Raptors’ Scottie Barnes wins 2021-22 NBA Rookie of the Year award

The Toronto Raptors announced on Saturday that swingman Scottie Barnes has been named NBA Rookie of the Year for the 2021-22 season. Barnes joins Vince Carter (1998-99) and Damon Stoudamire as the third player in franchise history to earn the honor.

Barnes was selected fourth overall by the Raptors in the 2021 NBA Draft (1995-96).

“We are incredibly proud of Scottie, and are thrilled and grateful that his hard work has been recognized with this honour,” Toronto Raptors Vice-Chairman and President Masai Ujiri said. “What you see on the court is exactly who Scottie is: enthusiastic. Joyful. Athletic. Skilled, and a winner. We – and our fans – loved seeing his development through this season, and we can’t wait to see what the future brings.”

Barnes received 378 points (48 first-place votes) from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Cleveland Cavaliers forward-center Evan Mobley finished in second place with 363 points (43 first-place votes). The 15-point difference between the first- and second-place finishers marks the smallest margin in NBA Rookie of the Year balloting under the current voting format, which began with the 2002-03 season.

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham finished in third place with 153 points (nine first-place votes). Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.

Barnes averaged 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.08 steals, 0.74 blocks, and 35.4 minutes per game (first among all rookies) in 74 games (all starts) this season, and was the only rookie to rank in the top five in scoring, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. He scored 20 points or more 17 times and had 13 double-doubles while shooting.492 (459-932). In ten games, Barnes led the club in scoring, rebounds 21 times, and assists 15 times.

Barnes, a native of West Palm Beach, Florida, was voted Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month twice (in February and March/April) and competed in the NBA All-Star Rising Stars and Taco Bell Skills Challenge. He became the first Raptors rookie – and the only rookie in the NBA this season – to score 1000 points, 500 rebounds, and dish out 250 assists in their rookie season. Barnes was also the first rookie to average 15.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists since Luka Doncic (2018-19).

Barnes’ year was highlighted by season highs of 31 points (14-21 FG, 1-4 3PT, 2-2 FT) and 17 rebounds against the Los Angeles Lakers on Mar. 18. In a road win against Denver on Mar. 12, he scored 25 points and had a season-high 10 assists. Barnes equaled a season high with 28 points, 16 rebounds, and five thefts against the Brooklyn Nets on Feb. 28, becoming the only rookie since Shaquille O’Neal (1993) to score at least 25 points, 15 rebounds, and five steals in the same game.

Hawks center Clint Capela injures knee in play-in game vs. Cavs

Late second quarter in the Atlanta Hawks play-in tournament game in Cleveland against the Cavaliers, Hawks center Clint Capela fouled Cavs big-man Evan Mobley. The foul pulled Mobley in the direction of Capela, resulting in a fall that led to what the Hawks say is a right knee hyperextension.

Per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Capela went down in pain and immediately grabbed his knee after fouling Cleveland’s Evan Mobley, with Mobley then falling on Capela’s knee. Capela was helped back to the Hawks’ locker room.”

Capela won’t return tonight.

The Hawks are already playing without John Collins, so this weakens their frontcourt even further.

Mid third quarter, the Cavs lead, 70-59.

The winner of this game will win a spot in the 2022 playoffs as the East’s No. 8 seed, and will face the Miami Heat in the first round.

Cavaliers rookie Evan Mobley out with elbow injury

Cleveland Cavaliers rookie forward Evan Mobley left Monday night’s game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse against Boston in the third quarter with a right elbow injury and did not return to action.

Initial examination postgame and an MRI administered today at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health confirmed a right elbow sprain.

Mobley will now undergo a period of treatment and rehabilitation and his return to play will be approximately 2-4 weeks.

The Cavs are 9-6 so far this season, which is the 5th best record in the Eastern conference.

Their leading scorers so far in 2021-22 are Darius Garland at 16.8 points per game, Collin Sexton at 16.0 ppg, and Ricky Rubio, Mobley and Jarrett Allen who are all scoring between 14-15 ppg.

Mobley is averaging 14.6 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.5 apg and 1.6 bpg. He’s an early leader along all rookies in the league.