The rookie class from the 2019-20 season had no shortage of solid players. Numerous individuals were able make an impact on their respective teams in their first NBA season. When it was all said and done, Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies took home the 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
Undrafted rookie Kendrick Nunn of the Miami Heat came second in voting for the hardware. He recently talked to Alex Kennedy of BasketballNews.com, saying that he thinks he deserved last season’s NBA Rookie of the Year Award due to how unique his situation.
“I should’ve won. I mean, if you think about it, [when have we seen] someone who was under the radar and who nobody knew and then they win multiple Rookie of the Months and has a season like that? It’s really rare for an undrafted player to perform like that and have the kind of season that I had. Obviously, it’s expected that a lottery pick — the No. 1 pick or No. 2 pick or No. 3 pick — will win that award. So, just from a ‘shocking-the-world’ thing, I feel like I should’ve won.”
When it comes to exceeding expectations, there is no question that Nunn led the charge. To go undrafted and even be considered among the best rookies in your class is an accomplishment in itself. Nunn finished his first NBA season averaging 15.3 points and 3.3 assists per game. Morant, who won the award over him, averaged 17.8 points and 7.3 assists per contest as a rookie.