2020-21 NBA Season Awards: Predicting All-Rookie teams, snubs

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With the NBA regular season behind us, the conversation in the basketball world has shifted toward the playoffs following an exciting weekend of action.

The discussion surrounding several end-of-season awards races also has picked up.

Several categories, including Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, appear to be anything but locked up. Also included in that debate: the All-Rookie teams.

The rookie class put forth a strong showing this year and likely exceeded expectations. The performances have given the awards voters something to think about and the final tallies should be rather intriguing.

To make sense of it all, Rookie Wire predicted how the All-Rookie first and second teams will play out. We also included players likely to be snubbed from the voting results.

For more awards predictions, check out the official picks by USA TODAY

Note: There are no position restrictions when selecting All-Rookie teams

NBA All-Rookie First Team

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

NBA All-Rookie First Team:

Player

Team

Anthony Edwards

Minnesota Timberwolves

LaMelo Ball

Charlotte Hornets

Tyrese Haliburton

Sacramento Kings

Immanuel Quickley

New York Knicks

Desmond Bane

Memphis Grizzlies

The NBA announced on Thursday that Edwards, Ball and Haliburton were the three finalists for the Rookie of the Year award. They are locks to make the first team and should be unanimous selections when the final voting results are released. Outside of those three, however, the picks get a bit dicey. Four players seem in contention to earn the final two spots on the first team: Quickley, Bane, Saddiq Bey and Jae'Sean Tate. Of the four, two players helped their respective teams achieve great success throughout the season and advance to the playoffs. Quickley emerged as a valuable contributor off the bench this season for head coach Tom Thibodeau. He made a tremendous impact off the bench, averaging 11.4 points on 38.9% shooting from 3-point range. He missed time toward the end of the season but has played like a high first-round pick, and not one that went 25th. Bane, meanwhile, emerged as perhaps one of the top shooters in the class. On the season, he averaged 9.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. He shot 43.2% from 3-point range, ranking 13th among all players in the league. In addition to his shooting, the 30th overall pick is a strong defender and is already one of the top 3-and-D options of the class.

NBA All-Rookie Second Team

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NBA All-Rookie Second Team

Player

Team

Saddiq Bey

Detroit Pistons

Jae'Sean Tate

Houston Rockets

Facundo Campazzo

Denver Nuggets

Isaiah Stewart

Detroit Pistons

Patrick Williams

Chicago Bulls

As previously mentioned, Bey and Tate have strong cases to earn first team honors. We have no issues with anyone including them that high on their ballots. In our eyes, though, they ultimately were knocked down a bit given where their teams finished in the standings. Campazzo, while not a traditional rookie given his international resume, emerged as a key contributor with the Nuggets. Denver dealt with a number of injuries, and Campazzo was instrumental in its success in the stretch run. The selection of Stewart will give the Pistons two All-Rookie players. He averaged 7.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 68 games played while leading the class in rebounding, offensive rebounding and blocks. He is one of nine players this season with at least two blocks in 26 games. While Williams' numbers hardly stand out against his competition, the fourth pick emerged as one of the top defenders of the class. He was often tasked with guarding the opposition's best player and, typically, held his own in those matchups.

NBA All-Rookie Snubs

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NBA All-Rookie Snubs

Player

Team

Tyrese Maxey

Philadelphia 76ers

Isaac Okoro

Cleveland Cavaliers

Chuma Okeke

Orlando Magic

Cole Anthony

Orlando Magic

Payton Pritchard

Boston Celtics

Once the awards are announced, Maxey will likely be the top snub from either team. While he performed like one of the 10 best rookies, his playing time with the Sixers was sporadic and he was often out of the rotation. He had a career-high 39-point game, the second-most by a rookie this season, so we know he can score, but his role will likely prevent him from earning second team honors. Okoro was a high-minute player for the Cavaliers this season and really started to come alive toward the end of the season. Overall, though, Okoro was inconsistent and likely will not place on either team. But don't get it twisted, Okoro showed signs of becoming a strong player on both ends of the floor and could be one of the best to emerge from this class. Of the potential snubs, Okeke likely has the best chance to place on the second team. His role expanded once Aaron Gordon was traded, and he showed flashes of his potential as a starter. He has a dynamic offensive game and elite tools on the defensive end, making him perhaps one of the most intriguing first-year players. Anthony likely would have been a lock to make the second team had he not missed so much time with a rib injury. His playmaking ability proved highly beneficial for the Magic, while his knack for taking over late in games was a pleasant surprise. Finally, Pritchard has given the Celtics solid production off the bench in spurts. It is rather rare a rookie can offer that kind of scoring, but Pritchard performed when his number was called. His role often varied but can fill a several different roles for the team moving forward.

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