NBA Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks have been unanimously selected to the 2015-16 NBA All-Rookie First Team, the NBA announced today. Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell has been named to the NBA’s All-Rookie Second Team.
Russell, 20, is the second consecutive Laker to be honored with an All-Rookie team selection, joining Jordan Clarkson who was selected to the First Team last season, and is the fourth Laker in team history (Kobe Bryant and Travis Knight in 1996-97 and Nick Van Exel in 1993-94) to be awarded Second Team honors.
Russell, the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, played in 80 games (48 starts) in 2015-16, averaging 13.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.16 steals in 28.2 minutes per game. He had a career-high 39-point performance against the Nets, the most points scored by a Lakers rookie since Elgin Baylor scored 39 on 3/11/59.
Despite an inconsistent season, Russell finished the year ranked 4th among rookies in assists and steals, and 5th in points and three-point field goal percentage. Russell is one of only 20 rookies in NBA history to make 120 triples in a season and finished the season tied for 15th all-time among rookies in most three-pointers made in a season (130).
Joining Towns and Porzingis on the First Team are the Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker (103 First Team votes, 231 points), the Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic (73 First Team votes, 186 points) and the Philadelphia 76ers’ Jahlil Okafor (71 First Team votes, 186 points).
The NBA All-Rookie Second Team consists of Russell (142 points, 25 First Team votes), the Miami Heat’s Justise Winslow (151 points, 44 First Team votes), the Nuggets’ Emmanuel Mudiay (140 points, 35 First Team votes), the Indiana Pacers’ Myles Turner (139 points, 28 First Team votes) and the Sacramento Kings’ Willie Cauley-Stein (50 points, two First Team votes).
Towns, the No. 1 overall pick, led all rookies in scoring (18.3 ppg) and rebounding (10.5 rpg, eighth in the NBA) and ranked second in blocks (1.68 bpg, 10th in the NBA) – making him the league’s only player to reach those averages in the three categories. The unanimous NBA Rookie of the Year also ranked third in the league in double-doubles (51) and eighth in field goal percentage (54.2).
Porzingis was third among rookies in scoring (14.3 ppg), second in rebounding (7.3 rpg) and first in blocks (1.86 bpg). A three-time NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month winner, Porzingis became the first Knicks rookie to score at least 1,000 points in a season since Mark Jackson in 1987-88.
Booker finished fourth among first-year players in scoring (13.8 ppg), second in three-pointers made (99) and first in free throw percentage (84.0). Five of the 19-year-old guard’s rookie-high six 30-point games came after the All-Star break, when he averaged 19.2 points, 4.1 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 28 games.
Jokic, the 41st pick, made his NBA debut this season and averaged 10.0 points (eighth among rookies), 7.0 rebounds (tied for third), 2.4 assists (seventh) and 0.99 steals (fourth) while shooting 51.2 percent from the field (fourth).
The NBA All-Rookie First Team is rounded out by Okafor, who ranked second among first-year players in scoring (17.7 ppg), tied for third in rebounding (7.0 rpg) and fourth in blocks (1.15 bpg).
Other players receiving votes, with point totals (first-place votes in parentheses):
Frank Kaminsky, Charlotte, 47 (2); Josh Richardson, Miami, 47 (4); Stanley Johnson, Detroit, 42 (1); Trey Lyles, Utah, 26; Bobby Portis, Chicago, 13; T.J. McConnell, Philadelphia, 2 (7); Mario Hezonja, Orlando, 4; Larry Nance Jr., Los Angeles Lakers, 3; Norman Powell, Toronto, 3; Justin Anderson, Dallas, 2; Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Brooklyn, 2; Boban Marjanovic, San Antonio, 2; Jonathon Simmons, San Antonio, 2; Jerian Grant, New York, 1; Marcelo Huertas, Los Angeles Lakers, 1; Raul Neto, Utah, 1; Cameron Payne, Oklahoma City, 1; Joe Young, Indiana, 1.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services