Toronto Raptors’ Scottie Barnes earned the honor of 2021-22 Rookie Of The Year along with his first playoff win Saturday over the Philadelphia 76ers. Barnes becomes the third player in Raptors franchise history to receive the honor.
The Toronto guard boasts the title with 378 total points while also gaining 48 first-place points. Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers trailed close behind, with 363 total points and 43 first-place points. Detroit Pistons’ Cade Cunningham received 153 total points and nine first-place points.
The 15-point margin in total points between Barnes and Mobley makes this the closest rookie competition since the NBA adopted its current format 19 years ago.
Barnes led all rookies in minutes played, as he averaged 35.4 minutes a game throughout his 74 games. He was a starter in every game he played and ended the regular season averaging 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.08 steals and 0.74 blocks.
The rookie already has multiple franchise records under his belt, becoming the first Raptors rookie to earn at least 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 250 assists in a single season. He set the franchise record for offensive rebounds at 195 and is the sixth rookie to average at least 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists, one steal and 0.70 blocks in one season.
The 20-year-old guard was drafted fourth overall by Toronto and helped bring the Raptors to fifth in the Eastern conference, a drastic change from their place in 12th last season with a 27-45 record.
Four 2021-22 NBA Awards yet to be announced
The Rookie of the Year Award is the second to be decided after Boston Celtics’ Marcus Smart was announced as Defensive Player of the Year earlier in the week.
Tyler Herro (Miami Heat), Cam Johnson (Suns), and Kevin Love (Cavaliers) are this year’s finalists for the Sixth Man of the Year award.
Darius Garland (Cavaliers), Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies), and Dejounte Murray (San Antonio Spurs) are in the running for the Most Improved Player title.
Taylor Jenkins (Grizzlies), Erik Spoelstra (Heat), and Monty Williams (Suns) are the final-3 for the Coach of the Year honor.
The MVP award will be decided between big men Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers), and Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets).