The NBA has restarted in the bubble and the Rookie of the Year (ROTY) award is still unknown. 2nd overall pick Ja Morant, 1st overall pick Zion Williamson, and 21st overall pick Brandon Clarke are in the race. In this race will Ja win or will Zion break Patrick Ewing’s record of the least games played to win the ROTY award or will Brandon Clarke, my sleeper pick, make it even more of a contest? 2020 was an exciting year for the ROTY race.
Ja Morant is the favorite to win the 2020 ROTY and ahead of the pack following him. He averages 17.6 points a game, 6.9 assists a game, and 3.5 rebounds for a guard. Former NBA player Richard Jefferson said, “Not much can change right now I think it’s still Ja Morant.” Ja has been a big leader for Memphis. In the 2018-2019 season the Grizzlies were 12th in the conference now in the 2019-2020 season the Grizzlies are 8th in the conference this means that they are in the playoffs. He and Brandon Clarke are really helping the Grizzlies franchise.
Zion Williamson has only played 19 games and is averaging 23.6 points, 2.2 assists, and 6.8 rebounds a game. He has taken the league by storm with these numbers in only 19 games. In the 2018-2019 season the Pelicans were 13th in conference however in the 2019-2020 season the Pelicans are 10th in the conference and still have a chance to make the playoffs. Zion and the Pelicans still have a chance to make the playoffs. Some people don’t believe that Zion has a chance. Former NBA player Richard Jefferson says “Zion is not going to help the Pelicans make the playoffs. This is in a space where you have next to no room for error.” This means that if you lose one game or two then your playoff hopes are over. He also said, “Doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but it will be very difficult.”
Brandon Clarke is my sleeper for the award and he has shown that Ja Morant hasn’t done it all alone. He averages 12 points, 1.4 assists and 5.8 rebounds a game. Now you might be thinking these numbers are lower than Ja and Zion’s but his FG percentage is very good as it’s 62.3. This means that in a game he makes most of his shots. In one game he had an 85 FG percentage. Coach Matt Goldsmith said this about the rookie: “He’s been around longer so he’s contributed more.” This means that since Brandon played more games he’s helped his team more. The Grizzlies just didn’t get better with only Ja, Brandon was also a key factor in Memphis’s success. Brandon Clarke is my sleeper ROTY pick.
Time for my opinion out of all the people I listed. I think it should be like this: Zion Willamson, Brandon Clarke, and then in first Ja Morant. The reason I have Zion in third is because since he hasn’t played many games he hasn’t contributed to the team as much as Ja and Brandon have. I think that all the players have had a big impact on their teams. I just feel that Zion didn’t play enough time for him to be the winner of the ROTY. Brandon Clarke is second because of how many games he played and he was very good in the role he was given. He could have been first but was overshadowed by Ja Morant. Ja Morant is number one as many people expected. His flashy plays, IQ, and leadership is what made me vote for Ja Morant as the ROTY.