LaMelo Ball is the best rookie in the league this year, injured or not.
The argument for anyone else is laughable. And just because Ball will likely lose the remainder of his first NBA season with a right wrist fracture doesn’t mean he should lose the award as well.
Ball has not only shown the most versatile talent bug, he’s been the most consistent first-year player all season. Ball ranks in the top five amongst rookies in nearly every major statistical category (15.9 ppg / 6.1 apg / 5.9 rpg).
The SoCal kid who sidestepped college to play in Lithuania and Australian and came to fame through his skills (he scored 92 points once as sophomore in high school) and his father’s outlandish personality, has molded himself into a promising talent that Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan can build around for the future.
Among rookies, Ball is first in both assists and steals, second in scoring, third in rebounding. He also leads his first-year peers in player efficiency. And if that wasn’t enough to give Ball the award just look at where the Hornets are in the playoff standings at the time of his injury.
Charlotte is currently in the 8th spot with a chance to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
This is not to take anything away from Anthony Edwards, who just dropped a 40 ball on someone’s head the other night, or Tyrese Haliburton who is having a solid year in Sacramento. But the fact of the matter is that they haven’t been playing as well as Ball this season.
The main argument that many will try to throw out there at the end of the year is the number of games Ball will play compared to these other players due to the Charlotte guard’s injury. But if you look at the numbers, Ball has already played 41 games this season, more than 50 percent of the allocated 72 games this season. This will be a different conversation from the ones we had about Joel Embiid and Zion Williamson for Rookie of the year both of those players never even got close to Ball’s level of participation in their rookie season.
The answer is simple for the voters. Ball is your Rookie of the Year this season, let this man get healthy while he holds his hardware.