Now we’re into the second half of the NBA’s 75th anniversary season, the race to get into the postseason playoffs is well and truly on.
In the Eastern Conference, the Brooklyn Nets, continue to stalk the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat in a close division; meanwhile, in the West, the Phoenix Suns look in fantastic form as they aim to go one better than last season and win the NBA Championship. But the Memphis Grizzlies are the ones to watch, as Reuters reported they’re breaking franchise records with their winning streak going into double figures. But, while much of the talk is on the title, the focus will soon turn to the All-Star game in February and who will be named this year’s NBA Rookie of the Year award.
Some players who have been recipients of the Rookie title have gone on to have stellar careers, from NBA legends like the Sixers’ Wilt Chamberlain to current Nets point guard and seven-time NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving. But, who will be this year’s winner? Let’s look at the top contenders for the accolade in 2022.
Green has had a terrific rookie season so far with the Rockets despite the franchise from Houston not having the best of campaigns overall. He joined the Rockets as a second-round draft pick in the 2021 draft. He made a steady if unspectacular debut against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but he put himself into Rockets record books two games later. Against the Boston Celtics, he helped himself to 30 points, with 8 three-pointers amongst that tally, which made him the first Rocket’s rookie to score eight threes in the franchise’s history.
Cade Cunningham – Detroit Pistons
Mobley has been a real plus for the Cavs, who are looking good for a playoff spot. The 20-year-old has certainly used his size to his advantage this season as he’s stepped into the NBA almost like a fish to water. During his time in college basketball for USC, he won the PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Year, and that defensive prowess has undoubtedly come to the fore. It’s seen him already take one NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month award; maybe that’s just a sign of things to come?