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Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic, Trae Young named finalists for Rookie of the Year award

Luka Doncic, Mavs, DeAndre Ayton, Suns, Trae Young, Hawks, Rookie of the Year

The NBA has named Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, Dallas Mavericks point-forward Luka Doncic and Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young as this year’s top three finalists for the Rookie of the Year award.

It was an unsurprising turn, as the three rookies established themselves as a cut above the rest of the 2018 Draft class.

Doncic remains the favorite to win the top rookie award. Despite concerns on how his game will translate to the NBA level, he immediately became the Mavs’ go-to scorer and eventually swept the Rookie of the Month honors in the Western Conference.

The Mavs phenom led all rookies in scoring with 21.2 points per game on top of 7.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists.

On the other hand, Young is largely considered as the biggest threat to Doncic for the award. He had a spectacular showing after the All-Star break, during which he averaged 24.7 points, 4.7 boards and 9.2 assists in three-month stretch.

The biggest issue about Young’s case for ROY is his struggles at the start of the season. In fact, from November to December, he shot a horrendous 27.5 percent from 3-point territoty — a bad look for a player known for his shooting.

Ayton, meanwhile, put up solid numbers for the Suns. He was a double-double machine throughout the year, averaging 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per contest. However, he failed to provide that much of an impact, putting him second only to Doncic for the monthly rookie awards most of the time.

The 2019 NBA Awards night is slated on June 24 at Barker Hangar in Los Angeles.