Trae Young came on strong at the end of the season and made a push, but Luka Doncic was both more consistent and a better defender (not good, but better). Hard for me to leave Jaren Jackson Jr. off this list, I still think he could be the best in this draft class, but he played only 58 games and this was a season deep with quality rookies.
1. Luka Doncic, Mavericks
2. Trae Young, Hawks
3. Deandre Ayton, Suns
I pick players for this award based on how much they accomplished that season. It's incredible Trae Young made this race as close as it was, but his slow start still counts against him. That gives the clear edge to Doncic, who began the season NBA-ready and sustained his success throughout.
1. Trae Young, Hawks
2. Luka Doncic, Mavericks
3. Jaren Jackson Jr., Grizzlies
The reality of this award is that the narrative has already been set. Doncic has been the clear winner since late December, and I doubt that changes when the actual award is announced. But Young has been more consistently fun to watch. Maybe it's my bias, either as a fan of Steve Nash, or because this is Steph Curry's NBA, but Young is who I'd give the award to at this point. His vision is a joy to watch, and the Hawks are spunky. There's no wrong answer here, and I think folks have slowly realized that over the course of the season.