Toronto Raptors’ forward Scottie Barnes has won the 2021-22 NBA Rookie of the Year award.
Barnes, 20, was selected fourth overall by the Raptors in the 2021 NBA Draft.
In 74 regular-season games, Barnes averaged 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists on 49%/30%/74% shooting splits.
Barnes also played solid defense, averaging 1.1 steals and 0.7 blocks while constantly switching onto quicker and taller players.
Cleveland Cavaliers’ center Evan Mobley – who averaged 15.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks on 51%/25%/66% shooting splits – was viewed as the odds-on favorite to win the award; but his team’s descent down the stretch likely influenced a group of voters.
Still, Barnes beat out Mobley by just 15 votes – the smallest margin since the current voting format began 19 years ago.
The top two picks in the 2021 NBA Draft, Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green, had impressive rookie seasons, but were far less consistent than Barnes and Mobley.