Dunking With Wolves Staff Picks: NBA Awards Roundtable

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#12 of the Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

All-Rookie First Team

Dylan Jackson (@dj_jax2)

G – Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies
G – Kendrick Nunn, Miami Heat
F – Brandon Clarke, Memphis Grizzlies
F – PJ Washington, Charlotte Hornets
F – Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans

Look, I know Zion only played a select amount of games, but he already looks like a top-15 player in the league. Morant is another obvious selection, clearly becoming the best player on a team that is currently projected to make the playoffs. Nunn, Clarke, and Washington all look like solid pros going forward.

Phil Ford (@ThePhilFord)

G- Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies
G – Kendrick Nunn, Miami Heat
F – Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans
F – Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards
F – Brandon Clarke, Memphis Grizzlies

Zion and Ja are obvious selections even though Zion only played 19 games. They’re two rising stars who will be two of the best players in the league for years to come. Nunn, Clarke, and Hachimura all had strong rookie seasons and seem poised to have solid careers.

Paul Langan (@paullangan22)

G- Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies
G- Kendrick Nunn, Miami Heat
F- Tyler Herro, Miami Heat
F- Eric Paschall, Golden State Warriors
C- Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans

Morant, a favorite to win rookie of the year, has shown that he can be a star and a leader in this year to come. In the limited number of games played, Williamson has proved that he will be a force to be reckoned with in the NBA for years to come. Nunn and Herro have been reliable rising stars for Miami and Paschall has been a bright spot for a struggling Golden State team.

Tyler Walton (tylerj_walton)

G – Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies
G – Kendrick Nunn, Miami Heat
F – Matisse Thybulle, Philadelphia 76ers
F – Brandon Clarke, Memphis Grizzlies
F – Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans

Zion and Ja have been outstanding, and Nunn and Clarke were both positive contributors for teams in playoff position. For my fifth guy, I’m going with Matisse Thybulle. He played only 19.5 minutes per game this year but has already become a feared defender in the league. He also shot 35.2 percent from the 3-point line.

Nate Ackert (@NateAckert)

G – Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies
G – Kendrick Nunn, Miami Heat
G – RJ Barrett, New York Knicks
F – Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans
F – Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards

Morant and Nunn were the easiest selections. Williamson’s 23.6 points-per-game got him in despite playing significantly less games than the other rookies in this lineup. Barrett makes the team for his scoring, ranking third among rookies in points-per-game behind Morant and Nunn (excluding Williamson). Hachimura is the leading rebounder among rookies and has started every game he has played, which gives him the slight advantage over Eric Paschall for me.

Zachary Lung

G – Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies
G – Kendrick Nunn, Miami Heat
G – Tyler Herro, Miami Heat
F – Brandon Clarke, Memphis Grizzlies
F – Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans

Ja Morant and Zion Williamson lead this year’s rookie class as the top candidates for Rookie of the Year. Morant’s teammate, Brandon Clarke, has also proved to be a part of the Grizzlies’ core moving forward. Meanwhile Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro have been absolute flamethrowers this season while helping Miami to achieve a top 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Adam Jacobs

G – Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies
G – Kendrick Nunn, Miami Heat
F – Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans
F – Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards
F – Brandon Clarke, Memphis Grizzlies

Let’s be honest: Ja was a lock, as well as Soon, even with only 19 games under his belt, and there were plenty of really good guards that unfortunately just don’t get on here because of the better guard play ahead of them. The underrated player on this list for me is Brandon Clarke. He helped the Griz to be playing for the playoffs, as well as shooting 65% 2pt%, and over 40% from 3. Great rookie stats and very deserving.

Final Tally:

Ja Morant (unanimous), Zion Williamson (unanimous), Kendrick Nunn (unanimous), Brandon Clarke (5), Rui Hachimura (3), Tyler Herro (2), PJ Washington (1), Matisse Thybulle (1), RJ Barrett (1), Eric Paschall (1)

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