On a crowded, accomplished team, Barnes stood out with an average of 15.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists a game.
Barnes winning that first-year trophy was a huge deal not only because it’s such an accomplishment but because he had some stiff competition.
This year’s rookie class was one of the deepest and most talented the NBA has had in years.
Barnes walked away with Rookie of the Year this year but there is a major chance that several of these stars will shine even brighter when next season begins.
Australian shooting guard Josh Giddey of the Oklahoma City Thunder is something truly special.
In his first NBA season, Giddey put up 12.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 6.4 assists a game, making him one of the biggest names on the up-and-coming Thunder roster.
He also passed a few milestones that are worth noting.
For instance, he is now the youngest NBA player in history to land a triple-double.
Josh Giddey has set the NBA record for youngest player to record a triple-double 📊 pic.twitter.com/N2crL4TkVi
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) January 3, 2022
The thing is that Giddey will probably make even more noise next year as his team continues to improve.
The Thunder have multiple draft picks this summer, meaning they will continue to stack their roster with young talent and get better and start to win more games.
Therefore, Giddey will become more of a household name as his team works its way into contention.
If he keeps playing as he has been and his team builds itself up more, all of the NBA may soon be saying “Giddey up.”
Davion Mitchell was definitely one of the best rookies of the year with a season average of 11.5 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 4.2 assists.
Beyond his numbers, the young point guard was fast, smart, energetic, and played with a strong do-or-die attitude.
Davion Mitchell tonight:
Rookie putting in work🔥 pic.twitter.com/sr7zo5jG9e
— NBA Retweet (@RTNBA) April 11, 2022
Sadly, he is playing for the Sacramento Kings and, as everyone knows, that team is a black hole.
However, it might not always be.
The Kings are, once again, rebuilding and that means they, once again, have a chance at turning things around.
They have already made some sizable trades and are looking to make even more – along with a new coaching staff that will focus on fostering the team in the right ways.
If that really happens, you can expect Mitchell to have more time to shine on the floor.
Keon Johnson of the Portland Trail Blazers got a chance to play more games than expected this year.
With Damian Lillard out for most of the season – along with some gigantic trades and other injuries – Johnson was called upon regularly as the team pretty much threw in the towel for the year.
For his efforts, he came away with an average of 7.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists.
The up-and-coming guard will likely be utilized even more next season, as Lillard returns.
In fact, as the Blazers rebuild, you might see Johnson be used in many more games.
The team has always loved the idea of a loaded backcourt and there are rumors that Johnson may be part of that lineup alongside Lillard.