NBA Rookie of the Year Race: Jan. 20

Story posted January 20, 2022 in Sports, CommRadio by Logan Bourandas

We are towards the halfway point of the NBA season and the race for the Rookie of the Year award continues to be a tight one.

Let’s take a look at the top four contenders to win the award.

Evan Mobley, Center, CLE

The third overall pick from last year’s draft continues to shine as arguably the leader of the race.

Mobley had put up solid numbers in the Cavaliers last two games by scoring 12 points in a win over the Nets and 18 points in a loss against the Bulls.

On the season, Mobley has put up a solid stat line by averaging 15 points and close to eight rebounds per game.

Mobley is just one of eight players averaging double-digit points for the Cavaliers this season which has helped lead the team to a surprise sixth seed in the Eastern Conference so far.

Cade Cunningham, Guard, DET

While it took a while for him to make noise in the NBA, the top pick from this year’s draft has elevated his game as of late.

This wasn’t the strongest week for Cunningham however as in his three games this week, the rookie guard only scored more than 15 points once.

That game came on Sunday as the Pistons guard scored 21 points in just 25 minutes of action in a Pistons loss.

Cunningham has put up averages of 15 points and five assists and rebounds per game this season.

Scottie Barnes, Forward, TOR

Barnes has been a pleasant surprise for a Raptors squad hovering around the .500 mark this season.

During his two games this week, Barnes put up respectable numbers in two Raptors losses.

The forward scored in double-digits in both games with his best performance being a 16-point night in a game against the Heat.

On the season, Barnes is averaging 14 points and close to eight rebounds per game.

Franz Wagner, Forward, ORL

Serving as pretty much the only bright spot on a struggling Magic team, Wagner has flown under the radar in the rookie watch this season.

This week, Wagner scored 14 points against the Trail Blazers and came close to a double-double with nine points and 11 rebounds against the 76ers.

Wagner has put up 15 points and close to five rebounds per game this season in Orlando.

His points average leads the Magic among qualified players on a team that has only won eight games on the year thus far.

Logan Bourandas is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email lxb5412@psu.edu.