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Dallas’ Luka Doncic runs away with Rookie of the Year award

Dallas Mavericks v Indiana Pacers

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 19: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks dribbles the ball against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on January 19, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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Atlanta’s Trae Young came on strong at the end of the season, but all that was ever going to do was get him into second place.

Dallas’ Luka Doncic, who was NBA ready when he first stepped on the court (remember, he was the EuroLeague MVP a season before), ran away with the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He was first on 98 of the 100 ballots cast (and he was second on the other two).

Doncic was the heavy favorite after a season where he averaged 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 6 assists per game. The reason is those numbers don’t tell the whole story. Coach Rick Carlisle handed Doncic the keys to the offense from the start and the rookie was a polished pick-and-roll ball handler from the start, plus he defended reasonably well for a rookie. He looked like a franchise talent.

Doncic is the second Dallas player ever to win Rookie of the Year, the first was Jason Kidd.

Young came in second (his slow start to the season held him back in the final voting but he was second on 97 ballots), and DeAndre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns placed third. Jaren Jackson Jr. of Memphis and Collin Sexton were the next two in line with voters.