Raymond Felton - Charlotte Bobcats
Rookie of the Year

2005-06:
Named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for February and March ... Ranks second among rookies in assists (5.4), steals (1.22) and double-doubles (12) (Ranks fourth among rookies in points per game (11.8) and assist/turnover ratio (2.39) ... In 52 games as a starter, averages 14.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.4 steals in 35.7 minutes ... Scored in double figures 36 of the last 42 games and 46 times on the season, and 13 times has had 10-plus assists ... Is currently ranked No. 2 in NBA.com's Rookie Rankings.

Our take:
Early in the season, Raymond Felton was playing behind Brevin Knight at the point. On November 16, Knight was out with an injury and Felton got a chance to start. He responded with 18 points, 10 assists and five steals, leading the 2-6 Bobcats over the 4-2 Pacers. After that, Felton went back to the bench, but he eventually forced coach Bernie Bickerstaff to play him alongside Knight, and he has been the best rookie in the Eastern Conference ever since.
-- John Schuhmann

From the coach:
You could just see the growth. He figured out how to use the rim and his strength when he takes it to the hole. He makes big shots. They guys has got courage and he has mental toughness. He's very confident and has the physical skills to go with it. And what I think his biggest asset is his love for the game. I think that got him over the hump. Most guys come in as rookies and hit that wall, but he loves basketball so much, he surmounted it pretty easily.
-- Bernie Bickerstaff

A fan's take:
Raymond Felton had to come into a team were they didn't need him that badly, so they split time with him and Brevin Knight. Raymond Felton learned how to play in the NBA and competed for playing time in a great fashion, and that I think is very hard to do. Overall Raymond is just a great person too. I have followed him, and he and the rest of the Bobcats team have done large amounts of service for the community. Go Raymond!
-- J.B. - Durham, N.C.

The Numbers:
G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
78 29.8 11.8 3.3 5.4 1.22 0.10 .393 .359 .720

Rookie of the Year - The Candidates:
Andrew Bogut - Milwaukee Bucks
Raymond Felton - Charlotte Bobcats
Chris Paul - New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets
Charlie Villanueva - Toronto Raptors

Others worth consideration: Channing Frye, Ryan Gomes, Danny Granger, Deron Williams

MAKING THE CASE FOR ...
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Defensive Player of the Year
Sixth Man Award
Coach of the Year
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Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images