will only improve his offensive output in due time. Edwards went No.1 overall for a reason, as he looks physically ready to take a big step next year as a cornerstone player and starter.
15.7 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 6.1 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.4 BPG
LaMelo Ball is one of the most exciting players in the league to watch. He can handle the ball better than most players in the league already and is a terrific playmaker. Ball has double-double potential going forward and his passing ability will be the key to the Charlotte Hornets offense. In many ways, LaMelo Ball is performing how many expected Lonzo Ball to perform in the latter's rookie season.
LaMelo already has a solid three-point shot, nailing 35.2% from downtown while taking 5.1 3's per game. The young point guard has already adapted to the modern NBA game because he can also rebound, score inside, and play the passing lanes. LaMelo is the most likely rookie to become a superstar player and it might happen sooner than expected.
Who Is The Rookie Of The Year?
The answer has to be LaMelo Ball. Edwards has done a fantastic job catching up with an incredible scoring run, but he has not had the impact that LaMelo has had with the Hornets. Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Hornets have done a great job signing Gordon Hayward in free agency and developing guys like Terry Rozier, but LaMelo Ball has been the standout player for them.
LaMelo was the best player on the team all season long and he almost led the Hornets to the 6th seed. The Hornets need to beat the Pacers and Wizards or Celtics if they want to play in the playoffs this season.
Anthony Edwards was sensational as the season progressed, but Minnesota only finished with a 23-49 record despite having the rookie healthy alongside Karl-Anthony Towns. While it isn't the fault of Edwards that Minnesota struggled this season, LaMelo had a bigger impact in the league and that makes him the Rookie of the Year.