Chris Paul - New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets
Rookie of the Year

2005-06:
Named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for November, December, January, February and March ... Leads all rookies in minutes (36.3), points (16.3), assists (7.9), steals (2.24), assist/turnover ratio (2.3), double-doubles (21) and efficiency (21.5) ... Is the only rookie to record a triple-double this season, and did it twice in four days (04/02 at TOR and 04/05 vs. GSW) ... Ranks third in the NBA in steals, seventh in assists and sixth in assist/turnover ratio ... Is currently ranked No. 1 in NBA.com's Rookie Rankings.

Our take:
You can talk about the stats all you want. They speak for themselves. The most important thing about what Chris Paul has done this season doesn't have anything to do with stats though. He came in as a rookie, to a team that was forced to move 700 miles from home just before preseason started, and led them to more than twice as many wins as they had last season. And he did it at the point guard position, asked to lead a group of guys that had a lot more experience than he did.
-- John Schuhmann

From the media:
Learning the point guard position on this level is usually a three- or four-year process. That's how it was for Nash, John Stockton, and many others. But this kid walked into the NBA like he owned it, resurrected a dead franchise, and he's all over the league-leader lists ... When he adds a 3-pointer, he'll be indefensible.
-- Dave D'Alessandro, Newark Star-Ledger

A fan's take:
Not forgetting the fact that he averages almost 17 points per game and eight assists, I really like to see his leadership on the court. As a rookie, he already has the respect of his teammates and has exhibited leadership qualities that has allowed him to take the NO/Oklahoma City Hornets to the next level. Come on, I never expected them to be in playoff contention. He is already a valuable player in the NBA in my book. He deserves it.
-- Rachael - Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Numbers:
G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
76 36.3 16.3 5.2 7.9 2.24 0.08 .431 .286 .848

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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Most Improved Player
Defensive Player of the Year
Sixth Man Award
Coach of the Year
Most Valuable Player


Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images