Ranking Ja Morant among past NBA Rookie of the Year winners

Next2 of 11Prev
Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

Malcolm Brogdon of the Milwaukee Bucks guards against Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at BMO Harris Bradley Center on April 27, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

10. Malcolm Brogdon (2017)

The good news: Malcolm Brogdon became the first second-round draft pick to win Rookie of the Year since Willis Reed did it in 1965.

Although it must be mentioned that back in Reed’s day, the first round of the draft was only seven picks. Reed went No. 8 overall. Back then, it made him a second-rounder. Today, it would make him a lottery pick. Brogdon was drafted No. 36 overall; a true second-rounder in the underdog sense of the term.

The bad news: Brogdon’s 10.2 points per game is the lowest scoring average of any Rookie of the Year winner in history.

He was a part-time starter for the Milwaukee Bucks who posted modest numbers, averaging 4.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game playing both backcourt spots. Brogdon won R.O.Y. primarily because he was a key part of a team that made the playoffs.

The 2016 draft class looks great now, headlined by Jamal Murray, Ben Simmons, Jaylen Brown, Brandon Ingram, Domantas Sabonis, Caris LeVert, Pascal Siakam and Dejounte Murray.

But none of those names made a big impact in the 2016-17 season. With Simmons missing the entire season due to injury, and Joel Embiid (technically a rookie after missing his first two seasons with injuries) playing in only 31 games, the door was left open for Brogdon to win an award that, well, somebody had to win.

Next2 of 11Prev
Use your ← → (arrows) to browse