CLEVELAND — Editor's note: The video above is from an unrelated Locked on Cavs podcast episode.
Cleveland Cavaliers standout rookie Evan Mobley spent much of the last year impressing fans, media and peers with his dominant defensive prowess, offensive growth and maturity beyond his years.
It wasn’t impressive enough for NBA Rookie of the Year voters however as Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes took home the award by a slim margin of 15 points Saturday afternoon.
Barnes, who was drafted #4 overall in the 2021 NBA Draft, right behind Mobley, finished his strong rookie campaign averaging 15 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.1 steals. Mobley finished averaging 15 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.7 blocks
The victory for Barnes was the slimmest margin of victory in NBA Rookie of the Year voting history. Barnes received 48 first place votes compared to Mobley’s 43 votes. The only other rookie to receive first place votes was Detroit Piston’s Cade Cunningham with 9.
Here is a breakdown of all rookies who received first, second and third palace votes:
Mobley appeared to be the front runner for the award for most of the season until he injured his left ankle on March 28th causing him to miss five games in the middle of a playoff push. That combined with the Cavs sliding to the play-in game and the Raptors grabbing the 5-seed in the NBA playoffs seemed to cause voters on the fence between the two rookies to lean toward Barnes.
Two Cavaliers still have a chance to bring home awards in the near future. Kevin Love is a finalist in the 6th-Man of the Year award and Darius Garland for the Most Improved Player award.
Editor's note: The video above is from WKYC's Sports Tonight with Nick Camino posted on March 7, 2022.