Nikola Mirotic's hot March made him a dark horse candidate for Rookie of the Year, but he finished second to Minnesota's Andrew Wiggins as the league's best first-year player.
Mirotic picked up 14 first-place votes, second to Wiggins, who was first picked in the draft originally by Cleveland but traded to Minnesota in the Kevin Love deal in the offseason. Wiggins averaged nearly 17 points a game for the Timberwolves and garnered 110 first-place votes, nearly doubling up on Mirotic for total points (604 to 335).
[SHOP: Get a Nikola Mirotic jersey here]
When the Bulls were without Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler in March, it was Mirotic who carried the Bulls offensively and helped keep them afloat. The 24-year old averaged 20.8 points and 7.6 rebounds in the month while leading the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring.
For the season, Mirotic, originally the 24th pick in the 2011 draft, averaged 10.2 points and 4.9 rebounds in 20.2 minutes per game.
Mirotic finished ahead of first-year players Nerlens Noel (Philadelphia), Elfrid Payton (Orlando) and Marcus Smart (Boston) in the top five voting.