Who’s leading the race for NBA Rookie of the Year?

Basketball is a hugely popular global sport with fans across the world, and new laws in many US states have legalized sports betting, making betting on NBA finals or individual games possible. Although there are fabulous leagues to follow in Europe, America’s NBA is still the spiritual home of the sport. This top-class competition sees the best players and best teams battle it out each year in a bid to emerge triumphant from the NBA Finals in June. Naturally, there are millions of NBA fans in America itself who not only like to follow their team but also to bet on them.

The 2019/20 season has been a great one so far with plenty of action, drama and point scoring. The Bucks and Lakers in particular have stood out this year and seem in with a shout of making the finals. While it is the huge star names who grab much attention in terms of players, looking out for the best young talent making their way in the game is also fun.

But who has really stood out in the NBA this year and looks set to be in with a shout for Rookie of the Year?

Kendrick Nunn

A player in the Eastern Conference who is having a great year so far is Kendrick Nunn. He has scooped both the October/November and December ‘Rookie of the Month’ award in the conference – no mean feat. Playing for Miami Heat, Nunn has emerged out of nowhere this year. A 33 point performance against the Spurs in mid-January 2020 showed his ability as does his 16.2 point average from 44 games so far. The only negative is a recent Achilles injury which has kept him out for a few games. If he can shake that off and get back on form he will be in with a shout.

Ja Morant

Many basketball experts are already confidently picking Ja Morant as the most likely to win Rookie of the Year. This powerful and athletic point guard plays for the Memphis Grizzlies and has lit up the game this season. Morant is the real engine of the Grizzlies and his pace has allowed them to rack up over 20 wins. He won the Rookie of the Month award in his conference for both October/November and December to add to his standing. Many are saying that it is him or Nunn who will get it – if Morant can stay fit and in form, he could just have the edge. With figures such as a points average of 17.5 and a 7.1 assists average, he has all the talent to do it.

Zion Williamson

Oh, what a story it would be if this player smashed the rest of this NBA season to be crowned Rookie of the Year. Big things were expected of him before the campaign kicked off but knee surgery in October meant he missed pretty much the first half of it for his team the Pelicans. Williamson is now back and made his full NBA debut recently – scoring 17 points and showing everyone why people were so excited about him. He has since gone on to play more and continue in fine form with an average of 18 points from his first four games. But has injury given him too much to do in order to catch people like Morant? One thing is for sure – if he does take home Rookie of the Year it will be one of the most outrageous achievements anyone has ever completed in the NBA.

Brandon Clarke

Whoever is in charge of recruiting young players in Memphis needs a raise as this is another top Rookie who is lighting it up for the Grizzlies. While, for many, he is not in the same stratosphere as Morant, he has enough in his locker to be in with a shout for this award. Although not a top 10 draft pick, Clarke has proven to be a very effective weapon to come off the bench for his side. His awesome shooting range and superb offensive skills are of particular note. If he can get more game time then he might show enough to be in with a real chance.

It will be a thrilling race to the trophy

Winning the Rookie of the Year award is a big honor for players as is receiving the famed Eddie Gottlieb trophy as a reward. While others could come through to challenge in the remaining games of this NBA season, the above seem the most likely to be leading the charge. Who will win in the end is hard to say but it will make for even more intrigue in the NBA.

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