NEW YORK – Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes is a finalist for the NBA’s rookie of the year.
Announced on Sunday, Barnes joins Cade Cunningham of the Detroit Pistons and Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers as the three finalists for the league’s top first-year player this season.
The 20-year-old Barnes averaged 15.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in 74 games with the Raptors.
Cunningham, 20, led all rookie scorers putting up 17.4 points per contest while Mobley, another 20-year-old, was the top rookie rebounder and shot-blocker, grabbing 8.3 boards per night and turning aside 1.7 shots per game.
All three rookie candidates were taken within the top four of last year’s NBA Draft. Cunningham was taken first overall by the Pistons, Mobley was the No. 3 pick by the Cavaliers and Barnes was the No. 4 selection by Toronto.
Of the three candidates, only Barnes’ Raptors made the the playoffs.
He recorded 15 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in his playoff debut of Toronto’s 131-111 series opening loss to the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday.
Barnes suffered a left ankle sprain that forced him to exit the game midway through the fourth quarter. The Raptors said on Sunday that he’s “doubtful” to play in Monday’s Game 2.
Other awards finalists announced Sunday were Denver Nuggets centre Nikola Jokic going for his second-straight MVP award, competing with Sixers star Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
As well, Mikal Bridges (Phoenix Suns), Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz) and Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics) are finalists for defensive player of the year, Taylor Jenkins (Memphis Grizzlies), Eirk Spoelstra (Miami Heat) and Monty Williams (Phoenix) are vying for coach of the year, Darius Garland (Cleveland), Ja Morant (Memphis) and Dejounte Murray (San Antonio Spurs) are the most improved player finalists, and the sixth man of the year threesome that were chosen were Tyler Herro (Miami), Cam Johnson (Phoenix) and Kevin Love (Cleveland).
The winners of each award will be announced during the post-season.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 17, 2022.