The 2020-21 NBA ‘Season Just Started’ Awards

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

TNSJS Rookie of the Year: Tyrese Haliburton, Sacramento Kings

Also receiving votes: LaMelo Ball, Desmond Bane, James Wiseman, Tyrese Maxey

While my vote went to LaMelo, it’s hard to argue against Haliburton at the moment. In his five games played, he’s done nothing but upheld his reputation coming into the 2020 NBA Draft as a low-usage, hyper-efficient demigod. He’s currently eclipsing a 4:1 assist to Turnover ratio and is in the 100th percentile for all players in the league in assist to usage ratio. Sacramento may be 2-3 with him and 2-3 without him available to play, however, their point differential drops from a bad but acceptable minus-3.6 per 100 possessions with Haliburton to a 2015 Sixers-ian minus-12.6 in the 496 possessions with him on the bench.

But he’s not just a smart, mistake-free rotational piece, as he’s impressed many with his standstill set shot to the tune of 50 percent 3-point shooting, and his manipulative jump passing has drawn praise from hoops nerds far and wide.

Ball also deserves credit for delivering on his promise as a spicy passer and shot creator, while also shooting a more than acceptable 35.6 percent from 3-point land on 4.5 attempts per game. Meanwhile, Desmond Bane has only shot 19-of-39 from deep on 60 true shooting, shocking that considering he was a lights-out shooter for four straight years in college (the sarcasm, you hear).

Wiseman has some shortcomings and I still don’t believe in him as an All-Star level player long term, but given the more than shaky performance of Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre on the wings, Wiseman’s emergence as a competent pick and roll pattern with Steph was paramount to keeping Golden State watchable prior to Draymond’s return.

I also threw in a Tyrese Maxey vote because he scored 39 points yesterday and none of you can stop me hahahahahahahahaha.

Previous years TNSJS winners (2016-2019): Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Luka Doncic, Kendrick Nunn (cut to Major League, “Just a bit outside”)