NBA Rookie of the Year Power Rankings: Top contenders revealed ahead of stretch run

NBA award season predictions for Rookie of the Year.
Oklahoma City Thunder  v San Antonio Spurs
Oklahoma City Thunder v San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages
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As we inch closer to the end of the season, the top NBA Rookie of the Year candidates are revealed in our rookie power rankings.

The NBA season is in a holding period. The All-Star game has passed, the trade deadline is over, and the buyout market has dried up. The season is promptly moving towards its close. Playoff races are underway and teams are beginning to settle into their places for post-season activities.

With the end of the season nearing, award season is about to begin. Every year players are rewarded for their hard work on the court with prestigious awards that symbolize their impact on that respective season. While players may say that these awards don't matter, all that matters are Championships... although it feels like they matter more than they try to lead on; I digress.

One of the most exciting awards given out at the end of each year is the Rookie of the Year award. This award, in my opinion, is truly the best. The ROY award not only implies that the player receiving it was the best rookie in the league that season, but it also carries with it excitement and imagination of what's to come. The rookie who wins the award will instantly have their career expectations adjusted in the eyes of NBA fans.

This season has given us a lot of fun rookies and many incredible rookie moments. The race for Rookie of the Year looks like it will come down to two unicorns. With that, let's look at our Rookie of the Year power rankings.

Honorable mentions: Ausar Thompson, Detroit Pistons, Scoot Henderson, Portland Trailblazers, Brandin Podziemski, Golden State Warriors, Cam Whitmore, Houston Rockets.

5. PG/SG: Keyonte George, Utah Jazz

Keyonte George has been having a very steady rookie season. The combo guard out of Baylor has showcased a lot more than what initial draft pundits expected. His playmaking and ball-handling seem to be more advanced than he was given credit for. Ditto for his "lack of explosiveness and athleticism."

George was a five-star recruit at Baylor and had the potential to be a top-5 pick in the NBA draft. However, as the draft approached, he started to slip down the draft boards and was eventually selected by the Jazz with the 16th overall pick.

George is currently averaging 12.0 points per game, 2.8 rebounds per game, and 4.4 assists per game. However, his shooting percentages are not very impressive. If the Jazz were performing better as a team and George had been more efficient, he may have had a chance at being higher up on the list. But for now, we have placed Keyonte George in the fifth spot in our Rookie of the Year power rankings.