A day after Charlotte Hornets star LaMelo Ball was named the 2020-21 NBA Rookie of the Year, four other first-year players joined him on the NBA's All-Rookie first team.
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards, Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton, Detroit Pistons forward Saddiq Bey and Houston Rockets forward Jae’Sean Tate rounded out the squad. Ball and Edwards were unanimous selections while Haliburton fell one first team vote shy of the distinction.
Ball took the league by storm in Charlotte, averaging 15.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game for a Hornets squad that started to create some noise during the regular season. A wrist injury held him to just 51 games, but he still took home the top prize for NBA rookies with 84 of 99 first team votes in the Rookie of the Year race.
Edwards led all rookies with 19.3 points per game and was the only rookie in the league to play 72 games. The Georgia product was thrust into a leading role in the Timberwolves' offense as the team's other top scorers -- Karl-Anthony Towns, Malik Beasley and D'Angelo Russell -- all missed extended periods of time. Along with nearly 20 points per game, Edwards also chipped in 4.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.1 steals per contest.
Like Ball, the 2020 No. 1 overall pick gained fans with his dazzling highlights -- along with some hilarious soundbites:
Haliburton's impact for the Kings cannot be understated. He averaged 13.0 points (third among rookies), 5.3 assists (second among rookies) and 3.0 rebounds in over 30 minutes per game while playing suffocating defense on the other end of the floor.
Bey was a bright spot for the Pistons in 2020-21. He posted 12.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game and even carried the team to victory a couple of times with his offense. He scored a season-high 30 points in a win in Boston where he went 7-for-7 from 3-point range.
The Rockets went a league-worst 17-55 in 2020-21, but Tate made the most of his opportunity in his first year. He picked up 58 starts for Houston, 17 more than the player with the second-most starts on the team (Christian Wood). Tate averaged 11.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.
New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley, Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane, Pistons center Isaiah Stewart, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Isaac Okoro and Chicago Bulls forward Patrick Williams were named to the All-Rookie second team.