There has been a lot of back and forth of who has been the 2018-2019 Rookie of Year between Trae Young and Luka Doncic. Both are having memorable seasons this year. Doncic came out of the gate swing during the first half of the season, averaging 20.7 points while shooting 43% percent from the field. As for Young, he averaged 16.9 points on 40.6% shooting from the field per The Crossover’s Alaa Abdeldaiem.
In his first 20 games of the season, Doncic averaged 18.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. Also racking up a total of 198 points, 66 rebounds, and 44 assists during his first 10 career games in a Mavericks’ uniform, and becoming the second teenager to achieve the honor since Oscar Robinson. As December approached it seemed like Doncic was the runaway favorite for the Rookie of the Year Award.
But then Young exploded on the scene after the All-Star break and the debut between the two rookies started to pick up. Since the break Young has averaged 25.8 points, 9.0 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game, and becoming the 8th rookie in league history to record 35 points along with 11 assists in a 133–111 win over the Cavaliers earlier this season. Also catching the attention of his peers such as Donovan Mitchell, Kyle Kuzma, and Blake Griffin, who all have voiced their support that Young should be Rookie of the Year. After he poured in 32 points and 11 against last year’s Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons and the Philadephia Sixers.
Speaking of Ben Simmons he was in Dallas, Texas, along with the Sixers to take on the Mavericks on April 1st. No April fools joke, which saw Doncic not play due to a bruised right thigh that kept him out of the game the day before in against the Thunder as well. After morning shootaround Ben Simmons was asked if he had a vote who would he pick for rookie of the year?
Simmons immediately said, Luka.
Why is Doncic his pick?
“Same reason as last year. He [Luka Doncic] is playing better, his team’s winning more games. Trae Young is killin’ it. Same as Donovan. But it’s just, overall, I think Luka’s team has played a little better,” said Simmons.
— Landon Buford (@LandonBuford) April 1, 2019
https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsDallas would later go on to beat the Sixers 122-102 in regulation. This morning after the Mavericks shootaround practice ahead of tonight’s game against the Timberwolves, Doncic answered a couple of questions from the media including to give his response to Simmons’ endorsement for Rookie of the Year.
“I mean it is great what other players think about my ability, but I have to say there is too much talking about it. There is a lot of media and I just don’t want to talk about it and I just want to focus on the next game,” Doncic told me.