It’s the middle of the NBA season and time for the annual rookie of the year (ROTY) discussions! In this year’s ROTY race there are three main standouts: Jahlil Okafor (76ers), Kristaps Porzingis (Knicks), and Karl Anthony-Towns (Timberwolves).
Click on ‘Read More and Comment’ for an in depth look into each of these up and coming young players.
Jahlil Okafor: Watching Okafor play brings back memories of masterful low post technicians like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, and many more. It would seem as though at the young age of 20 he has perfected his inside and post game, posting stats of 17 point per game (PPG), 7 rebounds per game (RPG), and 1 block. One thing to note besides Okafor’s strong play is his resilience. Playing for the Philadelphia 76ers with current record of 8-49 can bring down a player, especially one in his first season. Despite this, Okafor has always seemed to come out every night and bring his best to a failing 76ers team.
Kristaps Porzingis: KP was quite the enigma upon entering the league. At 7 foot and 3 inches tall, weighing in at barely 200 pounds and drafted fourth overall by the New York Knicks out of Latvia, he has somehow taken the league by storm. With the speed, agility, and quickness of point guard, the rebounding prowess of a centre and the shooting ability of a shooting guard, Kevin Durant said it best by calling Porzingis a ‘unicorn’. Averaging 14 PPG, 7 RBG and 2 blocks KP has really brought a bright spot to the lackluster Knicks season (24-35) and continues to dazzle on a nightly basis with deep three-pointers, high flying dunks and devastating blocks.
Karl Anthony-Towns: Drafted first overall, Towns struggled in the NBA Summer League but has amazed thus far in the actual NBA season. Similar to Porzingis he can do it all. He has speed, a strong inside presence, a solid mid range shot, hits the three if needed, and rebounds like a machine. There is not much that Towns can’t do. Posting stats of 17 PPG, 10 RPG, and 2 blocks, he is currently the front runner to win rookie of the year. His stellar play combined with the young Andrew Wiggins give the Timberwolves a lot to be hopeful in the coming years.
Be sure to leave your opinions about this year’s annual rookie of the year discussions in the comments below!