In the closest Rookie of the Year award vote in nearly two decades, Toronto Raptors standout Scottie Barnes came out on top. Barnes narrowly defeated Cleveland Cavaliers forward Evan Mobley, winning the 2021-22 NBA Rookie of the Year on Saturday.
Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham was third.
Barnes, who was drafted No. 4 overall, received 48 first-place votes, helping him net a total of 378 points. Mobley finished just 15 points behind Barnes, making it the closest Rookie of the Year vote in this voting format.
The 15-point difference between the NBA Rookie of the Year winner (Scottie Barnes) and the second-place finisher (Evan Mobley) is the smallest margin since the current voting format began 19 years ago.
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Barnes showed plenty of progress his first year in the league. In 74 games, Barnes averaged 15.3 points and 7.5 rebounds. He was the first rookie since Luka Doncic in 2018-19 to average better than 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists in his first season.
He finished in the top five in seven statistical categories in the regular season: points (third, 15.3), rebounds (third, 7.5), assists (fourth, 256), steals (second, 80), blocks (fourth, 55), field goals (first, 459) and minutes played (first, 35.5).
As his career progresses, his 3-point shot has the potential to improve after shooting 30.1% from long range this season.
Scottie Barnes looking to alter Raptors' playoffs series
The postseason hasn't been as kind to Barnes.
In the first game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Barnes sustained an ankle injury. The issue prevented Barnes from playing in Games 2 and 3. The 76ers won all three of those contests and sit just one win away from the second round.
Barnes did not start, but did play in Game 4 on Saturday. He scored six points and pulled down 11 rebounds in the Raptors' 110-102 win over the 76ers. Barnes played just over 25 minutes in his return.