In an interview with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman, Kendrick Nunn said that he deserves to win Rookie of the Year over Ja Morant. Nunn rested his case on Miami’s win total over that of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Heat’s Kendrick Nunn makes his case for Rookie of the Year. https://t.co/cwni7jcywn "I think people will say that [Ja Morant] is Rookie of the Year, but I don't believe it. The most value should be in the wins."— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) April 12, 2020
This declaration shouldn’t come as a surprise. A month into the season, Nunn said, “I definitely feel like I’m Rookie of the Year.”
Nunn is a lock to make the All-NBA Rookie Team. But he was always a distant second to Ja Morant in the Rookie of the Year race — until Zion Williamson made his debut. Williamson has only played in 19 games this season. I would put Nunn over him, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all in Nunn fell to third in Rookie of the Year voting.
For Rookie of the Year, the real value isn’t in wins. If that were the case, Dwyane Wade would’ve won the award over LeBron James in 2004. The Heat finished with a better record than the Cleveland Cavaliers because of the combined contributions of Wade, Lamar Odom, Eddie Jones, Caron Butler and Udonis Haslem. Similarly, Miami has a better record than the Memphis Grizzlies because of Nunn, Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic and Tyler Herro.