Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton will represent the Big 12 in the NBA’s 2020-21 NBA Awards chase, as Embiid is a candidate for MVP and Haliburton is a candidate for Rookie of the Year.
Embiid, the former Kansas Jayhawk, had the best season of his professional career. He averaged 28.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.0 steal per game for the 76ers.
Embiid, Golden State guard Stephen Curry, and Denver forward Nikola Jokić, are the finalists for MVP.
Embiid played one season for Kansas, averaging 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 2.6 blocks in 23.1 minutes per game as he earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors. But a stress fracture suffered during his time at Kansas derailed his first two seasons in the NBA.
READ MORE: Big 12 Basketball Transfer Tracker
READ MORE: Big 12 Basketball Recruiting Tracker
Haliburton is a finalist for Rookie of the Year with Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball and Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards.
Haliburton, a first-round pick, averaged 13 points, 5.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game in 58 games (20 starts) for the Kings. He shot 40.9 percent from the 3-point line.
Haliburton played two seasons for the Cyclones, leaving early for the NBA after the 2019-20 season. He averaged 10.1 points, 4.7 assists, and 4.4 rebounds in 57 games for the Cyclones and helped them to a 2019 Big 12 Tournament championship.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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