NBA awards: Doncic top rookie, Siakam most improved

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic poses with Rookie Of The Year award at the 2019 NBA Awards show at Barker Hanger. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports/REUTERS

Luka Doncic, the No. 3 overall selection who was traded to the Dallas Mavericks on draft day in 2018, won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award on Monday night at the league’s awards show in Santa Monica, California.

Doncic received 98 of the 100 votes, with Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks, getting the other two. The third finalist was the top pick in last season’s draft, Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton.

Named Most Improved Player was power forward Pascal Siakam of the NBA champion Toronto Raptors, who won the award over fellow finalists De’Aaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings and D’Angelo Russell of the Brooklyn Nets.

Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams was chosen the Sixth Man of the Year for the third time, matching the record the honor held by Jamal Crawford. The only other two-time winners of the Sixth Man award were Kevin McHale, Ricky Pierce and Detlef Schrempf.

The other finalists for the Sixth Man award were Williams’ teammate Montrezl Harrell and the Indiana Pacers’ Domantas Sabonis.

Doncic, a 20-year-old guard who averaged 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists in 32.2 minutes per game, is Dallas’ second Rookie of the Year winner, joining Jason Kidd, a co-winner with Grant Hill in the 1994-95 season. Doncic played in 72 games last season.

Young, a point guard, averaged 19.1 points, 8.1 assists and 3.7 assists in 30.9 minutes per game last season. He played in 81 of the team’s 82 contests. A year ago, Young, the No. 5 overall draft pick in 2018, was dealt from Dallas to Atlanta along with a 2019 first-round pick in exchange for Doncic.

Siakam averaged 16 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists over 31.9 minutes and played in 80 games. ESPN noted that Siakam, a third-year player whom the Raptors drafted with the 27th overall pick in 2016, increased his point total by 9.6 points per game, the biggest gain by any player to have played in 40 games from season to season.

Williams, 32, put up 20 points, 5.4 assists and three rebounds per game in 75 appearances in 2018-19, starting just once.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.

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