The NBA announced on Wednesday that Charlotte Hornets player LaMelo Ball was named Rookie of the Year for the 2020-21 season. Ball won by a landslide, beating out Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards, and only four players garnered any votes for the honor. The NBA published the vote results for its All-Rookie teams just 24 hours later, and given the narrow emphasis of the ROY voting, there was a lot of doubt after the top first-year players.
Ball and Edwards were unanimously chosen for the first team, but Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton was one vote shy of making the squad. After that, Saddiq Bey of the Detroit Pistons and Jae’Sean Tate of the Houston Rockets made the first team.
The most noticeable margin was between Tate and New York Knicks player Immanuel Quickley, who was the penultimate member of the first team. The two players were separated by only six votes, and each was left off of two of the 99 ballots cast.
Following Quickley, Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane, Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart, Cleveland Cavaliers wing Isaac Okoro, and Chicago Bulls big Patrick Williams were named to the second team, the NBA announced the names of those who were honored. Four players, including No. 2 overall choice James Wiseman, received at least one vote for the first team.
With a (relatively) full offseason to work on their craft in something approaching a normal environment, it will be interesting to see how this crop of young players grows in their second season. At the very least, there is real star power with Ball and Edwards, and the league appears to be in an exciting place with its youthful talent.