The battle for the NBA Rookie of the Year award continues – and it’s heating up.
It’s always hard to tell what you’ll get with each specific rookie class: sometimes it’s really good, sometimes it’s really bad, and sometimes it’s a mix of both.
This year is possibly one of the best rookie classes we have seen in years, full of young and promising players who may all lead their own respective teams in just a few years.
But two of these up-and-coming stars have been getting a lot of attention: Cade Cunningham of the Detroit Pistons and Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Both of these guys have had stellar first years in the league and they should be proud of their work.
However, which one comes out on top when they are examined head-to-head?
Who has had the better rookie year?
Cunningham certainly has a lot of skill – and he has a lot of confidence too.
He recently told Bleacher Report “I am the best rookie.”
Somedays, it’s hard to argue with Cunningham.
Cade Cunningham is on a mission 😤 #Pistons pic.twitter.com/7JnRdnbCBm
— Woodward Sports Network (@woodwardsports) January 21, 2022
He’s averaging 15.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.1 assists a game this year and he’s leading the rest of the rookie class in terms of points per game and is also doing incredible work in terms of assists, rebounds, and steals.
The most exciting thing about Cunningham is that he seems to be getting better.
When the season started, he was doing well right out the gate but you could tell he was trying to adjust to playing in the big league and going toe-to-toe with other NBA players.
But he’s put any sort of nerves behind him and really is enhancing his skill and reaching his promise.
According to Sports Illustrated, Mobley is one of six rookies since 2000 to average 15 points, seven rebounds, and two assists a game.
Sure enough, Mobley’s statline reads 15 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists a game.
He’s also securing 1.7 blocks a game, which is a wild number when you consider just months ago he wasn’t even playing in the NBA and is now swiping the rock out of some of its best players’ hands.
Here are 60 seconds of Evan Mobley being an alien pic.twitter.com/aKrSdXswIv
— Tony Pesta (@Tony_Pesta) January 8, 2022
The most astounding thing about Mobley is that he’s been such a pivotal part of rebuilding the Cavaliers.
When the season began, few people expected the Cavs to be as good as they are.
Now they’re in contention for the Eastern Conference Finals and a large part of that is due to Mobley’s work.
Both Cunningham and Mobley should be pleased and proud of their rookie years so far – they have each proven they have blindingly bright futures in the NBA.
However, to conclude who is the better player at this point, you need to ask yourself one question: who would you rather have on your team against the best opponent in the league?
When you ask yourself that, the answer is clear: Mobley is on top of Cunningham and is having a better first NBA season.
It’s been a long time since we’ve had a rookie class like this year’s and it’s been a long time since we’ve had a rookie like Mobley.NEXT: Should The Lakers Fire Frank Vogel?