Charlie Villanueva - Toronto Raptors
Rookie of the Year

Named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for December ... Scored a rookie-high and Raptors' rookie record (second best in Raptors history) 48 points March 26 at MIL, which was the most by a rookie since 1997 ... Grabbed a rookie-high 18 rebounds April 2 vs. NOK ... Ranks second among rookies in points (12.8), rebounds (6.4), blocks (.78) ... Ranks third among rookies in field goal percentage (.465) and fourth in double-doubles (11) ... Averages 13.8 points and 8.0 rebounds in 34 games as a starter ... Is currently ranked No. 3 in's Rookie Rankings.

Our take:
The seventh pick in the 2005 Draft, Charlie Villanueva was panned before he could even shake David Stern's hand. The critics have been silenced. Villanueva wasn't the most consistent rookie, but he was the most explosive, as proven by his 48-point performance in Milwaukee. He's a versatile big-man who can shoot the three, put it on the floor or take you down low. He has all the tools to be a future All-Star.
-- John Schuhmann

From a fellow candidate:
I'm not surprised. Charlie has been this great of a basketball player, even since we were in high school. We actually played on the same McDonald's All-American team together. Charlie is 6-9, 6-10, with guard skills. He can dribble the ball up the court, pass, shoot, everything.
-- Chris Paul, New Orleans Times-Picayune

A fan's take:
This award should go to someone who been through a lot and who has worked the hardest to get where he is today. The Toronto Raptors were criticized for drafting Charlie so early. Instead of giving up, Charlie showed the city of Toronto that he was not a bad pick and that he should get the respect that he deserves. In the end of the season Charlie had to step up to fill the spot of Chris Bosh, and excelled scoring forty-eight points and grabbing nine rebounds in one game. He has also been outstanding off the court. He is the spokesman for NAAF, National Alopecia Areata Foundation, and gives a lot of his time to help others by sharing his experiences with the disease. Charlie Villanueva is a great candidate for Rookie of the Year and he has worked so hard and shown the NBA that he deserves it.
-- Shael - Toronto, Ont.

The Numbers:
79 28.9 12.8 6.4 1.0 0.75 0.78 .465 .324 .708

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

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

David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images