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Scottie Barnes of the Toronto Raptors won the 2021-22 NBA Rookie of the Year award. But was Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Evan Mobley robbed of the award?
With the NBA Playoffs commencing, the league announced the winners of some of their year-end awards, such as Defensive Player of the Year. On Saturday, Apr. 23, the league announced the winner of the 2021-22 Rookie of the Year award, and it does involve some controversy.
Scottie Barnes of the Toronto Raptors was named the 2021-22 Rookie of the Year after receiving 378 total points. Meanwhile, Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Evan Mobley finished in second place with 363 points, which the NBA’s Public Relations said is the smallest margin between first and second since the league came up with the voting format 19 years ago.
While Barnes did have a great rookie year with the Raptors, it was Mobley who should have received the award.
Evan Mobley was robbed in the NBA Rookie of the Year vote
Mobley was the third-overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft behind Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green. Mobley was heavily hyped coming out of USC, and he lived up for it based on his play throughout his first season.
Compared to the rookie draft class, Mobley led in rebounds per game (8.3), blocks per game (1.7), player efficiency and double-doubles (21). Additionally, Mobley averaged 15.0 points per game, which was fifth among all rookies.
The Cavaliers made it to the play-in tournament, but they lost to the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks to fall short of qualifying for the playoffs.
This is not to diminish what Barnes did in his rookie year. He led all rookies in minutes per game (35.4) while finishing Top 3 in points per game (15.3), rebounds per game (7.5), offensive rebounds per game (2.6) and player efficiency (19.1).
It was a great season for Barnes, as he now joins Vince Carter as the only two Raptors players to win Rookie of the Year. Not to mention the Raptors made it into the playoffs as the fifth-seed in the Eastern Conference.
It goes to show how tough of a call it was to name a winner between Barnes and Mobley. But, it was the former who received more votes. With this all said and done, the debates will continue for years to come as Barnes and Mobley continue their promising NBA careers.