Paolo Banchero, Jalen Williams Named Rookies Of The Month

Magic forward Paolo Banchero and Thunder forward Jalen Williams have been named the NBA’s Rookies of the Month for March and April, the league announced today (Twitter link).

The Eastern Conference winner and the strong frontrunner to claim Rookie of the Year honors, Banchero earned the award for a fourth straight time, having also been named the East’s Rookie of the Month in December, January, and February.

In 17 games in March and April, he averaged 20.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists in 33.9 minutes per night (17 games) while shooting .445/.387/.681. Orlando went 8-9 in those games.

Williams was named the Western Conference’s Rookie of the Month for a second time, having also won the award for October/November. Last year’s 12th overall pick finished the season on a tear, averaging 18.7 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 4.3 APG, and 1.7 SPG with a scorching hot .547/.451/.882 shooting line in 18 games (33.7 MPG).

Williams, who strengthened his Rookie of the Year case with his second half performance and should show up on most ballots, helped the Thunder secure a spot in the play-in tournament. They’ll visit the No. 9 Pelicans on Wednesday with their season on the line.

The other nominees for Rookie of the Month honors for March/April, according to the NBA, were Jaden Hardy, Keegan Murray, Shaedon Sharpe, and Jabari Smith in the West, and Jaden Ivey, Bennedict Mathurin, and Andrew Nembhard in the East (Twitter link).