The Miami Heat‘s Kendrick Nunn has shined and come out as a surprising candidate for Rookie of the Year. Nunn attended college at Illinois for his first three years, where he would average 15.5 points, 5 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in his final season. After pleading guilty to a charge of misdemeanor battery, Nunn was dismissed from Illinois. He would then join the Oakland Golden Grizzlies for his final season. In his final year, Nunn averaged 25.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.8 assists.
Kendrick Nunn’s Emergence
His NBA Career so Far
Nunn declared for the 2018 draft but went undrafted. After that, he signed a partially guaranteed deal with the Golden State Warriors, where he would primarily play for the Warriors G-League team, the Santa Cruz Warriors. He showed glimpses of what he could do while in the G-League, scoring 32 points off the bench against the Iowa Energy. Because of this, Nunn signed with the Miami Heat.
To start his career as a player for the Miami Heat, Nunn joined them in the preseason. He didn’t stand out too much, only averaging 13.8 points per game, until their last preseason game against the Houston Rockets, where Nunn scored 40 points, the most preseason points scored by a Miami Heat player in 20 years.
Nunn came out strong in his first game, scoring 24 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals in his first NBA game as a starter. As of November 6, 2019, Nunn is currently tied for first with RJ Barrett for points scored among rookies and tied for second with Barrett for points per game among rookies. Nunn is showing signs of being one of the best rookies in the entire NBA, and if he keeps it up, he could become a serious contender for the Rookie of the Year award.
Kendrick Nunn Shining
Nunn has had an amazing start to his rookie season. And with Zion Williamson being injured, we could see Nunn become a serious candidate for Rookie of the Year. While teammate Jimmy Butler was out for the birth of his child, Nunn has already shown signs of being a leader. He managed to lead the team in scoring while helping them win against the Memphis Grizzlies and Milwaukee Bucks. He has already impressed Jimmy Butler with his talent, and although he has cooled down recently, he thinks that Nunn shouldn’t stop shooting.
From last night — Jimmy Butler on Nunn: "I heard about the kid, I've watched film on him, I know what he likes to do as a player. I want him to keep doing that. I always tell people all the time, my job is to help win and to help get guys big pay days. He's on his way to one."
— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) November 1, 2019
What Nunn is doing is rare among rookies, let alone undrafted ones. He has shown that he can score, but we are going to need to see other parts of his game too. He will be competing with other young Heat players such as Tyler Herro, Chris Silva, and Duncan Robinson.
Nunn’s Future in the NBA
Kendrick Nunn is looking like he will be in the NBA for many years to come and is going to be an important part of the core for the Heat. Every team likes a point guard who can score at will, and if the Miami Heat want to keep him, they could pay him as early as next offseason if they decline his team option.