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Memphis Grizzlies' star Ja Morant named one of three NBA Rookie of the Year finalists

Morant, an athletic and flashy point guard from Murray State, was the 2nd overall pick in the 2019-2020 NBA draft
Credit: AP
Memphis Grizzlies' Ja Morant reacts after being called for traveling against the Utah Jazz during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — Memphis Grizzlies' star point guard Ja Morant, who distributes the basketball like he has eyes in the back of his head, could have seen this one coming all the way from NBA headquarters in New York.

Saturday, the National Basketball Association announced its finalists for its top performers for the 2019-2020 season. To absolutely no one’s surprise, Ja Morant was one of three finalists for the Rookie of the Year award. The star point guard from Murray State was the 2nd overall pick in the 2019-2020 NBA draft. New Orleans Pelicans’ star Zion Williamson, who was the 1st pick in last year’s draft, is a finalist too.

A global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters voted through regular season games through March 11, before the league suspended games due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The awards will be announced on TNT during its coverage of the NBA Playoffs.

The other finalists for NBA honors are:

MVP — Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks; LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers; James Harden, Houston Rockets

Most Improved Player — Bam Adebayo, Miami; Luka Doncic, Dallas; Brandon Ingram, New Orleans.

Sixth Man — Montrezl Harrell, Los Angeles Clippers; Dennis Schroder, Oklahoma City; Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers.

Defensive Player of the Year — Antetokounmpo; Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers; Rudy Gobert, Utah.

Coach of the Year — Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee; Billy Donovan, Oklahoma City; Nick Nurse, Toronto.