Image Courtesy of Sporting News

A special award is given to the best rookie in the latest draft class each year to recognize real talent and hard work. The Rookie of the Year award is given to the best amongst all the fresh faces. Spoiler Alert: It’s Ben Simmons. Again. Just kidding!

This season, we have seen top pick players show what they are capable of. Some have exceeded expectations, while others, not so much. Here are the top 5 rookies that are set to win the trophy this season.

5. Franz Wagner (Orlando Magic)

Drafted 8th overall by the Magic, Wagner is a shooting guard who is a decent playmaker and a good shooter. He is also reliable in catch-and-shoot situations as well as in transition offense.

Career Averages: 15.5 PPG, 3.0 APG, 4.6 RPG

Franz Wagner, photo courtesy of skysports.com

Although he is a bit of a liability in defense, he makes up for it with his pretty impressive scoring ability. He is not as athletic as some guys in his class, but he definitely has something to offer

4. Josh Giddey (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Giddey is an Australian 6 foot 8 guard, who was drafted 6th overall by OKC. Giddey is regarded as not so much of an athletic guy, though he is tall for his position. His greatest strength is his ability to pass and make plays. His pick-and-roll offense is pretty good, too. He is developing into a good shooter as well as someone who attacks the rim vigorously.

Career Averages: 12.0 PPG,6.2 APG, 7.7 RPG

Josh Giddey, photo courtesy of cbssports.com

Josh is the youngest player in NBA history to tally a triple-double. In the game against Dallas, he recorded 17 points, 13 rebounds, and 14 assists. This has already shown that he has versatility, and has a high ceiling. But, there are a lot of aspects in his game that needs improvement (i.e. ball handling, decision making, shot creation, and off-ball movement)

3. Cade Cunningham (Detroit Pistons)

The 1st overall pick did not show up to expectation earlier this season. It took Cade some time to adjust to the league’s grit and grind. He struggled for a bit, but then found a way to find his rhythm. Since then, he has been exceptional, but the Pistons are still losing, and are in the last spot in the East.

Career Averages: 15.6 PPG, 5.2 APG, 5.5 RPG

Cade Cunningham, photo courtesy of pistonpowered.com

His specialty is his great court vision, pretty good shot creation, and his athleticism.

2. Scottie Barnes (Toronto Raptors)

The 4th pick from the 2021 draft, Scottie Barnes, is a 6 foot 9 point-forward who is agile and quick on his feet. He showed great potential as a power forward who can facilitate and make plays for the team. Barnes is compared to a raw Draymond Green since he also shows signs of being a great defender at times.

Career Averages: 14.7 PPG, 3.4 APG, 7.6 RPG

Scottie Barnes, photo courtesy of wikipedia.org

His shooting is not yet finessed, but as a rookie, his shooting percentages are decent.

1. Evan Mobley (Cleveland Cavaliers)

The big man from USC, drafted 3rd overall is ranked first in this list because he has been an x-factor in Cleveland’s winning record. The Cavs are on the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference. Evan Mobley is a huge factor due to his excellent shot-blocking, great rebounding skills, and great energy on both ends of the floor. Although, his physique and skill still have a long way to go.

Career Averages: 14.7 PPG, 2.5 APG, 8.0 RPG, 1.7 BPG

Evan Mobley, photo courtesy of skysports.com

Regarded as an NBA Unicorn (a type of player who rarely comes in the league), Mobley has played exceptional basketball since his college days. Having won the Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and Freshman of the Year, all in the same season. One other player to do this is the all-star Anthony Davis back in 2012.

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Who’s your bet to win the NBA 2022 Rookie of the Year Award? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. For more content, stay with us, here at Spiel Times.    

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