The NBA today announced Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins is the recipient of the Eddie Gottlieb trophy as the winner of the Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He is the first Wolves player to win this award.
Wiggins, 20, received 110 of 130 first-place votes and 604 total points from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. The Chicago Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic finished second with 335 points (14 first-place votes), and Nerlens Noel of the Philadelphia 76ers was third with 141 points (three first-place votes). Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.
“I am honored and humbled to be recognized by the media for this award,” Wiggins said. “I’d like to thank our coaches and my teammates for all they have done to help me and support me this season. I’m looking forward to taking my game to an even higher level next year and helping our team make a significant improvement.”
Wiggins led all qualified rookies in scoring with 16.9 ppg, and was 4th in steals (1.05 spg) and 5th in rebounding (4.6 rpg). He was the only rookie, and one of just 11 players, to start all 82 games this season and finished with a Wolves rookie record 2969 minutes played, second-most in the NBA (James Harden, 2981). Wiggins finished the season strong by averaging 23.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in April.
“Andrew’s hard work and commitment to improving his game was evident by his production on the court this season,” said Wolves head coach Flip Saunders. “We’re thrilled to see him rewarded for this dedication. Andrew has proven that he is one of our key players and a main reason why we’re excited about our future.”
Wiggins was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month four times this season, becoming the first player in Wolves history to earn the honor multiple times. He tallied a rookie-leading 31 20+ point games this season, the most such games by a rookie since Damian Lillard in 2012-13.
The 6-8 forward filled the box score with 29 points, 10 rebounds and six assists April 10 at the Los Angeles Lakers. He scored a season-high 33 points Jan. 31 vs. Cleveland and added a season-high four steals in that game. Wiggins scored a game-high 31 points Jan 17 at Denver, while adding a season-high three blocks. He recorded his first career double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds Dec. 10 vs. Portland.
As part of its support of the Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Award, Kia Motors America (KMA) will donate on Wiggins’ behalf an all-new and more capable than ever 2016 Kia Sorento LX CUV to Rock of Faith Worship Centre in the Canadian province of Ontario, where Wiggins and his family are members. Kia Motors will present a Sorento to the charity of choice of each of five 2014-15 year-end award winners as part of the Kia NBA Performance Awards. After this season, Kia Motors will have donated a total of 38 new vehicles to charitable organizations since its support of the NBA’s prestigious honors began in 2008.
The 2014-15 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Award is part of the Kia NBA Performance Awards, a series of oncourt performance awards. The series, in its eighth season, is part of a multiyear marketing partnership between KMA and the NBA, and includes five of the league’s most prestigious year-end honors: Kia Most Valuable Player, Kia Defensive Player of the Year, Kia Sixth Man Award, Kia Most Improved Player and Kia Rookie of the Year. The series also includes the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month and the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month during the regular season. Kia Motors is the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA, and the Kia Optima is the league’s Official Vehicle. For more information, please visit www.kia.com/NBA.
2014-15 KIA NBA ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD VOTING RESULTS
|Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota||110||17||3||604|
|Nikola Mirotic, Chicago||14||81||22||335|
|Nerlens Noel, Philadelphia||3||22||60||141|
|Elfrid Payton, Orlando||3||8||40||79|
|Marcus Smart, Boston||—||1||3||6|
|Jusuf Nurkic, Denver||—||1||—||3|
|Jordan Clarkson, L.A. Lakers||—||—||2||2|