The top two vote-getters in this year’s NBA Rookie of the Year voting, Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball and Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards, were both unanimous selections for the All-Rookie First Team.
The NBA announced both rookie teams before Thursday night’s Game 6 between the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Ball, who won the Rookie of the Year Award, and Edwards, who finished second, were among four players who were named to either the first or second team on all 99 ballots submitted by the global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters who voted on all of the league’s annual postseason awards.
Ball, the third overall selection in the 2020 draft, who averaged 15.7 points and 6.1 assists per game, won three Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month Awards, while Edwards, the top pick in last year’s draft, averaged 19.3 points per game — tops among rookies — and won the Western Conference version of the award each of the final three months of the year.
The other two were Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton, who got one second team vote, and Detroit Pistons forward Saddiq Bey, who received 63 first-team votes and 36 second-team selections. Rounding out the first team was Houston Rockets guard Jae’Sean Tate, an undrafted free agent who settled into a starting role with the Rockets this season.
The second team consisted of a quintet of first round picks: New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley, Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane, Pistons center Isaiah Stewart, Cleveland Cavaliers forward Isaac Okoro and Chicago Bulls forward Patrick Williams.
Thursday night’s announcement caps off the NBA’s series of individual awards that it hands out every offseason. The league has reverted to its traditional format of announcing each of them during the playoffs on different nights, as opposed to the end-of-season awards show things had shifted to, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to the All-Rookie, All-Defensive and All-NBA teams, all of which were announced this week, the NBA has handed out its six major individual awards: Most Valuable Player (Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic); Defensive Player of the Year (Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert); Sixth Man of the Year (Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson); Coach of the Year (Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau); Most Improved Player (Knicks forward Julius Randle); and Rookie of the Year (Ball).