Media votes show ROY disadvantage for Raptors’ Scottie Barnes

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 7: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 7: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors need to cross their fingers and hope that Scottie Barnes gets enough first-place votes to become the 2022 NBA Rookie of the Year. Despite his production, compliments from some of the biggest names in the game, and importance beyond the box score, he’s positioned to be in a dogfight for this individual honor.

While it looked like Cleveland Cavaliers standout Evan Mobley had the award all locked up earlier in the season, Barnes’ second-half surge and role on a Raptors team that earned the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference might be enough to convert some Mobley disciples.

While ballots are already in, we won’t know the final tally for a few more weeks. Based on some brave souls that have made themselves known, we can read the tea leaves and confirm that Barnes is going to be locked in a bitter mano-a-mano fight with Mobley.

Based on the 42 confirmed first-place voted votes that have already been made public so far, Barnes has 18 and Mobley is in first with 21. Pistons star Cade Cunningham is in third place with three. While Barnes has more second-place votes than Mobley, his advantage has faded

Will Toronto Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes win Rookie of the Year?

Barnes has averaged 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. Keep in mind that those numbers came in an offense where he is often the No. 5 scoring option. Barnes’ role on a Raptors squad that won 48 games should give him the edge over two lottery teams.

Cunningham has been a stud, but his numbers are a bit more hollow than Barnes by virtue of playing for one of the worst teams in the league. Mobley is an amazing defender, but he has looked less sharp on both sides of the ball when Jarrett Allen has been put on the shelf with a host of injuries.

Barnes hasn’t had a perfect season, but he’s been everything that the Raptors could have possibly expected. Even though all five starters from this season will return next year, it looks like Toronto will ask Barnes to shoulder an even greater deal of responsibility now that his status as a burgeoning star has been confirmed.

With the winning impact of Mobley and the statistical prowess of Cunningham all wrapped up in one package, Barnes has established himself as the clear frontrunner in the Rookie of the Year race. It is incumbent on the voters to make sure he ends the year with all of the accolades that he deserves.

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