The NBA announced the finalists for its 2021-22 Rookie of the Year award on Sunday and the three first-year players in the running are Scottie Barnes of the Toronto Raptors, Cade Cunningham of the Detroit Pistons, and Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The NBA has released its 2021-22 awards finalists pic.twitter.com/cuoIJgP2Az— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 17, 2022
Arriving in Detroit as the No. 1 overall pick of last year’s draft, Cunningham gradually rounded into form as the season went along. Through 64 games, he put up 17.4 points, 5.6 assists, and 5.5 rebounds per game.
Mobley emerged as a nice presence in the paint for the Cavaliers as the team made a surprise run to the play-in tournament. Through 69 games, he put up 15.0 points per game and also pulled down an average of 8.3 boards.
Through 74 games, Barnes showed off his potential for a Raptors team that made it into the playoffs. The rookie out of Florida State appeared in 74 games, averaging 15.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest.
Just missing the cut from becoming a finalist was Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green. The No. 2 pick in last year’s draft put up an average of 17.3 points through 67 games.
Betting odds for these finalists have yet to be released on DraftKings Sportsbook. To bookend a year where he started as the top overall pick, my guess would be that Cunningham takes home the award.