The Raptors youngster has made a strong case for the award all year, but it's admittedly been a three-man race throughout the season. Cleveland Cavaliers big man Evan Mobley and Detroit Pistons wing Cade Cunningham have all taken the spotlight at one point or another.
That's made the choice for who deserves the award that much more difficult, which manifested itself in the actual voting process. The separation between Barnes and Mobley was the closest margin ever seen since the NBA started using the current voting format.
The 15-point difference between the NBA Rookie of the Year winner (Scottie Barnes) and the second-place finisher (Evan Mobley) is the smallest margin since the current voting format began 19 years ago.
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Mobley and Barnes had nearly identical tallies for first, second, and third place votes, with just a few extra first-place ones coming Barnes' way. But ultimately, the Cavs stumbling down the standings later in the season while the Raptors slowly climbed past them could have been the difference that swung a few of the votes in Barnes favor.
He seems to be in agreement when he spoke up about winning the award.
“It was a goal of mine all year to try to win it but I didn’t want to overthink it or do too much. I just played my role, did what I had to do, and winning helps with it as well,” said the Raptors rookie.
Scottie Barnes has shown that he has sky-high ceiling in his first ever campaign. Raptors fans are excited to see just how high he'll be able to soar.